The Kane Chronicles: The Serpent’s Shadow

The Kane Chronicles: The Serpent’s Shadow
The Kane Chronicles: The Serpent’s Shadow
By Rick Riordan
Read: May 2012

Read this book in one week’s time—possibly my fastest for a Riordan work!

Then again, the circumstance leading to such a finish was quite different: I spent a whole day at the post office waiting to get three pairs of Lebron shoes. Being there made me realize that, in the age of tablets, readers, and iPads, I felt like a foreigner in my own land. Or at least, reading a book is no longer part of the “Top 5 Things to do While Waiting”. If that is the case, I declare that I am part of and proud of being in the minority.

On to book details! In a word: spoilers. You’ve been warned.

I find it both endearing and endangering that the Brooklyn House took in kindergartners. It’s cute how they chase each other with crayon, until those pieces turn into spears, staves, and other pointy weapons. Shelby sounds like someone with great potential since her power is only limited by her imagination. While she could be of help, she may also be a hazard to herself and the others.

Personally, I have imagined that the whole Egyptian pantheon would appear in the last book. Such was my disappointment. Possibly it was too great a task to gather every single god—even just the active ones—to come for one last battle. But of all the missing gods, there are two from the first book that miss: Nephthys and Sekhmet. I know that Nephthys former host, Zia, hosted a greater god so that displaces her. Guess that would’ve been enough (plus her stated weakness in power compared to the other deities) for her exclusion. But what’s the excuse for Sekhmet? Too strong? Uncontrollable? Unpredictable? The excluded two are like a study in contrast!

As there were newly mentioned gods, there were unnamed gods, particularly the other judgment gods. Of the 42, only two were named. That was one god per crime. That made me curious. Ancient Egyptian Afterlife recognized 42 crimes. Noted! Found a list the 42 gods here.

Speaking of judgment, this is the first time that Riordan detailed a bit of how a soul is judged. I really thought that there would be that two-question interrogation going. I read a quote by Dr. Leo Buscaglia from a few years back and I really thought it would figure in the judgment of a soul.

Ancient Egyptians believed that upon death they would be asked two questions and their answers would determine whether they could continue their journey in the afterlife. The first question was, ‘Did you bring joy?’ The second was, ‘Did you find joy?

Upon finishing the book, there is that wildcard that has to be dealt with. Would Prince Khaemwaset a.k.a. Setne make an appearance in The Heroes of Olympus series, like a trade-off for “Drew Tanaka and Lacy”? Though I have mentioned it before, I still found it unbelievable. But if it’s any indication, the ghostly Mrs. Ruby Kane said,

I see visions of other gods and rival magic. …Egypt has always faced challenges from outside—magicians from elsewhere, even gods from elsewhere.

And Sadie has yet to call upon her via the shen necklace. That is if she too would also be a presence elsewhere. Like Long Island perhaps?

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