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batcave

Because I'm Batman

The Red Pyramid - Rick Riordan I was pleasantly surprised to find myself enjoying this book after my "meh" experience with Percy Jackson. The characters were better fleshed out, the incorporation of the gods' appearances seemed more purposeful, and there was only one harped issue (race) instead of two.

Characters: Carter is a logical, somewhat introverted boy who does what needs to be done and what makes sense. He's that slightly awkward, bookish underdog you want to root for. I had no major problems with him. I believe he will be the Batman of these siblings, slowly growing stronger and wiser until he is capable of fulfilling his destiny. Sadie was less of a favorite, partly because she's a little over the top and self-involved, but more because the author used the Superman complex on her. She's beautiful, she's smart, she's witty, she's descended from pharaohs, she has her mom's rare divination power, she's one of the few people to ever control Isis, she's extra talented as a magician, she passes notes for the sky and earth gods, she has Anubis crushing on her, and she's just so doggone great that she doesn't need and/or want the throne; she'll put her wimpy brother on it instead. Not exactly the character's fault, but the author delved a bit too far into Mary Sue land for me to like her. Zia seemed interesting, but I'd like to know more. Bast was acceptable. Sekhmet and Thoth were fun. Isis, Horus and Set were all a little too uptight.

Plot: Carter and Sadie Kane are two siblings with one big problem: their dad is a magician and has released an Egyptian god of chaos into our world. If they don't stop him in time, while avoiding the other magicians out for their heads, things go boom. Events progressed logically from point to point, and there was enough humor and/or acknowledgment of strangeness to prevent the story becoming too dark and heavy.

Writing: I didn't mind the chapters in Carter's POV; they were informative, entertaining, and smoothly carried the narrative. Sadie's chapters had much more personality, often in the form of chunks of commentary. The quantity of commenting varied, but in almost every instance, it disrupted the narrative for me. Interestingly, toward the middle of the book, Sadie's and Carter's chapters took on such a similar quality that I had to check in whose POV I was after reading "I said" something or other. I understand certain parts of the story were Sadie's alone, but I would rather have read third person with alternating perspectives or first person in just Carter's POV.

Conclusion: The conclusion in which the good guys "win" was acceptable. The conclusion of the book (i.e., the last chapter or so), not so much. I realize it had to tie up how and when they had the time to record this whole story, but the explanation fell flat for me, mostly because it tied directly to a segue into the next book that I found ridiculous and sub-par.

Final Thoughts: Despite my general enjoyment of the book, the ending promised a second installment that sounded tedious and a bit arid to me. I may continue the series in the future, but, for now, I'm leaning toward no.