Monday, March 16, 2015

Title:       The Curse of the King [Seven Wonders, book 04]
Author:   Peter Lerangis
Rating:   ★★★★1/2

I almost did not read the story after The Tomb of Shadows, because the third book in the series felt unpolished and underwhelming. The build-up in book 2 was so massive that book 3 felt flat when I finally read it.

Thirteen-year-old Jack McKinley and his friends have already defeated the Colossus of Rhodes, visited Ancient Babylon, and outfoxed legions of undead all to recover three of the lost Loculi. But if they don’t unearth the last four Loculi soon, the powers that made these victories possible will overwhelm the Select—and destroy the world.

Not only do Jack and his friends have to battle these seven ancient wonders, but they also have to contend with the Massa, who have taken over the Karai Institute and convinced Marco to switch sides. Outnumbered, underequipped, and growing weary, Jack, Cass, and Aly soldier on to find the long-lost Statue of Zeus.

But as time is running out, our heroes must confront gods, relive old battles, and face down their greatest enemy yet—their destiny. Old enemies become new friends and sudden victories turn to certain defeats as the time nears for everything to change. The stakes grow impossibly high in this latest adventure from master storyteller Peter Lerangis.

However, The Curse of the King was thankfully much better than I thought it would be, although it had a few parts that I felt were not given enough gravity, given the history in the past three books.

Of course we are reintroduced to the three remaining grouped together Select Cass, Jack, and Aly. We are also introduced to a new character, but the twist is so unexpected that I'm not going to spoil it for you.They are later joined by Marco, who previously betrayed them in a thirst for power, and this is one of my disappointments with the story. Marco was almost readily welcomed back into the fold. I felt it was too easy, and I hope they tested him for a time.

Also, I wish Cass' adoption by Jack's father was more explicit. I either wasn't as immersed in the story as I thought it was, or it was treated almost as non-significant because it didn't get more than a few lines in the start.

That being said, The Curse of the King packs a wallop in terms of adventure and action. The ending, of course, ends with a cliffhanger, and a pretty good one at that, so I will be reading the sequel when it comes out next year. But while I do enjoy the Seven Wonders series, I just can't quite rave about it the way I do for other similar series.