Monday, February 21, 2011

The Fire Thief

As punishment for giving humans fire, the Titan Prometheus is chained to a rock by the gods where his liver is ripped out of him by a Fury. The story begins with Prometheus breaking free of his chains and making a deal with Zeus to find a hero. He decides to travel in time to Eden City, 1858, an industrial cesspool where misery runs rampant. Prometheus can't believe what humans have done with fire. The city is cloaked in smog. He is so disappointed. He meets up with Jim and Edward, two thieves who put on a stage show for the rich and rob them while they are watching it. When they get caught Prometheus becomes the hero without even realizing it.

This book has asides and footnotes where the author is speaking to the reader. Some will find them hilarious and some will find them annoying. Or maybe both. This technique slows down the pacing of the book. If it annoys you, then don't read them and stay with the action.

I enjoyed Deary's characterizations of Zeus with his pot of thunderbolts and throwing temper tantrums. Zeus and Hera sounded like an old couple bickering and Hermes as the spoiled son. The Chimera (a monster with three heads of a lion, goat, and snake) was the most entertaining creature of the four: "...Help me and I'll give you the city."

"Ah," the goat gurgled. "A settee - I need somewhere comfy to sit."

"Goat-head," the lion groaned. "You are deaf."


"Deaf!" The lion roared.

"I know. It's all your roaring. Wrecked my ears," the goat replied.

"Shut up and let's hear what the Fury has to say," the snake pleaded. p137

While funny, the plot was predictable in many parts and some of the foreshadowing obvious. There is a Dickens type ghost story at the end and a running joke about school being miserable. I thought the setting could have been more developed and the plot less predictable. Still it is a fun read and students who like Percy Jackson should enjoy it.

Reading Level 5.6

:-) :-) :-) 3 Smileys

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