In a continuation of the Kane Chronicles, Carter Kane and his sister, Sadie, must race against time to stop the evil Egyptian god Apophis from rising and ending the world. In order to accomplish this task, they must fist stop the House of Life (a group of magicians who currently believe the Kanes are evil and should be stopped) from killing them. After that, they must release the ancient sun god, Ra, by putting together the three parts of his scroll and releasing him from the Duat.
Carter and Sadie seem a bit more on their own in this book than they did in the last (The Red Pyramid for those who haven’t read it), although they do have an Egyptian god to help them out when they need it on this trip.
Overall, I liked this book. I really enjoy Riordan’s writing style, and it’s obvious that he’s done a TON of research for this and his other two book series (Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus, in case you’re looking for more of his books). One of the things I really appreciate about the Kane Chronicles is the sibling relationship. The two fight like real siblings, which brings an element of authenticity to the story. I also appreciate how each book gives us a mini-lesson in Egyptian mythology. For tweens and teens who read Riordan’s books, this is also good because they get an education.
A few things that really bothered me: First, Sadie’s accent. Although Carter mentions that Sadie has been somewhat losing her British accent, I felt like it was a bit too American in this novel. The British terms and vocabulary were so few and far between that I found them a bit distracting when they did show up. Each time they appeared in the text, I found myself thinking, Hey, it’s another British term! Cool. It may have been a little better if Riordan had used the terminology a little more consistently. I was also a bit distracted by the fact that the Kane children (and their trainees back at the Brooklyn House) seem to be unsupervised so much of the time. I get that Sadie and Carter are in charge of training the new magician recruits, but you have to remember that they are only, what, twelve and thirteen or thirteen and fourteen years old themselves. Even given their backstory and the craziness that’s happened to them in the last year or so, it seems odd to think that two young teenagers will be left alone in a giant mansion in Brooklyn by themselves with other young teenagers for an extended period of time, especially when they all have magical powers. Kids will be kids after all, right?
Those things aside, as I mentioned, I did like this book overall. If you’re a fan of YA/MG fiction, the series is worth the read.