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The Red Pyramid (Kane Chronicles, #1) The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

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)

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The Patron Saint of Liars: A Novel The Patron Saint of Liars: A Novel by Ann Patchett

A completely satisfying novel. Patchett does wonders with characters, and the setting plays an important role here, too. There’s the former hotel, now a home for unwed mothers, there’s the call of the open road, there’s California and Kentucky, there’s a swimming hole and a tiny house and more open road. But the characters stick with you, even when you disagree with them or hate what they do to each other. You might wish things turned out differently – at several points along the way – but it’s still compelling.

Source: bought a copy at Powell’s.

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May 2010

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