Monday, 23 January 2012

The Red Pyramid

Level: Youth
Genre: Fantasy > Urban Fantasy
Obtained: Purchased at Walmart
Reviewed by: Nic Echo

About the Book:
Sadie Kane has lived most of her life with her grandparents in England while Carter, her brother, has lived with their father, constantly traveling. During one Christmas, Carter and his father go up to visit Sadie. While there, the three of them visit the British Museum and end up releasing Set, an Egyptian god of chaos, whose first act is to imprison Carter and Sadie's father. From then on out, Carter and Sadie are forced into a quest to try to save their father and to stop Set from destroying the North American continent.

Rating: 5/10
Having read and loved the first four Percy Jackson books, I was incredibly excited to see that Riordan was going to be writing a series based in Egyptian mythology. Sadly, it was not as great as I was expecting and not nearly as gripping as the Percy Jackson books. The latter I could read over and over again, but I think The Red Pyramid will be a one time read from me. Now, don't get me wrong; I didn't find the book bad. In fact, the concept was quite interesting, and it definitely had its moments. Granted, my favourite bit was after the climax so I'm not sure what that says about the book.

Honestly, I felt that The Red Pyramid moved slowly. This could have been due to the fact that it was bogged down with information. Now, I understand why. Most people (including me) know very little (if anything at all) about Egyptian lore, which also happens to be quite complicated. However, the exuberant amount of information isn't the only problem I had. To be frank, I couldn't care less about any of the characters. Honestly, I think my favourite character was the albino crocodile. It wasn't that I even hated the characters. I simply didn't care. Then, the fact that I cared very little for them made the book seem longer since it was mostly our heroes running and fighting baddies. Yes, I am aware there was a lot of this in the Percy Jackson books, but it seemed that they were required to use their brains a lot more often. Now, there are times when Carter and Sadie need to use their noggin, but it seemed that either someone else did the thinking for them or the solution was pretty eye roll worthy. I also wasn't fond of the humour in this book, but I do think that kids could get a kick out of it such as Bast's references to Friskies and seeing one of the villain's pink boxers. My cousin, who is in the 5th grade, is also reading this, and I do plan on getting his feedback and perhaps posting his insight on here. So maybe it will be more enjoyable from a kid's point of view. We'll see. As for me, I will still read the next book, but this time, I will get it from the library.

What I'm Reading Next:



First off, I would like to apologise for the lack of posts. I ended up not reading much during Winter break, and then it took me forever to write this demmed review.

Level: Explicit
Genre: Fantasy/Horror > Vampires
Obtained: Purchased at Borders
Reviewed by: Nic Echo

About the Book:
Taking place during the Cold War in the 70's, we follow two main persons: Harry Keogh and Boris Dragosani. On Harry's path, we learn about his unique ability to commune with the dead and how he grows as a person. On the other path is Boris Dragosani, who doesn't so much as talk to the dead but torture information out of them. As a reader, we also get to see Boris grow as a character, but his path is tainted with the undead. It is tainted with the wamphyri. While we watch Harry grow from a child in both mind and body with his dead friends to help him along, Boris changes through treachery and greed. Finally, the two paths are tied together with a U.K. vs. U.S.S.R. ESPionage war, murder, and the teeming dead.

Rating: 10/10
This is  actually my second time reading this novel, and I loved it just as much as I did back then. Lumley writes a thrilling tale that fans of the non-romantic vampire and Lovecraft will enjoy. I, myself, have been scrambling to find the rest of this fantastic series. First off, even with such fantastic elements such as ESP and speaking with the dead, Lumley creates a very believable world. Supposedly, he helped serve before hand and uses this to his advantage. Now,  will admit that I know very little about espionage and military so if there are faults, I would not be the one to spot them.

Lumley was also quite original while keeping some of the vampire myths such as blood lust and an aversion to sunlight, but his vampires are not created with a typical bite. Lumley's vile creatures are parasitic leeches that infuse themselves to a human host. I also found it interesting that the vampire, Thibor Ferenzcy, lies within the ground throughout  most of the book and yet remains terrifying. Although weakened, you know he is not one to mess with lightly.

Now, one issue I often have with the first book in a series is that I tend to find it dragging or a bit mediocre due to all the introductory elements. However, I did not find this to be the case at all in Necroscope. I gobbled up the tales of the Wamphyri, relished in Harry's journey, and enjoyed learning the turmoils of the ESP branches.

Now, I will say this book isn't action packed. Don't get me wrong; there is action enough, but this is a book consisting mainly of development, especially concerning the characters Harry and Boris. Now, just because it isn't action scene after action scene does not mean it moves at a snail's pace. On the contrary, I found the story constantly unfolding with each page with a brilliant twist at the end.

Before I complete my review, I do feel that I should make note that this tale can get pretty graphic at times so if you have a weak stomach, you may want to pass on this one. If you are up for some gore and a fair amount of thrills, I would highly suggest this novel. It's a brilliant read with well developed characters and a most interesting concept that will keep you up late at night.

What I'm Reading Next: