Monday, June 18, 2012

Middle Grade Monday-- Middle Grade Gods

And the most powerful middle grade god would be Rick Riordan, whose The Lightning Thief (2005) made me SO happy. At last count, I have three entire library shelves devoted to Riordan's various series, and I haven't even had a chance to order my requisite five copies of this third book in the Kane Chronicles. (Note to Disney Hyperion: the end of May is a HORRIBLE time to release books. Think about the school year. I can never get copies before all the books are due.) I must admit to reading this book in an extremely casual fashion, sitting on the front porch with a glass of lemonade. If I don't remember details, it doesn't mean I loved it any less.

Riordan, Rick. The Serpent's Shadow. 
1 May 2012, Disney Hyperion.

Sadie and Carter are once again trying to keep the world from imploding. Apophis manages to hunt them down at a museum party in Texas and destroys the last copy of The Book of Overcoming Apophis, as well as most of the King Tut exhibit and an entire gathering of magicians. They manage to make it back to Brooklyn House and the comfort of Bast with a miniature cabinet that Sadie felt compelled to save. It turns out that the cabinet is a receptacle for one of the five parts of the pharaoh's soul, and the twins decide that if they can find the sheut, or shadow, or Apophis, they could manage to kill him. First, they figure that having some practice in dealing  with this spell would be helpful, so they decide to find the sheut of Bes and restore that. They are working with Senret, who is rather devious and not reliable, but who is their last chance at defeating Apophis. There are others helping them with their cause-- Walt is still dying, and Sadie would give anything to help him, even while she still is rather fond of Anubis, despite Isis' warnings that the gods and mortals shouldn't mix. Zia shows up again, but her involvement with the senile sun god Ra turns out to be more important than anyone thought. Even the twins deceased parents show up in the Duat, and their father helps. Even with all of this assistance, it is going to be difficult to overcome the barriers that the evil Jacobi and her magicians throw up in order to finally get rid of Apophis and keep the world safe for the poor mortals who don't know any better.
Strengths: As always, Riordan's smooth writing and sense of humor make these books a delight. I was a bit sad that this series was only going to be three books long, as I will miss Sadie and Carter and all of their friends, but they might show up in bit parts in other series, which is always a comfort. 
Weaknesses: Sadie got a bit annoying with the whole Walt vs. Anubis romance. Really? You're saving the world from destruction but you are worried about what to wear for a dance? Well, if you are 14, this would probably really be the case!

 We're just going to call this "Meme Monday".  For more middle grade titles, head over to Shannon Whitney Messenger's Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe to see a list of bloggers with middle grade reviews. 

I just recently found the It's Monday: What are you Reading meme at Teach Mentor Texts, and there's a huge list of people who have book reviews up. Since I only blog about what I'm reading, it seems a bit silly to devote just Monday to the cause, but it is an interesting group of reviews. 

Lastly, at Ms. Martin Teaches Media, there's the Book Blogger Confessions meme, started by Tiger's All-Consuming Media and For What It's Worth. 

I think I'll just stick to Middle Grade and Nonfiction Mondays. Mondays are hard enough already!


  1. Anonymous1:45 PM EDT

    i really loved the lightning thief, and need to keep reading more of riordan's series. this one looks splendid :)

  2. I have not yet read anything from this series, but looks like I'll have to check them out. Riordan is obviously doing something right!

  3. I really enjoy Riordan's writing. He's a lot of fun. So far I've enjoyed the Percy/Olympus series more than the Kane series, but I'm still liking these.

    We picked up the final book in the series and my two boys have raced through reading it but sadly I haven't had a chance yet...but I look forward to reading it this summer to see what's in store for the Kane kids. :)