Monday, September 9, 2013

Off the Bookshelf: THE SERPENT'S SHADOW

Today we finish up the Kane Chronicles, by Rick Riordin.

I admit it, until this series, most of what I knew about Egyptian mythology came from Stargate SG-1. This has been an education -- and in a most pleasant way. Wow, you thought soap operas were convoluted and the guy you trusted yesterday is stabbing you in the back today. The Egyptian pantheon, which goes on and on and on, makes the soaps seem wimpy and simplistic!

The Kanes are still trying to stop the destruction of the world by Apophis, the god of chaos. They do a lot of running around, trying to convince hopeful allies they're not the bad guys, and trying to rescue friends. Their biggest problem is that they're still learning the rules of magic, learning to use their powers -- while they're expected to teach others how to use magic. A big hangup for both of them is that the Egyptian gods have a tendency to -- ahem -- borrow human bodies. (No, not like in Stargate) How do they work with these powerful beings who don't think like humans, without getting taken over completely? And what do they do when their romantic interests are "borrowed," maybe even permanently?

I was glad to see that in the process of using sympathetic magic to try to destroy Apophis, Sadie stops to use it to help an old friend who took the fall in a big way for them in the previous book. I really liked Bes, and was glad to see him get "re-booted" and jump back into the battle.

All in all a satisfying end to the series, with maybe some hints that more adventures await the Kanes, because they aren't the only magicians out there, and the Egyptian gods aren't the only deities messing with the world. There are references to something strange going on, on the other side of the river in New York. What would happen if Percy Jackson and his crew met up with the Kane siblings and the residents of Brooklyn House? Could be interesting!

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