Thursday, September 20, 2012
Throne of Fire (Kane Family Vacation, complete with doom, doom and more doom)
While the stakes come off kinda cartoonish at times (You have 5 days or else Chaos/End of the World/Boom) it works because of the fun, campy tone to the stories. Sadie and Carter's constant bickering and acting like the teens they are promotes the kind of story where even with high stakes, you're reading less for the drama and more for the fun. Snappy and sassy? Yes. Actually nail biting? Not really, but the tone is more reminiscent of Indiana Jones with kickass adventures and tomb raiding.
Gambling for Tweens #1: Once the Kane siblings find out their all important mission, they head over to Russia with Bes, the dwarf god. However, part of the Book of Ra belongs with Menshikov, who's on board with operation evil. So of course, while they're sneaking around trying to steal the book, he's having a one on one with Set, long distance, Egyptian magician style. When Menshikov realizes they're there, the kids make the first big bet of the book--summoning Set, to save them. Since he's on his own track, neither theirs nor Apophis', the kids take a big risk, but it pays off and he buys them enough time to escape.
Gambling for Tweens #2: The real time gambling took place with Khonsu, over a game of senet where they bet their souls. Craziest part of all this? Parent approved. Actually, parent provided. Khonsu's a creepy, kinda jerk of a dude. He lives for gambling and is known for it and when they bet their souls, trying to play for a couple hours, it results in a really intense game. Worst part of it is when Bes sacrifices himself so the kids can win and Khonsu devours the dwarf god. Even though Khonsu isn't supposed to be the big bad, he comes off way more menacing than anything else in the book.
Gambling for Tweens #3: The biggest chance they took was that with Ra, the doddering old grandpa of a god. This made for a ridiculously hilarious final battle, complete with Ra blowing raspberries at the enemies and asking for weasel cookies. It's hard to maintain any sort of terror with those antics going on in the background.
But the Kane sibs defeat Apophis for the time being, with the help of...well, not Ra, that's for sure. Regardless, the book ends on a fun note again where the entire thing has been another message sent to try and rally more people together for an army against the all powerful Chaos.