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Ever since the gods of Ancient Egypt were unleashed in the modern world, Carter Kane and his sister, Sadie, have been in trouble. As descendants of the House of Life, the Kanes have some powers at their command; but the devious gods haven't given them time to master their skills at Brooklyn House, a training ground for young magicians. And now their most threatening enemy yet--the Chaos snake, Apophis--is rising. If they don't prevent him from breaking free in a few days' time, the world will end. In other words, it's a typical week for the Kane family. To have any chance of battling the forces of Chaos, the Kanes must revive the sun god, Ra. But that would be a feat more difficult than any magician has ever accomplished. First they have to search the world for the Book of Ra, then they have to learn how to chant its spells. Oh, and did we mention that no one knows where Ra is, exactly? Narrated by two different wisecracking voices, featuring a large cast of new and unforgettable characters, and with adventures spanning the globe, this second installment of the Kane Chronicles is nothing short of a thrill ride.
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Rick Riordan (www.rickriordan.com) is the author of three different mythology-based series for Disney-Hyperion: the best-selling Percy Jackson series, the Kane Chronicles, and The Heroes of Olympus series. The first book in the Kane Chronicles, The Red Pyramid, was a number 1 New York Times bestseller. The five books in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series have sold millions of copies, been published in more than thirty countries, and inspired a major motion picture. Rick's novels for adults include the hugely popular Tres Navarre series, winner of the top three awards in the mystery genre. He lives in San Antonio, Texas, with his wife and two sons.Review:
In The Red Pyramid (rev. 7/10), siblings Carter and Sadie Kane learned that as descendants of Egyptian pharaohs, they are magicians who can communicate with (and fight against) the Egyptian gods. Now with Apophis, Lord of Chaos, about to break his millennia-long imprisonment, Sadie and Carter must awaken Ra the Sun God to unite the gods and magicians against Apophis and save the world from destruction. Globetrotting action and irreverent commentary fly fast and furious as the pair battle gods, evil magicians, and mythical Egyptian monsters to retrieve the Book of Ra, then re-create the Sun God's nightly journey through the underworld to revive his spirit, meeting their dead parents and gambling for their own souls along the way. The author's formula works-the Egyptian myths offer a backdrop with plenty of depth, against which Riordan's wisecracking heroes can play out their high-stakes family, relationship, and personal dramas. And with Ra awakened but old and weak, the magicians in rebellion, personal peril and/or teenage heartbreak in store for the Kanes, and Apophis still on the rise, the expected third book in the Kane Chronicles promises to be as lively, humorous, and welcome as the first two. Horn Book"
Elaborating on the ominous revelation that caps The Red Pyramid (Hyperion, 2010), this planned trilogy's middle episode sends dual narrators Carter and Sadie Kane from their newly established school for sorcerers in Brooklyn to the underworld realm of the Duat, leaving massive trails of destruction on their way to a first face-off with Apophis, snake god of Chaos. Given just five days to find the retired god Ra god of order, or ma'at before Apophis escapes millennia of confinement and destroys the universe, the squabbling sibs also have their own growing magical abilities to explore; hostile factions of both human wizards and Egyptian gods to battle; monsters to face; temptations to overcome; infatuations to work through; rescues to make; and, of course, plenty of digs, wisecracks, fashion notes, and teen chatter to deliver. Fortunately they have some sturdy allies notably Bes, the god of little people and memorable for more than just his Speedo with "Dwarf Pride" written on the butt that is his battle costume. Despite helpful lists of Egyptian deities and terms at the back, readers unfamiliar with the opener may have trouble at the beginning keeping up with both the continuing plotlines and the teeming cast, but Riordan kickstarts the action, never lets up on the gas, balances laughs and losses with a sure hand, and expertly sets up the coming climactic struggle without (thankfully) ending on a cliff-hanger. It's a grand ride so far, showing nary a sign of slowing down. SLJ"
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