Monday, July 9, 2012

Review: The Serpent's Shadow

The Serpent's Shadow (Kane Chronicles, book 3)
By Rick Riordan
Published 2012 by Hyperion Books for Children

WARNING: There may be spoilers for the first two books in this review. To see my reviews of the previous volumes, go here and here.

Carter and Sadie Kane have finally reached their destiny. They have just a few short days to stop Apophis from devouring the world and ending life as they know it. Of course, they also have to deal with magic-wielding toddlers and some very confusing love lives. Nothing is going to be easy for the Kane siblings...

I think that this series has gotten better with each book. I stated in one of my earlier reviews that I think Riordan's strong suit is characterization and I stand by that. Even though there is a seemingly relentless pace and insane amount of action in this third (and allegedly final) volume of the series, Riordan is still able to provide deeper characterizations throughout the book. I also mentioned that I felt satisfied knowing there would only be three titles in this series. Well, after finishing this book, that isn't true anymore. I feel connected to these characters and I want to go on more adventures with them. I want to spend more time listening to Sadie gripe about her romantic woes and to Carter struggling to find his place as a leader. Additionally, this book left a lot of loose ends. It would be very, very easy for Riordan to return to this series, perhaps launching a spin-off, as he did for Percy Jackson. While some plot developments were very easy to spot ahead of time (I'm thinking mainly of Walt here), Riordan's strong characters and engrossing action kept me involved, no matter how much I figured out early. I am thrilled that Riordan has found success by producing the books he does - books that introduce sympathetic characters with complex emotions and situations, that teach mythology in an exciting and action-packed way, and that connect with readers in very visceral ways. I can easily see myself eagerly awaiting each new book that Riordan writes and I am not ashamed to admit that. I sincerely hope that he revisits the world of Egyptian mythology in the future; these characters have become some of my favorites.

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