Title: The Throne of Fire
Author: Rick Riordan
ISBN: 9781423140566
Pages: 452 pages
Publisher/Date: Hyperion Books, an imprint of Disney Book Group, c2011.

If you didn’t listen to our first recording, well . . . pleased to meet you: the Egyptian gods are running around loose in the modern world; a bunch of magicians called the House of Life is trying to stop them; everyone hates Sadie and me; and a big snake is about to swallow the sun and destroy the world.
[Ow! What was that for?]
Sadie just punched me. She says I’m going to scare you too much. I should back up, calm down, and start at the beginning.
Fine. But personally, I think you should be scared. (1)

It’s been several weeks since Carter and Sadie Kane rediscovered their powers as descendants of an Ancient Egyptian house of magicians. They though they would have a chance at mastering their new skills before being called upon to save the world again, but the gods have other ideas. The Chaos snake Apophis is breaking out of his cage, and the set of siblings believe the only way to fight the Chaos is to revive the sun-god Ra. That’s easier said then done, as they first have to recover the three separate pieces of the Book of Ra, then find the slumbering sun-god since no one knows for sure where he is. And did we mention that not all the gods are thrilled with the idea of waking Ra in the first place?

Okay, I can see now the benefits of having some previous knowledge regarding Greek and Roman mythology. I was able to follow Percy Jackson series, and even the Lost Heroes series. The last time I discussed Egyptian gods and goddesses was probably in grade school, where we learned about mummies and the Egyptian empires and the Pharoah’s hat that looked like a bowling pin. Suffice it to say, it’s CONFUSING, especially since apparently they sometimes had more than one god or godly incarnations for the same thing, like Ra, who has three incarnations (morning, noon, and dusk).

That being said, I still think it’s the action that draws readers to these stories. The cliff-hanger chapter endings work, but since this is supposed to be a recording of Sadie and Carter telling the story, it gets a little choppy, since I can’t see most people stopping in the middle of the story and saying “Okay, you tell your story now, and I’ll continue mine when you get halfway done.” It just doesn’t work that way. The magical workings also seem a little haphazard, as the rules seem to skew to “this is how it works when it’s convenient” as opposed to “this is how it works — period”. I have to admit, some of the tricks the Kane kids pull out of their bag sound really cool, like applying magic to a smaller representation in order to affect something larger. Some of the twists towards the end are appealing unexpected, and add a dimension to the story that will definitely affect the plot in future books.

I’m a little worried that Rick Riordan is going to become something like James Patterson at the rate he’s writing these books. Is he going to start “collaborating” with other people in order to produce more books? I certainly hope not. While I liked the series, I found I had forgotten quite a bit of what happened in the first book, and that’s a sure sign that it’s not going to make my top ten list for the year.