Rave Reviews Log: Adventure

Monday, June 29, 2009

Seven Keys of Balabad

By Paul Haven
Rating: 4 stars

In this solid story set in the fictional land of Balabad, Oliver hangs out day after day with his only friend he's made in the city, Zee. The two spend time in Mr. Haji's carpet shop, listening to his outrageous tales of famed relatives. Oliver's father is a reporter and his mother a historian, so they find plenty to occupy them, but Oliver's life drags. Until the day the 500 year old priceless Sacred Carpet of Agamon is stolen and descendents of that very king are finding their homes broken into by thieves looking for a very specific item from each, an ancient iron key. Before Oliver knows it, both his friend Zee and Mr. Haji are intimately involved in the news, and then Mr. Haji disappears. At the same time, Zee's house is broken into. Soon Oliver, Zee and beautiful Alamai are the only thing standing between the ancient secret treasure of Agamon and a man intent on having it all for himself. Interspersed with the story of Agamon and the carpet, this fast-moving story will hold the attention of its readers. Good stuff!

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Last Olympian

By Rick Riordan
Rating: 4 1/4 stars

Riordan ends his Percy Jackson and the Olympians series with a bang, or rather, several bangs. Finally, the Great Prophecy's time is at hand as Percy is turning 16 and one of the children of the gods is due to possibly bring about the end of Olympus if they reach that age. Is Percy the one to save or destroy the kingdom of the gods? From chapter one on out, readers are plunged into one action scene after another as Percy has to make some terrible choices. Does he become invincible like Achilles did so he can take on Kronos face to face like Nico suggests? What does it mean that he keeps seeing visions of Luke from the past, long before he allowed Kronos to take him over? What should he do when a spy is discovered in their midst? As always, friends may sometimes betray you, and others may come through when you least expect it. Percy and fellow campers from Camp Half-Blood join forces to defend Manhattan and the entrance to Olympus, but time and their forces are running out and Kronos only seems to grow stronger. Can Percy step up and be the hero of the prophecy? Serious fans of the series may see what final twist the plot takes before it happens, but they'll enjoy it all the same. Is there a happy ending? Readers will have to wait and see what the final pages bring (maybe even another series?), but they will have a riproaring good time getting there and no one will be disappointed.