The amazing performances of Kevin R. Free and Katherine Kellgren make this YA fantasy--the second volume in Riordan's The Kane Chronicles--enthralling for listeners of any age. Descendants of the House of Life, Carter and Sadie Kane are teenage magicians responsible for preventing Egyptian gods from interfering with mortals. And this time around, the brother-and-sister team face off against the chaos snake Apophis--something that's bound to interfere with Sadie's 13th birthday party. But even being chased through the streets of London by monstrous gods doesn't slow down Sadie. Meanwhile, Carter continues to train a troupe of young magicians to battle the forces of evil. Free deftly handles Carter's narration; he sounds exactly like a 14-year-old boy, while voicing dozens of other characters. Kellgren's narration is no less impressive, and her interpretation of a budding teen girl is exuberant and believable, as are the multitude of other colorful characters she creates. Between these two spirited performances, the characters come to life and leave listeners breathless. A Hyperion hardcover. (May)[Page ]. Copyright 2010 PWxyz LLC
Gr 5-8--Sadie and Carter, children of Egyptologist Dr. Julius Kane, are back in the second title (Hyperion, 2011) in a projected trilogy by Rick Riordan. This time, they are causing chaos in both the Brooklyn Museum in New York and the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia, as they try to save the world from total annihilation. The danger is from Apophis, the god of chaos, who plans to destroy the rest of the gods and rule in their place. To thwart him, Sadie and Carter are trying to locate Ra, the god of order, and restore him to power. Along with plot complications as Sadie and Carter try to find the three sections of the Book of Ra, there are questions of loyalty among the gods and the 20 trainees who have come to Brooklyn House to follow in Sadie and Carter's footsteps. Told in the first person from Sadie and Carter's points of view, Kevin R. Free and Katherine Kellgren once again narrate in fine style, capturing the personality traits of all the characters. Apophis's snake-like voice is pure evil and Ra's child-like requests for cookies, zebras, and other "lame" enticements reflect his senility and fragility. The dwarf god Bes is particularly well-realized with his tough-guy talk (like a New York hoodlum) but warm heart and even shyness around his love interest. While the book is action-packed, it's the dialogue that keeps listeners engaged. The plot and cast of characters in this book will be more understandable to those familiar with The Red Pyramid (2010, both Hyperion; Brilliance, 2011). Full of magic, danger, fantasy, and adventure, this is a memorable listen.--Edie Ching, The University of Maryland, College Park[Page 71]. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.