Thursday, May 10, 2012
The Serpent's Shadow
Author: Rick Riordan
Genre: Fantasy | Young Adult
Release Date: May 1st, 2012
In reading the third (and hopefully final) installment of the Kane Chronicles, I'm reminded as to why I loathed the other two books. They started out great. Then the awesome-factor started going steeply downhill until the very end where it sputters to a stop. To put it simply; it's like a bottle of coke that slowly loses its fizz. But The Serpent's Shadow did somewhat make up for the shortcomings of the second book.
Before I proceed with the rest of my review, I have to ask this question: Why are these beings even called Gods? They're some of the weakest fantasy creatures I've ever read about. Hell, even a mortal magician can overwhelm a so called God in one to one combat. Bes, the dwarf god of speedos' best weapon is screaming out...*drum roll* "BOO!" Apparently it works most of the time...on mortals. If it it doesn't then well...he has no other special powers. He's basically useless. In fact, when I was first introduced to his power in the second book, The Throne of Fire, I nearly died on of embarrassment (on behalf of Rick Riordan). This was the best he could come up with? It was almost lame enough to make me drop the book entirely.
That's another aspect I'm going to go over in my review. His sense of humor (or lack of). If you're like me, then you've read his previous series Percy Jackson and the Olympians. I was a die-hard fan from the first book on because it was hilarious. In fact, just reading the chapter titles alone had me laughing out loud (earning me quite a few frowns and raised eyebrows from passersby). But eventually something happened to change all that. Either I gradually became immune to Riordan's brand of humor or *gasp* it just wasn't funny anymore. Every time I came upon a joke or tongue-in-cheek humor, I recognized it for it was: an attempt to be funny. But at best my response was: "Meh." Maybe the pressure and the past precedence of being funny is getting to him. Maybe he's just trying too hard to continue what he started, and that is causing the quality of his jokes to drop drastically. Or maybe it's just me.
Despite the lameness of the jokes, the plot progression and background are quite impressive. Riordan is very good at researching background on Egyptian mythology and combining it to fit in with a modern interpretation. While I couldn't visualize it as well as the Greek mythology he used in his previous series due to lack of personal exposure to the former, I could picture enough of it in my head to make it enjoyable to read about. The ending of the book is very interesting since it hints at a possible spin-off involving the two different series he's created. Will I be reading it if it comes out? Hell yes.