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Whee! Here we go, a last-ditch effort to clean the slate from 2010 so that I can start talking about what I’m reading in this bright and shiny new year (it may be below freezing, but the sun is out, making the day bright and shiny) (why yes, I did have more coffee than usual this morning).
- Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin: Fun, but not as gripping as Impossible.
- As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth by Lynne Rae Perkins: LRP has redeemed herself in my eyes – I am no longer a hater (cough, Criss Cross, cough) and enjoyed this one completely. Her style suits the unlikely coincidences of the story, and I might even vote for this one at the Mock Printz.
- Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi: Dark and tense and definitely recommended if you like that kind of dystopian adventure that re-imagines a landscape we know. I don’t know if I enjoyed it, necessarily, but it was quite well done.
- Amulet: The Stonekeeper’s Curse by Kazu Kibuishi: I’m really enjoying this graphic novel fantasy/adventure series – the illustrations are what pull me in, but the story is a lot of fun, too. Start with book one, The Stonekeeper. Book three is out, and the whole series has been really popular at my library.
- The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan: Do I keep reading the prolific Mr. Riordan because I enjoy his books or so that I can be a well-informed librarian? Both reasons, actually. In case anyone’s been hiding under a rock, this one is set in the same world as the Percy Jackson books, but follows three new characters. Riordan definitely hasn’t run out of stories and creatures from mythology, although he does mix things up a little bit here with more Roman mythology, and he hasn’t run out of jokes, either. A must for fans – he doesn’t disappoint.
When I read the Percy Jackson books, I remembered just enough about Greek mythology to predict some things and recognize a few characters. Here, with Egyptian mythology, I recognized plenty of names but I barely knew anything about their identities, which made for a more suspenseful ride. This was balanced out, though, by the length of the story and the time spent setting things up. And while I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, I was never in that state of being anxious to find out what happens.
The narration is split between siblings Sadie and Carter, who have been raised separately and are only brought together when their father releases the Egyptian gods from exile. While I like the ideal of dual narrators, their voices aren’t quite distinct enough to remember who’s narrating. This is really a shame, and it makes me wonder what the book would’ve been like if told from the third person, with the focus shifting from sibling to sibling, with some glimpses into their thoughts. That way, the text would constantly remind you who is acting or thinking, and similarities in the way they think wouldn’t be as problematic. Because as much as Carter and Sadie tease each other, they really are very much alike.
And of course, this is the beginning of a series and a few things are left hanging, but there’s a decent amount of resolution and no cliffhangers. While I think this might be a slightly more challenging read than the Percy Jackson books, I think there are plenty of kids who’ve finished Percy and are ready for a new set of mythological characters. I’m curious to see if other Egyptian mythology books get a boost from this series – I sure hope so, especially after the rash of Greek mythology titles following Percy.
Source: public library (of course I ordered a copy)