The Kane Chronicles #3: The Serpent's Shadow

by Rick Riordan

Hardcover, 2012



Local notes

Fic Rio (c.1)




Disney-Hyperion (2012), Edition: First, 406 pages. $19.99.


Despite their best efforts, Carter and Sade Kane can't seem to keep Apophis, the chaos snake, down. Their only hope: find an ancient spell that might turn the serpent's own shadow into a weapon.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

406 p.; 6 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member fyrefly98
Summary: Carter and Sadie Kane may have temporarily stopped the emergence of Apophis, the ancient Egyptian god of chaos, but they know that he's not gone for good. He's attempting to destroy all records of a spell that they could use to destroy him. They've got a last-ditch plan to stop him from
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devouring the world when he breaks free again, but it will most likely cost them their lives. But then they learn a secret - gods, like mortals, have shadows, and that shadow contains a piece of their essence that can be used to make spells against them even more powerful. So now the Kane siblings must locate the shadow of Apophis, with only the help of the ghost of an evil and wily magician, and with time running short, before everyone they love - and all of the rest of the world - crumbles into the churning sea of chaos.

Review: This series has been reliably enjoyable, if not necessarily knock-my-socks-off brilliant, and this third book was no exception. All of the various plot threads that have been introduced throughout the series - the god Set's true allegiances, the infirmity of Ra, the various factions within the House of Life, the Sadie/Walt/Anubis triangle and Walt's mysterious illness, Carter and Zia's relationship, the fate of the dwarf god Bes, the god/mortal working relationships, etc. - all get neatly wrapped up in this book. Riordan did leave his options open for future books, it's true, and I rolled my eyes a little at how blatantly that was done, but on the whole, this book is a good conclusion for what's come before. All of the things that I've enjoyed about this series, and about Riordan's books in general - the quick-paced action, the relatable narrators, the snarky and somewhat absurdist sense of humor, the interweaving of lots of mythology - were true in this case as well, and in general, it was a solidly fun read.

So, while I had fun listening to it, I didn't totally love it. Carter and Sadie are fine narrators, and I really enjoy their sibling dynamic, but I'm not really attached to them in the way that I was to Percy Jackson, so their physical and emotional peril didn't have quite the same effect. This book also spent a lot of time on their romantic entanglements, and while they worked out about as I'd expected them to, my heartstrings remained firmly un-tugged. (Perhaps that's because I still find thirteen-year-old Sadie's relationships with sixteen-pushing-seventeen-year-old Walt - not to mention several-thousand-year-old Anubis - kind of creepy.) There's also an element of "the world is ending tomorrow and you're concerned about this now??", but at least the characters call each other out on that front. But despite that, I stayed interested, stayed engaged, kept listening, and had fun with it. 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: Definitely don't start here, but the series as a whole is good fun for fans of fast-paced and funny YA fantasy adventure, particularly if they also like ancient Egypt.
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LibraryThing member TeamDewey
Best in series.
A scorecard for characters would be helpful.
LibraryThing member burnit99
The conclusion of The Kane Chronicles, Rick Riordan's fantasy tale of siblings Carter and Sadie Kane, and how their training in the path of the ancient Egyptian magicians and gods throws them into the midst of the Chaos snake, Apophis' bid to destroy the Earth and the ancient gods, and rule a world
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of Chaos. The book is fast-paced and suspenseful, with nice touches of humor and emotional resonance throughout. I still prefer Riordan's fantasy series that center on Greek and Roman mythology; it's more familiar to me, and Riordan seems to have more of a sure touch there himself. But this was a fun read with a satisfying conclusion that portends more to come, possibly a merger with the heroes and gods of his two main fantasy series. Greek, Roman and Egyptian gods contending? Sounds like the Marvel versus DC crossovers.
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LibraryThing member Zodac13
Humor, action, and epicness is here . . . i really loved some of this book. The symbolisim of the tower of order in the sea of chaos really pulled me in. I think Riordan really got it right there, its life in a nutshell. Chaos everywhere, sweeping and destroying everything, however, despite all
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that, order can be made to stand, a tiny island in the midtst of all that. not easy, but worth it. i'll admit some parts of this book dragged just a touch, but overall i think Riordan has done it again, and for fans of the first two Kane books, this is a must read, as well as for anyone who has a descent sence of humor and a love for the mysteries and magic of the universe.
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LibraryThing member BookAddictDiary
Rick Riordan returns with the final action-packed installment of The Kane Chronicles. And it's everything that fans have come to love and expect from Riordan: filled with action, fast pacing and quirky humor that's impossible to put down.

Siblings Carter and Sadie Kane are still in the fight against
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the evil Apophis, the chaos snake. But now, the magicians in the House of Life are at war, making it virtually impossible for the Kanes to keep peace. As the stakes intensify, earth's only hope lies with an ancient spell that could turn Apophis' shadow against him -that is, if they can find it.

All of the excitement and fun of the series spiral out of control and rushes toward a completely insane -and completely satisfying -ending that'll leave readers reeling. All of the magic, excitement and fun is here. One that has always somewhat bothered me about the Kane Chronicles is that, well, it's not Percy Jackson. That doesn't mean that it's bad, just that it's not the same. Riordan created another excellent world around the Kanes, but its not quite as vivid, fun or familiar. Despite this, I enjoyed the Kane Chronicles, and I can't wait to get my hands on the next Riordan novel.

If you have enjoyed the Kane Chronicles and Riordan's other novels, then you cannot miss this book. Great action, adventure and fun for readers of all ages.
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LibraryThing member krau0098
This is the third, and final, book in the Kane Chronicles. It was a good conclusion to this series. Although this series is well done and I enjoy it, I still don’t like it as much as Percy and the Olympians.

I listened to this on audiobook which is something I don’t recommend. Although they
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have two voice actors (one who reads Sade’s part and one who reads Carter’s) the girl who reads Sade’s voice is very shrill. At points her voice actually distorted on the speakers in my car because she was just so stick to reading this one in printed format if you can.

Sade and Carter need to destroy the snake of chaos, Apophis once and for all. Unfortunately for them the magicians are on the brink of civil war; those who follow the way of the gods (Sade, Carter and crew) versus the magicians from the House of Life who believe the power of the Gods shouldn’t be wielded by humans. Sade and Carter are forced to rely on the ghost of an evil magician to help guide them to a way to destroy Apophis for good.

If you liked the previous books in this series I think you will enjoy this book as well. The plot has a lot of twists and turns as the Kanes try to find some way to destroy Apophis once and for all. The path to destroying Apophis is complicated and intriguing. I love the mythology in this book and it is interesting to learn more about Egyptian mythology.

All of our favorite characters are here. There is a side quest to find the shadow of the dwarf god to see if they can revive him as well. Bast the cat goddess is present in spurts and she is a lot of fun like usual.

More of the plot is dedicated to Zia and Carter’s relationship problems than in previous books. Similarly a lot of the story focuses on the Sade/Anubis/Walt love triangle as well. I have to say this was one of the most creative ways I have ever read of solving a teenage love triangle problem; it was pretty darn amusing. I didn’t enjoy that the book focused on these relationships so much, but they are wrapped up nicely so I guess I can’t complain too much.

My biggest problem with this series has been that I just don’t enjoy the characters that much. Part of it might be that the story goes back and forth between Sade and Carter. But both Sade and Carter come off as a bit annoying to me. The other problem I have is that things are fairly predictable; the plan is outlined pretty early on and there are some twists, but in the end you know what is going to happen very early in the story.

There are hints that tie this book to both the previous series (Percy’s) and a possible future series featuring other gods (I’ve heard rumors that Norse mythology is next on Riordan’s list).

Overall a decent conclusion to this series. I don’t enjoy the characters as much as Percy and the Olympians and thought this series as a whole was just more predictable than that series. It is still a well done series and I enjoyed learning more about Egyptian mythology. If you’re already a fan of the Kane series then definitely read this book as well. If you enjoy adventure/fantasy/mythology this is a good series to read.
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LibraryThing member herdingcats
Totally awesome and fantastic book! In this third book in the Kane Chronicles, Sadie and Carter once again save the world from destruction of course. Their adventures are thrilling and funny and this is another book that you won't want to put down. I did find the fact that Sadie was in a love
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triangle that included the God of the Dead a bit Shades of Twilight remnicient, but, that seems to be the popular theme nowdays, so I can see how it managed to wind up in this book too. I think the book is really funny and I totally enjoyed the humor in it. Here is one of my favorite parts: Neith is an ancient Egyptian warrior goddess and a hunter - here is something she says: "The end of the world? I've seen that coming for eons....I'm prepared. I've got an underground bunker stockpiled with food, clean water and enough weapons and ammunition to hold off a zombie army." That part of the book and many others are totally hilarious. This book had me laughing out loud many times. Good story, well written, and wickedly funny. What more can you ask for? Huge thumbs up to Rick Riordan!
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LibraryThing member agrudzien
I enjoyed the two voices of Sadie and Carter throughout the series, but found this book to be a great ending to the trilogy. Things didn't package up sweetly, though good prevailed which is a great balance. The story becomes a bit intense at times - especially when they are battling Chaos - so
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younger readers might be overwhelmed.
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LibraryThing member SJKessel
Riordan, R. (2012). The Serpent's Shadow. New York: Disney.

401 pages.

Bleeps (Blog-peeps, as my friend Holly asserts), I'm going to be honest here. This book is the reason I haven't been posting much over the last two or three weeks. I got stuck in the middle of this book and had to struggle to keep
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Appetizer: Siblings Sadie and Carter Kane are back with their third and final transcript of their adventures to protect the world from some dangerous Ancient Egyptian magic that could descend the world into chaos. This time, they're here to tell the story behind all of those earthquakes, tsunamis and the near end of the world.

Apophis, "the primordial force of Chaos" has been unleashed and Carter and Sadie must devise a way to stop it, preferably a way that won't kill them in the process. A desperate plan will send them around the world, seeking information and preparing to achieve something no other magicians have ever managed to do. But before they do that, the siblings will have to attend their first school dance.

I was surprised by the extent of romance in The Serpent's Shadow. There was a downright paranormal romance vibe during the school dance mentioned above. (Sadie finds herself with a dance partner who levitates them. I kid you not. I won't tell you the name of the boy causing the floating, because of course, Sadie's also the center of a love triangle, that has an arguably very strange resolution.)

Paranormal Romance
has infected
the Kanes!!!!!!!!

Although a satisfying end to this trilogy, Riordan leaves the door open for further adventures with the Kane siblings and all of their friends. (I'd bet a very small amount of money that these characters are going to make an appearance in the new Norse mythology series that Riordan is working on. This is very exciting for my research, because instead of just hinting at the gods of different cultures co-existing in the same world, Riordan will directly address the issue. But that could just be wishful thinking on my part. Of course, it would also mean that a lot of my dissertation will become dated. Sigh.)

Having now completed The Serpent's Shadow, I'm officially declaring that the Kane Chronicles is my least favorite of Riordan's several myth-based series. It's not just that I'm least familiar with Egyptian mythology, but I also had trouble keeping track of a lot of the characters. Many of the descriptions of the actions feel rushed (I've complained about this before with his writing. Honestly, I think it's because of the crazy writing and researching schedule Riordan must be on to complete all of the tomes for his many series. If I were in his position, I would have burned out long ago.). I also wouldn't have minded a little more exposition and a few more reminders of the events from the previous books. More than that, for me, the logic of this series is the hardest to keep track of and follow.

I also got annoyed with the way the narration kept denying the reader knowledge. At least three or four times, the Kane siblings were given vague warnings or were about to find out something important when suddenly the informant had to leave or was distracted. I could deal with this technique once or twice, but it got a little ridiculous that Riordan relied on it so often in an effort to try and maintain the sense of mystery.

But that's just me. What are your thoughts?

Dinner Conversation:

"Sadie Kane here.
If you're listening to this, congratulations! You survived Doomsday.
I'd like to apologize straightaway for any inconvenience the end of the world may have caused you. The earthquakes, rebellions, riots, tornadoes, floods, tsunamis, and of course the giant snake who swallowed the sun--I'm afraid most of that was our fault. Carter and I decided we should at least explain how it happened." (p. 1)

"True, full-out Armageddon hadn't come yet. It had been six months since the Chaos snake Apophis had escaped from his Underworld prison, but he still hadn't launched a large-scale invasion of the mortal world as we'd expected. For some reason, the serpent was biding his time, settling for smaller attacks on nomes that seemed secure and happy.
Like this one, I thought." (p. 3).

"Its eyes turned the color of blood. Its carved mouth twisted into a smile. "Your magic is weak, Sadie Kane. Human civilization has grown as old and rotten. I will swallow the sun god and plunge your world into darkness. The Sea of Chaos will consume you all." (p. 20)

"Honestly, he drones on and on about his plans for the Apocalypse, but he makes no plans at all for the school dance. My brother's priorities are severely skewed.
I don't think I was being selfish wanting to go to the dance. Of course we had serious business to deal with. That's exactly why I insisted on partying first. Our initiates needed a morale boost. They needed a chance to be normal kids, to have friends and lives outside Brooklyn House--something worth fighting for. Even armies in the field fight better when they take breaks for entertainment. I'm sure some general somewhere has said that." (p. 77)

Tasty Rating: !!
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LibraryThing member benuathanasia
A really interesting series. Not subject matter that is explored all that often( Egyptian history, myths, etc. It it's Egyptian, it's usually mummies or Cleopatra). The characters were likeable, though far from original.
LibraryThing member natalieleclerc
awesome but got a little stale at the end.
LibraryThing member SebastianHagelstein
Several young magicians must face an end of the world scenario that appears in Egyptian mythology. Carter and Sadie Kane, with help from many other magicians and several of the ancient Egyptian gods, plan to destroy chaos and restore order to the world using a dangerous spell that could get them
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RIck Roirdan mixes humor with ancient Egyptian mythology in this third and final book in the Kane Chronicle series.
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LibraryThing member mattmckinstry
I love all of his books so much! This book was great.
LibraryThing member wyvernfriend
A satisfying conclusion to the series, though some of what did happen was telegraphed well in advance.

The Kanes have to battle Apophis, save the world and save as much of their friends as they can, while also keeping themselves alive.

I understand the framing device but I think it's a bit
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superflous to the story, Rick Riordan as amanuesis for the Kanes, cute but it doesn't add much to the story beyond minor league opening and closing comments, another writer might have made some editorial comments in the text which would have added to the effect. Still it's not the worst thing about this book, it just puzzles me why it was done.

An entertaining series. Made me want to break out my Egyptian history books.
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LibraryThing member Punkfarie
this was such a great ending to the series. ***SPOILER*** was that a hint towards a possible Percy Jackson/Kane Chronicles crossover? Their mother said "other gods and other magic" wouldn't that be awesome! =D
LibraryThing member scote23
If my guess on where Riordan is going with the ending is correct, then I am kind of disappointed. Otherwise, I thought this was a good concluding book.
LibraryThing member Punkfarie
this was such a great ending to the series. ***SPOILER*** was that a hint towards a possible Percy Jackson/Kane Chronicles crossover? Their mother said "other gods and other magic" wouldn't that be awesome! =D
LibraryThing member CurrerBell
I give this 3***, which isn't really bad, but this trilogy is nowhere comparable to Camp Halfblood. In fairness to Riordan, this may partly be my own lesser familiarity with Egyptian mythology (compared to Graeco-Roman), but I think that's probably going to be true of most readers, which
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complicates the large assemblage of characters that he throws in. Another problem, I think, is the greater reliance on divinities in this series (though the lesser deities Bes and Bast are particularly attractive, and Anubis of course is particularly important), as opposed to the much wider range of child/halfblood characters in his other series. Also, The Kane Chronicles tends to be wa-a-a-ay to cutesy for my own taste, though Camp Halfblood has also started toward a little too much cutesiness in its most recent Roman book.

Still, kids should like this series, and it's a good one for introducing Egyptian mythology in a classroom. Due to most people's lesser familiarity with Egyptian mythology, though, The Kane Chronicles may particularly benefit from The Kane Chronicles Survival Guide.
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LibraryThing member publiusdb
Riordan does it again. In fact, I think that he may be getting better. The characters are more interesting, the writing better, metaphors more colorful...

Pick it up, and enjoy.
LibraryThing member hailelib
The Serpent's Shadow by Rick Riordan is number three in the Kane Chronicles. The "heroes" are Sadie and Carter, siblings who are descended from ancient Egyptian Pharoahs and who are magicians by virtue of their bloodline. Their accomplishment in finally defeating a powerful enemy in book #2 only
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brought about a short respite from their misfortunes and an even more dangerous enemy awaits. A fairly fun romp with Egyptian gods and adventure in the same style as the Percy Jackson series. A bonus in this edition was a short story where Carter and Percy meet...

Recommended for Riordan fans. Those who enjoyed the Percy Jackson novels will probably like these as well.
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LibraryThing member CayenneEllis
So after lots of hemming and hawing and other books cutting their way to the front of my to-read line, I finally got around to reading this book. Honestly, I think my experience suffered because of how long I waited between #2 and this one. I wikipedia'd the first two synopses before I read this,
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and I remembered the important stuff (how annoying I found Sadie, how much I loved Bes and Bast and Tawaret) and I did figure it out pretty quickly, but there was some stuff that I just glanced over. It didn't really hurt my understanding of the book as a whole, but it would definitely have been a smarter choice to read them all closer together than I did.

So what did I think?


All in all, I was quite happy with the ending to this series. Some things changed that were the main reasons I preferred the Greek books so much more than this series (side characters, like the fabulous Walt, got fleshed out) but I also feel that Riordan wrote himself into a bit of a hole that absented some of his strongest characters in this series from the story for a good portion of it (i.e. Bes and Bast). I found the ending to the Anubis/Sadie/Walt love triangle surprisingly satisfying, and if I was still into writing fanfiction I would be all over the idea of one girl dating two men in one body. As usual, Riordan's women are just as abrasive and agitating as usual (except Tawaret who he writes as more of a mother and a joke and Bast who he characterizes as a cat as opposed to a woman) but I found Zia much more tolerable this go round and even grew a little bit fond of Sadie. Carter, on the other hand, who I loved from the beginning, let me down. The entire novel seemed to consist of "oh, crap, I can't do this! Okay, I'm doing this," rinse and repeat. I understood what Riordan was going for, I just found it a bit heavy handed.

And speaking of heavy handed, hmmmm, do you think there's going to be a sequel a la Heroes of Olympus? I could never guess. But to be fair, although I certainly wish he would focus a bit more on his Greek stories, I will definitely be picking up the newest book in the Egyptian series when it inevitably comes out. Here's hoping it focuses on Bes!
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LibraryThing member IzzyV22
He's b-a-a-ack! Despite their best efforts, Carter and Sadie Kane can't seem to keep Apophis, the chaos snake, down. Now Apophis is threatening to plunge the world into eternal darkness, and the Kanes are faced with the impossible task of having to destroy him once and for all. Unfortunately, the
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magicians of the House of Life are on the brink of civil war, the gods are divided, and the young initiates of Brooklyn House stand almost alone against the forces of chaos. The Kanes' only hope is an ancient spell that might turn the serpent's own shadow into a weapon, but the magic has been lost for a millennia. To find the answer they need, the Kanes must rely on the murderous ghost of a powerful magician who might be able to lead them to the serpent's shadow . . . or might lead them to their deaths in the depths of the underworld.

Nothing less than the mortal world is at stake when the Kane family fulfills its destiny in this thrilling conclusion to the Kane Chronicles.
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LibraryThing member jedisakora
** spoiler alert ** How to say this politely…. This book was the worst of Rick Riordan’s have ever read. I never thought I would give one of his books three stars, but here you are. The most excitement I got from reading it was at the very end; in a single paragraph, Where the Kane kid’s
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mother states that there are other gods and magicians that will post threats to the restored House of Life. I’m still jumping down at the knowledge that there is going to be a combination of the two series. And you know what? I want Sadie to get her butt kicked hard and Carter to be given lessens in not being a total pushover.

The premise of this book is pretty straight forward. The Kane crew has three days to figure out how to capture Apophis’s shadow and stop the total destruction of the world. Interesting and had the “potential” to be a very captivating storyline. Too bad it never reached it. This is namely because Sadie became “the” Mary Sue of the Riordan world and a boy crazy moron. Yes, she beats Annabeth as the biggest Mary Sue in the series. OMG! I have never disliked a character that Riordan has written more. All she cares about in the whole book is Walk and Anubis. She even states so in the book that the whole entire world could go get taken by the snake if neither of them are there anymore. Seriously! I wanted to slap that pretentious mary sue right then and there. Then of course Riordan makes Sadie all powerful and never once falling. Yet Carter, who has is priorities straight, is shifted to the bumbling geek who can’t do anything right. Why he became Pharaoh is beyond me. Maybe because the House of Life knows that at least he has potential while Sadie is a complete Moron.

Anyways the world is saved at the very last second and all is well. With the destruction of Choas/Aphophis’s shadow the rest of the Gods/Goddesses have to pull out of the world. Probably till the combination of the two series. Where I’m willing the bet that the whole Setne’s ghost (of yah evil ghost in the series yada yada) uses the “Book of Life” to try to destroy the gods along with who-ever manages to get the Syllibine books from the Heroes of Olympus series. I really hope that by then the Carter has turned into a kick ass Pharaoh. Sadie… I hope she died to be with Anubis. I just want Carter in the combination series even though I know that won’t happen. Perhaps we can just lock her and Annabeth in a room and let them duke it out…..

Anyways… 3 stars.
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LibraryThing member bell7
In the final book of the Kane Chronicles, Sadie and Carter must battle Apophis, the snake of Chaos, and return order to the world. Apophis rose in the last book, but he's been going around destroying scrolls, which they figure must have the secret to destroying him. In an attempt to save the last
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scroll, someone appears to Sadie and tells her that while they won't save the scroll, she should save a box that looks nearly empty. Does it really hold the key to victory?

I was not in the mood for this book, so the following reaction is not particularly fair. The wisecracks didn't tend to strike me as funny, the over-the-top plot kept me turning pages quickly but rolling my eyes a little. I thought the resolution of Sadie's boy troubles was just weird. It's much the same as the rest of the series, but for some reason just didn't work for me as well as the fast-paced and humor-filled books have in the past.
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LibraryThing member Rosa.Mill
In the final volume of the Kane Chronicles the focus of the story goes back to Sadie and Carter and their love interests. The other initiates are mostly in the back ground and the story starts to feel very serious as their allies number fewer and fewer and they add several enemies to the ever
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growing list of people who dislike the Kane family, and the Carter and Sadie finally face Apophis.

I liked this story more than I originally thought I would. The focus narrows back down to Carter and Sadie as they look for a way to defeat Apophis. I thought all of Egyptian information was very interesting and it never once felt like learning. I especially liked meeting Gods we hadn't met yet at the house of rest, getting a glance at how Osiris' court worked and learning more about the Duat. Carter and Sadie both seem older then they are however in this volume I found it made more sense to me. At this point they have each been through quite a bit that would make them older then their years.

I felt a little bit weird about Walt and Anubis kind of melding together but it was a nice way to solve the love triangle without leaving anyone in the dust or killing off any more major characters. I also liked that Zia gave Carter a chance and they got to go out although I feel like the reader really misses all of the relationship development, between the real Zia and Carter that must take place between book 2 and 3.

My only complaint about the book at the moment is an audio book complaint; I didn't like how either of the two narrator's handled Sadie Kane's voice. I felt like both narrators made her sound more grating that she needed to and because of that had a lot of difficulty with Sadie through 3/4's of the book (this seems to be the point where I got used to it.)
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(699 ratings; 4.1)
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