Two In One: “The Staff of Serapis”

Staff

When I finished reading “The Staff of Serapis” I realized that with the possible exception of Harry Potter, The Percy Jackson/Kane Chronicles/Heroes of Olympus series, is probably the fandom I’ve been involved in for the longest and the most consistently. For a majority of my adult life, I’ve followed these characters on their various adventures, and I’ve never once lost interest in them. Oh sure, The Kane Chronicles never gripped me the way the others did, but I was still intrigued. And I’m even more intrigued to see how these two stories further link up in a sort of modern mythical Justice League/Avengers type situation.

Last summer, “The Son of Sobek” pitted Percy and Carter Kane against a giant crocodile, and they left with a tentative but not at all secure alliance. (Very Batman/Superman of them.) So when Sadie Kane and Annabeth Chase met up, it obviously had to be more of a Flash/Green Lantern type feel. And it very much was. Where as Carter and Percy were distrustful and working while butting heads, Annabeth and Sadie realized that they should be working together to defeat their monster almost from the get go.

The titular staff, is a monster made of three heads, a lion, a wolf and a dog, representing the past, present and future and is weilded by Serapis, a new god created by Ptolemy in Alexandria as a combination of Greek and Egyptian religions. He was raised by a powerful Egyptian magician, who we’ve met before and who is now trying to destroy both sets of gods by trying to bring them together. (My guess? He’s being manipulated by some elemental force. The bad guys in Riordan’s books are always being manipulated by an elemental force.)

It’s going to be a very good series when this all comes together. Annabeth and Sadie are immediately on point, and really make a great team. They learn how to combine the Greek and Egyptian fighting styles and take Serapis down.

I don’t feel like I need to go on ad nauseum again about how much I really love this world that Rick Riordan has created, because I’ve said it so many times before, but I really do love it. I had a feeling that the merging would have something to do with Alexandria, being that it was the main seat of Greek power in Egypt during Alexander’s reign, but that Cleopatra was Greek and in The Kane Chronicles, is mentioned as the last woman to channel Isis before Sadie, I feel is probably also a salient detail. (Cleopatra’s ties to Rome could bring The Camp Jupiter kids into play.)

I always enjoy checking in with this world, and seeing the girls interact was a lot of fun. Especially in the end when they simply swap cell phone numbers. (Carter and Percy decided to rely on a magical tattoo, for reasons inexplicable to the women in their lives.) Obviously, like all of Riordan’s stuff, the story was funny in a way that I can’t even begin to describe. Half the point of Sadie is that she has a wicked sense of humor, although without Percy to tease, Annabeth is kind of the heavy. There are veiled references to Hurricane Sandy, which I appreciated, because as the story revolves so much around New York, and the storm really did change a lot of the city, and certainly the outer boros (A majority of the action took place on Rockaway Beach).

Riordan’s always written incredible girl characters, from Annabeth to Clarisse to Sadie to Piper on down. It’s something that I’ve appreciated for a very long time.

Anyway, The Blood of Olympus comes out on October 7th, but I always the summer release to hold me over until the new big book comes in the fall. I look forward to the vague prophecy that will become clear over five books regarding the next story and how these three groups of kids are going to connect with each other. And the ending of Heroes of Olympus, because, I mean, come on guys, gay Nico, and Leo/Calypso and the ultimate fight with Gaea. It’s going to be really good.

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