Monday, February 27, 2012

Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos by R.L. LaFevers

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I like fantasy …fantasy movies …fantasy books …and no matter how mediocre the movie or book, I know there will be action, adventure, and magic. Give me a big screen, a bowl of popcorn, and a soda and I’m entertained.

This book was just that …entertaining and fun. It has flaws but in the end, it satisfies. While certain parts of the story reminded me of the movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and the book, The Red Pyramid, the plot has some unique twists, is original, and has a fun main character. Theodosia is the brilliant and sensible heroine whose parents don’t pay attention to her because they are too busy pursuing their own careers running their Museum of Legends and Antiquities and making museum purchases. They don’t notice when Theo’s governess quits. They don’t notice that Theo doesn’t go to school. They don’t notice that Theo sleeps in a coffin in a closet. But Theo knows shes special even if her parents don’t. She knows that she is protecting them from all the evil magic they bring into their museum. Theodosia can see and feel the magic oozing from ancient artifacts. While other kids, like her brother, are in school, Theo spends her days at the museum helping her parents and teaching herself how to cure the museum from the curses in the objects her parents keep collecting around the world. Things don’t always go as planned and when she accidentally casts a curse into her cat it becomes crazed and wild. However, when Theo’s mom brings home ,The Heart of Egypt, things become really dicey because the curse from this artifact can topple countries. When the beginnings of plagues and war begin in Britain, Theo knows that it is from The Heart of Egypt and that if she doesn’t return it to the tomb where her mother found it, innocent people will die and chaos will rule. The problem is that there are others who want The Heart of Egypt too. Others who will even kill for it.

What I liked. LaFevers does a nice job making many characters as suspects in the stealing of The Heart of Egypt. An interesting twist in the plot is when the parents become suspects as a result of working so long around black magic without protection. It is suggested that the magic can be absorbed by human bodies and cause people to make evil choices without even realizing it. Perhaps her parents stole The Heart of Egypt? Comic relief comes in the form of a crazed cat who attacks people at the museum after Theodosia accidentally tosses the curse from an artifact into the body of her cat. Sticky Will, the pickpocket, was fun with his Dickens-like voice and character and was a nice addition to the kids caper. The recipes for curing curses was unique and Theodosia goes into detail on how she approaches the removal of a curse. Theodosia grows as a person becoming confident in her parents love for her and confident in her unique power to remove curses.

What lacked. Henry, Theo’s brother, sounded old when we first met him and then young later on. His character was supposed to be the irritating younger brother but he didn’t always come off that way in the dialogue. Also, Theodosia’s power of seeing the magic on the artifacts is never explained. It is hinted that she sees Isis in the hallway and the presence of gods but she seems to be the only person with this unique ability. Her superpowers are never explained. I thought the fortune-teller in Egypt could have revealed some of this. The setting is 1906 in Great Britain and it was hard figuring out the time period. Most came through the political dialogue between the parents and the sights and sounds of the time period are not described much. When Theo goes to Egypt there are more descriptions of the country; however, it could have been set in today’s time versus the turn of the century. The ending leaves many questions such as how did the villians escape, why did one’s face get eaten away by sand, did he die, how did the other get his hand out of the wall, and more. I’m hoping the next book will answer some of the questions and show Theodosia learning more about her unique power.

Was it worth reading? Definitely. Grab your bowl of popcorn and enjoy!

Reading Level 5.2
:-):-):-) 3 out of 5 Smileys

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