Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Shadow of the Serpent: Kane Chronicles

The Serpent's Shadow
by Rick Riordan

(from Amazon):

He's b-a-a-ack! Despite their best efforts, Carter and Sadie Kane can't seem to keep Apophis, the chaos snake, down. Now Apophis is threatening to plunge the world into eternal darkness, and the Kanes are faced with the impossible task of having to destroy him once and for all. Unfortunately, the magicians of the House of Life are on the brink of civil war, the gods are divided, and the young initiates of Brooklyn House stand almost alone against the forces of chaos. The Kanes' only hope is an ancient spell that might turn the serpent's own shadow into a weapon, but the magic has been lost for a millennia. To find the answer they need, the Kanes must rely on the murderous ghost of a powerful magician who might be able to lead them to the serpent's shadow . . . or might lead them to their deaths in the depths of the underworld.
Nothing less than the mortal world is at stake when the Kane family fulfills its destiny in this thrilling conclusion to the Kane Chronicles.

The spunky, attitude-filled little sister has softened some from the beginning of this series... we find her in love and with more obvious affection towards her brother... she has become quite the likable character... not that she wasn't before, but now we see more of her loyalty shining through. She's not just an angry kid anymore.
Carter: Carter has really matured over this series, to the point where even his sister begrudgingly admits that he's quite the leader figure. He's a likable character, although I find him most interesting when he's hemming and hawing over teenage boy issues (aka, girls).
Walt: Sadie's love interest is as mysterious as ever, you know that Walt is a man with a plan through most of the book, and it's not that hard to guess what it might be, but you still wonder at the logistics of it.
Anubis: Sadie's other love interest, the poor girl... how does one choose between hot mortal guy and hot god guy?
Still coming to terms with the fact that another version of herself met and fell in love with Carter, Zia is also kind of losing her mind in this book. She's given the job of caring for the aged form of Ra, and it's having quite the effect on her.
Amos: Now Chief Lector, Amos is dealing with trying to keep a lot of very  nervous magicians under control, while still fighting off Apophis and his underlings. Due to events in previous books (aka, being possessed by Set), Amos is not the most trusted person around.
Setne: The guy you love to hate... he's bound to help Sadie and Carter, but he's tricksy, and causes them no end of trouble.
Everyone Else: To not at least mention other characters like Jet, Felix, Freak and Bes... would be criminal. These books are filled to the brim with an enjoyable supporting cast.
As per usual, Rick Riordan is a master. These books go by waaaay too quickly.

A wonderful ending in which you see satisfying conclusions to quite a few of the story archs that have been present through the series. Not only that, but there's quite the hint that this is not the last we'll see of the Carter siblings when it comes to Rick Riordan books. It looks like he's building up to something quite epic.

This is a plot that's been building up through two other books. It concludes quite a few of the mysteries that were left hanging, and promises more. 
Believability of World:
I believe I've said it before, but I love that these books are set in "our" world, just kind of behind the scenes.

Overall Grade: A

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