Suspension of Disbelief: The Kane Chronicles
Suspension of Disbelief is a weekly feature, in which we review movies, books, TV shows, and other popular culture for the skeptical teen.
Review: I just finished reading the second installment of the Kane Chronicles series, titled The Throne of Fire. I will warn you, there will be sequels to it, that aren’t out yet. So, if you don’t like waiting impatiently for a year or two for the next book in the series, you may want to hold off on this one for a bit. But, at the same time, this series is worth the wait. A note, though: if you decide to start this series, I would encourage you to get the audiobook over the print. You’ll see why in a minute.
Each book of the series starts off with an “editor’s note,” saying that the book is transcribed from tapes the author received. In the audiobook, this is read by the author, and then the “tapes” are played verbatum. There’s no difference in the print and audio versions besides the text of this first note. The story then unfolds, narrated in a tag-team fashion by Carter and Sadie Kane, two modern teenagers who’ve suddenly found themselves entangled in Egyptian mythology. As it turns out, as long as the gods of Egypt live in memory, they live in reality too, and sometimes slip into the mortal world. And these two teens end up smack in the middle of an ancient battle between the major deities. The fate of the world rests on their part in these battles.
I love Egyptian mythology, and Riordan does a very good job in this series of staying true to the original myths and monsters, while adding a modern twist. It’s not his best work… in his Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, he uses a similar plot with Greek mythology instead, and I found that series more real. Still, the concept is fresh and well-executed in The Kane Chronicles, and I love the humorous style of narration and the depictions of the gods, particularly Anubis. Plus, the story is gear towards teens: the main characters are 14 and 12 (though I personally think they act more like 16 and 14). This make the book relatable, despite the extraordinary circumstances. If you enjoy ancient mythologies, I definitely recommend giving this series a listen or read.