Monday, July 1, 2013

The Colossus Rises (Seven Wonders #1) by Peter Lerangis

Did you know that "punk'd" means to be fooled, tricked, or be the butt of a practical joke? I guess it comes from an MTV show called, "Punk'd" hosted by Ashton Kutcher that sounds similar to "Candid Camera." I was stumped coming across this new word while reading this book and the previous one where the authors plunked it in their works like an alien word. I have an inferiority complex with foreign languages: my Mandarin sounds like Gibberish and I got kicked out of beginners Catalan language class in Spain. Normally I can fall back with a bit of confidence using the English language. Oh, hush. I can hear you snickering aloud, "Hardy-Har-Har... you got punk'd!" Jack, the protagonist, uses this word to be funny with his new friends, Marco, Cass, and Aly. The group needs doses of humor for their situation is grim. The four have a rare genetic condition that occurs in descendants of royalty linked to the mythological Atlantis that will kill them unless they can locate seven magical Loculi that has power to cure them.

Jack is kidnapped and taken to an Institute that is supposedly keeping the four thirteen-year-olds alive. Part of the tension that works is that it is not apparent if the scientists are using the four teens for their own selfish interests or if they are trying to help them. At times they lie and seem to not value their lives and other times seem to care. If the four are able to get their powers they will have abilities like no other human in the world. Either way, these superpowers are going to interest adults but whether or not they'll be used for good or evil, is unclear. Another faction group that protects the Loculi is introduced toward the end of the book, but the teens don't interact with them in a communicable way and while they briefly work together to solve a crisis, nothing is explained. A cliff hanger ending prepares for a sequel where the role of the Loculi protectors should become clearer.

All the elements of fantasy are here with a quest, monsters, magic, training facility, world building, and villain, that I found entertaining, but a lack of depth kept me from becoming really invested in the characters. Jack's emotional arc is trying to escape and get back to his family, as well as, discovering his superpower and learning to trust his new friends. The other teens are not described much and I found it hard picturing them. I thought the boy, Cass, was a girl for quite awhile and I didn't know Marco's race. He's athletic and calls everyone, "Brother" but that's all I remember about him. The supporting characters weren't fleshed out enough for me to visualize them and I'm not sure if that was a result of a first person narration or just a lack of details.

The plot is pretty straightforward with a quest and action scenes keeping the pace moving along. The maze and riddles made for an adventure that reminded me of the movies, "The Mummy" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark". The teens learn about the history of Atlantis and the significance of their powers. Their superpowers result in the ability to access and use more brainpower than the average person. Each of them has a unique ability. Enjoy this entertaining adventure and don't get punk'd.

3 Smileys

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