Siblings Carter and Sadie Kane are plunged into a world of Egyptian gods and monsters when their father, secretly a powerful magician and descendant of the pharaohs, disappears after a failed spell blows up the Rosetta Stone and summons five gods into the mortal world. Fleeing assassination orders from the underground House of Life, the brother and sister begin to discover their new powers-to read hieroglyphics, to work spells using Divine Words, to create ghostly avatars to help them in combat-and soon learn that Carter is host to Horus, god of war, while Isis, goddess of wisdom, has manifested in Sadie. Under attack from magicians, monsters, and crocodile gods alike, and hoping to rescue their father from Set, god of chaos, the Kanes must find a way to banish the chaos god before he destroys all of North America. Similar in concept to the author's best-selling Percy Jackson books, the new series relies lightly on formula, here invoking Egyptian (rather than Greek) mythology and culture in a story driven by wisecracking adolescents in the modern world. Refreshingly for fantasy, Carter and Sadie are biracial; nicely individuated with honest, compelling voices, they share the duties of narration, while the action hits its stride in the second chapter and never lets up. Fans of the Riordan magic-equal parts danger, myth, and irreverence-will embrace this new series with open arms. Horn Book"
Riordan takes the elements that made the "Percy Jackson" (Hyperion) books so popular and ratchets them up a notch. Carter, 14, and Sadie, 12, have grown up apart. He has traveled all over the world with his Egyptologist father, Dr. Julius Kane, while Sadie has lived in London with her grandparents. Their mother passed away under mysterious circumstances, so when their father arrives in London and wants to take them both on a private tour of the British Museum, all is not necessarily what it seems. The evening ends with the apparent destruction of the Rosetta Stone, the disappearance of Dr. Kane, and the kidnapping of Carter and Sadie. More insidiously, it leads to the release of five Egyptian gods, including Set, who is their mortal enemy. Carter and Sadie discover the secrets of their family heritage and their ability to work magic as they realize that their task will be to save humanity from Set, who is building a destructive red pyramid inside Camelback Mountain in Phoenix. The text is presented as the transcript of an audio recording done by both children. Riordan creates two distinct and realistic voices for the siblings. He has a winning formula, but this book goes beyond the formulaic to present a truly original take on Egyptian mythology. His trademark humor is here in abundance, and there are numerous passages that will cause readers to double over with laughter. The humor never takes away from the story or from the overall tone. A must-have book, and in multiple copies. SLJ"
Since their mother's death, six years ago, 12-year-old Sadie Kane has lived in London with her maternal grandparents while her older brother, 14-year-old Carter, has traveled the world with their father, a renowned African American Egyptologist. In London on Christmas Eve for a rare evening together, Carter and Sadie accompany their dad to the British Museum, where he blows up the Rosetta Stone in summoning an Egyptian god. Unleashed, the vengeful god overpowers and entombs him, but Sadie and Carter escape. Initially determined to rescue their father, their mission expands to include understanding their hidden magical powers as the descendants of the pharaohs and taking on the ancient forces bent on destroying mankind. The first-person narrative shifts between Carter and Sadie, giving the novel an intriguing dual perspective made more complex by their biracial heritage and the tension between the siblings, who barely know each other at the story's beginning. The first volume in the Kane Chronicles, this fantasy adventure delivers what fans loved about the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series: young protagonists with previously unsuspected magical powers, a riveting story marked by headlong adventure, a complex background rooted in ancient mythology, and wry, witty twenty-first-century narration. The last pages contain a clever twist that will leave readers secretly longing to open their lockers at the start of school. Booklist"