Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Red Pyramid (Percy Jackson with Egyptian Flair)

One thing Rick Riordan is good at is telling a fun adventure tale. This one does not disappoint. Sadie's sassy and Carter's honorable and both of them squabble like the sister and brother they are as they share the stage and the POV shifts. Also, the hieroglyphics intermingled in the text are a cute touch. For a Middle Grade book, the story's really entertaining with a huge array of gods just like Percy Jackson. What I appreciate too (having read the Percy Jackson books) are the not-so-subtle references to the Greek gods hangin in Manhattan.


Isn't it fun to be Egyptian #1: The first big change that both Sadie and Carter deal with after the demise of dear old dad and the rise of big bad Set is all of the Egyptian studies crammed down their throat when they go to Brooklyn with Amos. They learn about the shabti, that they have magic, and that their parents were involved in something way over their heads. Oh yeah and that Sadie's cat Muffin is actually the goddess Bast. There's a lot of "I can't believe this is happening" going on, but luckily they're forced to get in the swing of things fast because the Brooklyn mansion is ambushed.

Isn't it fun to be Egyptian #2:  The next big dealie that Sadie and Carter get bomb dropped on them is the whole "hosting gods" thing. When they talk to Iskandar and all the magicians, everyone's pretty anti- the kids because of how powerful they are from hosting gods. Turns out Isis took up residence with Sadie and Horus with Carter. Both kids fight to keep the gods from overpowering them, but there are a lot of scratches and dents along the way. However, while the power of the gods gives them advantages against the enemies they're fighting, it also multiplies their enemies to include all of the magicians.

Isn't it fun to be Egyptian #3: The book is a big crash course on Egyptian gods, legends and culture in a big way, so the ending makes sense with a whole lot of family (god) drama going on. Sadie and Carter deal with Set, but the whole thing seems like a repeat of the millions of other encounters and fights the gods have had with each other. I mean, brand new to Sadie and Carter for sure, but it seems like fights to the death are pretty common over Thanksgiving dinner. What they do establish through defeating Set though is a groundwork for magicians and gods working together. When Sadie and Carter give up the powers of Isis and Horus, they make a huge step towards eventual unity, which is good, because big snakey monster Apophis wants to devour the world for dinner.

So Sadie and Carter leave off their recording requesting anyone else with weird Egyptian experiences to contact them so they can begin to rally for this fight against Chaos Monster of Doom. Cool style to do it and Sadie and Carter interrupting each others' passages make for a really unique style in the writing. Best part? The recording isn't a throwaway gimmick, as it's actually prevalent in the next book.

Rating: 3

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