Monday, August 19, 2013

Title:     The Colossus Rises [Seven Wonders, book 1]
Author:  Peter Lerangis
Rating:  ★★★

Since I'm reading Fanny Hill, I like to read YA adventure books to balance out the maturity in the classic. I chose The Colossus Rises because the cover intrigues me, plus it was praised by Rick Riordan, whom I love. I initially didn't want to read it, thinking it's just another typical YA kids-turned-hero book, but thankfully the book proved to be much more than that.

Jack McKinley is an ordinary kid with an extraordinary problem. In six months, Jack is going to die.

After Jack collapses in the middle of a busy street, he's whisked off to a strange hospital in a strange place. There are armed guards and weird kids and fantastic creatures, not to mention no parents, no phones, and no possibility of escape. The place is run by an odd professor named Bhegad, who tells Jack that what's killing him is a genetic trait inherited from the prince of a long-lost civilization. It's destroying Jack by making him too strong too fast. He'll need to stay strong though - because it's up to him to save the world.

The idea that Jack, and the other kid heroes, Marcus, Cass, and Aly, will die sets the premise for the urgency of their task. Peter Lerangis brings back the Atlantis myth, and the idea that it could rise again. The task of the four heroes is to find the Loculi, seven orbs that compartmentalized the power of Atlantis, and each one has a different power, like flying (I'd like to get that orb for real!).

Jack doesn't seem like the hero type. He has no seeming unique capability, unlike Marcus who is so physically strong and capable; Cass, a walking gyroscope and can speak backwards; and Aly, the one who understands how things work and is really good with electronics. But I think Jack has the brains, which is evident throughout the book since he was the one who deciphered the codes that led to the discovery of the mouth of Atlantis where the seven loculi were once placed. I really think that Jack is the descendant of Karai himself. If you read it, you'll see what I mean. I think Professor Benghad, the chief of Karai Institute, suspects that as well. The four have good camaraderie and get along pretty well. They also consider themselves family since they all feel like prisoners of the institute.

To be honest, I'm not yet sure if Karai Institute is really the "good" side because what do they really want to do with the loculi? Also, there's some confusion with the history of the two princes of Atlantis, and whether or not Massarym really regretted his decision to steal the loculi. Professor Benghad also doesn't strike me as the benevolent father type who just wants good for all of them. I feel like they're all just using the four kids.

The Colossus Rises feels too short, and I don't feel like I know the four characters all that well enough. I feel like the first book just sets the tone and what you can expect further in the series. Hopefully, we will get to know the four heroes better as we progress. I know the idea is that the four kids might die soon, but I hope not one of them does because even though I don't know them very well, they all seem like good kids and any one of them dying would just feel too tragic.

The plot is different, and fast-paced, although at the start I was really bored. I felt like Peter was describing everything Jack did in minute detail that was unnecessary. But after the first few chapters, the story picks up speed and I was caught along for the ride. In the end, I did enjoy the book and I'm already looking forward to the sequel, Lost in Babylon. I hope there are seven books in the series because the loculi seems to be placed in the Seven Wonders of the World...the ancient wonders, that is. I haven't really read up on the ancient wonders, and I like learning new things from books so I think I'm going to enjoy this series!

In the meantime, I'm going to read the FREE e-novella prequel to The Colossus Rises, titled The Select. Yes, you read that right, Peter Lerangis is giving it away for free!

Till my next book discovery,