The second book in Rick Riordan’s The Kane Chronicles feels like a rote regurgitation of the writing formula he developed in the Percy Jackson books. It begins with an extended action sequence. The protagonists Carter and Sadie have already learned of their quest for the book (something that usually takes 50-100 pages in the other series). The reader is immediately thrown into their mission to steal a scroll from the Book of Ra (which they need to summon him from retirement so he can defeat the lord of Chaos Apophis).
It has been a year since I read the first book, and I found myself nearly lost when I jumped into this book. I was slow in remembering the Kane siblings, and I was even slower in remembering the rules of their magic and the names of their Egyptian gods (it doesn’t help that I recently read his Roman god series). After the first mission is complete they gather back at their headquarters in Brooklyn House with an injured teammate who was just introduced and I thus have no feelings about whatsoever. The other character forced into the beginning of the book was Walt (a love interest for Sadie who is also hiding something from her).
From then on, the clock is ticking. With only four days (a common Riordan time constraint) to awaken Ra and save the entire world from destruction (the stakes of the quest are referred to all too frequently in this book), Carter and Sadie must rely on new characters to help them reach their goal.
The Kane Chronicles have a more juvenile feel than the Percy Jackson books, which for a young adult book series is not unwanted; yet it does distance older readers from the text. I think because Carter and Sadie are squabbling siblings, it gives the books that juvenile vibe; but as an adult reading the book I found it off-putting. Overall, this book is definitely designed for adolescents, and they would certainly enjoy the action and comedic style of the book. But this series definitely loses the broader audience appeal that many find in the Percy Jackson books.