Thursday, October 31, 2013

Review: Empire of Bones by N.D. Wilson

Fans of both Percy Jackson and Indiana Jones will be captivated by the lost civilizations, ancient secrets, and buried treasure found in the third book of the Ashtown Burials series, an action-packed adventure by N. D. Wilson, the author of Leepike Ridge and the 100 Cupboards trilogy.
Cyrus and Antigone Smith have thwarted Dr. Phoenix's plans—for the moment. And they've uncovered a new threat from the transmortals and managed to escape with their lives. Their next adventure will take them deep into the caves below Ashtown, where they will look for help from those imprisoned in one of Ashtown's oldest tombs.

Series books get so hard to write because I try to spoil as little as possible, yet there’s just so much going on! But I will say this, wowza is the game stepped UP. In the vein of Percy Jackson leveling up from Middle Grade to Young Adult, this series is pulling no punches for its supposed 8-12 year old audience.

The biggest thing about this book in particular is it does not tread lightly into the weighed themes of morality, justice and forgiveness. To the point where I’m wondering when I stopped reading a action/ adventure Middle Grade book and started reading modernized Plato (not Plato per se, just a philosopher example). Some of the beautifully written sentences I could so easily see coming out of an actor’s mouth in one of those surprisingly deep half-war films. I’ll go less serious and say the last few Harry Potter movies for that. No, really.

This isn’t to say that the characters take a backseat. Cyrus and Antigone are as bad ass as ever and more. I can honestly think I’d go so far as to say that they are just the best brother-sister duo I’ve ever read. Those kind of siblings that beat up on each other but if anyone else touches beats up the other, oh, may the gods have mercy on your soul because you ain’t surviving it. They are really the front runners in this book like in the first book, only more trained up, daring and with wicked skills.

I have to say that I was a bit spoiled when it came to these books so far. I signed up to receive all three books so I never finished one without having the next one in hand. Until this one, of course. And now I’m sitting here all mad thinking, “really?! Me? Wait a year?! But why do I have to?!” Clearly, no matter how many times this happens to me it never really sinks in. I cannot wait for the next book to see just how more bad ass Cyrus and Antigone can get. Besides there has been so much rising, there is one serious war coming and I can’t wait to see Cyrus lead it.

-Reviewed by Jennifer

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