Saturday, September 24, 2011

Among the Imposters

     Among the Impostors by Margaret Peterson Haddix is the second book in the Shadow Children Sequence.  I don't usually like sequels.  This one is pretty good, but not as good as Among the Hidden.  The story gets off to a slow start, but once you make it to the middle of the book, it is hard to put down.
     In this book, Luke has taken on his new identity as Lee Grant and placed in a boy's boarding school.  Luke is scared, lonely, and confused about everything in his life.  During the day he wanders aimlessly from room to room trying to find his classes.  At night he is bullied by the older boys.  Life is miserable until Luke sees an open door and risks his life escaping.  Now he puts his life in the hands of the kids he discovers.  Who should he trust with his secret?
     I didn't like Luke as much in this book because he acted so differently.  I fell in love with him in the first book.  I was excited to see him escape and have a better life, so it was hard to watch him get bullied and do nothing.  Even though Luke loved being outside in the first book, his love of gardening was never shown, so it was hard for me to believe he would risk his life over a garden, now.
     To show us how Luke's confusion, the author makes all of the kids blend together, including names that change.  This was interesting as a writer, but it also made it difficult to attach to any of the characters.  When the dramatic betrayal was happening, I didn't care very much because I didn't even know the boys' names.
     This book is a short, exciting read at 172 pages.  I recommend this book if you have read Among the Hidden.  This series needs to be read in order to make sense.  

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Titan's Curse

     The Titan's Curse is the third book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan.  It wasn't my favorite book in the series, but it was still fun to read.
     One of the problems I had was the number of new characters to keep track of in this book.  Thalia joins Grover, Percy, and Annabeth in rescuing Nico and Bianca di Angelo from a Manticore.  Along with many bad guys, we meet Atlas and the goddesses Athena, Aphrodite, and Artemis.  We also meet Artemis' hunters, Annabeth's dad, Zoe Nightshade, and Rachel Elizabeth Dare.  Thalia, Bianca, and Zoe seemed too much alike and I kept getting them confused.  With so many new characters, I didn't get attached to anyone like I did in the other two books.
     The quest seemed contrived and I didn't feel the urgency for everyone to make it safely to Mount Othrys.  It also seemed redundant to keep using the solstice as the deadline they faced.
     I did not like the Pegasi and that was disappointing because they are some of my favorite mythological creatures.  I did not like the way Blackie talked in slang that seemed to mimic stereotyped versions of African American speak.  Mr. Riordan could have done a much better job of creating the dialogue for them.  I felt the same way about Percy calling the Ophiotaurus "Bessie."
     I liked the ending surprise.  It fit well with the details in the book and made a surprising shock that I didn't see coming.  I am excited to see how Nico fits into the prophecy in the next book.
     It was an okay book, but not as great as the first two in the series.