Top critical review
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Fun Egyptian mythology intro
on July 20, 2012
I was poking around the library recently and ran across this book, which I was drawn to due to my love of the first Percy Jackson novel, and I wanted to see what else Riordan had to offer. While I can't say I enjoyed this as much as The Lightning Thief, it was still an entertaining book and I'm glad that I read it.
It took me awhile to get adjusted to the format this book was written in, which was essentially the story of what Carter and Sadie went through, transcribed from a tape they recorded for someone else to find. It's a clever concept, but I think I'd like it better in actual audio format as opposed to reading it. Some of the chapters are told by Sadie, others by Carter, and it was mildly difficult at times to keep track of which one of them is telling the story at which point. At times, that didn't really matter depending on what was going on, but at other points it was a little more important because of the different skills they each possess.
However, I definitely found myself with a bit of irritation while reading this book, and I think it was really with the way the Egyptian gods were handled throughout the story. A lot of detail concerning ancient Egypt and the entire culture of that civilization was included, but instead of the gods being living beings, they were more spirits that existed in different ways. I don't want to spoil anything for anyone who intends to read this book, but I'll just leave it by saying I would have preferred them to be more real entities instead of how they were presented.
That being said, I am not the target audience for this series and I think I'm bound to have different complaints than the ideal reader. If I were a pre-teen, I think I would have enjoyed this a lot more than I did as an adult. It was actually pretty informative, and I learned quite a bit about Egyptian mythology through reading it. The situations the kids find themselves in are rather harrowing considering their ages and what they are expected to go through in order to preserve the world as they know it.
My criticisms aside, I liked the book and I would be curious to read further into the series. It looks like Riordan has just three books planned for this one, and all are out now. I only wish the series was intended to go longer, since it would be great to see what Carter and Sadie have in store for them as they transition from being teens to adults.