In this new novel by Rick Riordan, he goes away from Greek mythology, which made him popular, and delves into Egyptian mythology. The main characters, Cater and Sadie, who are siblings, are brought to the British Museum by their father, who is a famed Egyptologist. He tells them that he is doing a research experiment, but the experiment goes horribly wrong and he unleashes the Egyptian god of evil, Set. With their father banished to the underworld, Carter and Sadie go on the run. They learn that Set has plans to destroy North America using his red pyramid. With the help of the Egyptian goddess Bast, they go on a trip that takes them to Egypt, Memphis, Washington D.C, the land of the dead, and ultimately Phoenix to stop Set and the forces of evil.
I don’t read much middle grade fiction, so it’s hard for me to judge how this stacks up against other novels in this category. The story certainly had a strong adventure component to it, and it was constantly moving. There were parts that were hard to swallow from a believability aspect that had nothing to do with the presence of magic and Egyptian gods, mostly inconsistency aspects. Also, the story delved into silliness from time to time that just didn’t fit the narrative and came off as jarring. The only real comparison I have to this is the Harry Potter series, and that is superior to this novel in every possible aspect. Overall, this isn’t a bad novel for middle school children, but my guess is that there are better offerings out there.
Carl Alves – author of Reconquest: Mother Earth