Sunday, April 28, 2013

Batty About Books - The Colossus Rises by Peter Lerangis Pt 3

We are here with our final discussion of 
The Colossus Rises (Seven Wonders, 1)
by Peter Lerangis 

It’s Done - pgs. 238 - 348
I’ve read this section three times and still don’t have much to say. For as little as I felt connected to the characters, there were some choice that were so out of character as to not make much sense to me. I also felt like Lerangis is trying to switch our hero focus from Jack to Marco, which I’ll explain below.

Previously in The Colossus Rises
The Cover - Maria and I discussed the cover and the blurb by Rick Riordan.  We linked to a prequel and the trailer. 

Part 1 - We meet Jack and the other G7W candidates. Learn what G7W means and why Professor Bhegad has kidnapped The Select.

Part 2 - Jack and crew face some challenges while trying to solve a riddle. I compare Jack’s journey to the Hero’s Journey and we find him in the middle of Transformation.

Now - Part 3
As always, Maria's thoughts are in purple and mine are in blue.  Don't forget to head over to Maria's Melange to hear what she has to say about this part and how she plans to use it with her students.

Hero’s Journey - Transformation continues
We are still in the midst of the transformation since we still have not found what we are ultimately looking for, the Loculi.  I wonder how many books Lerangis will stretch this part over or will we see some sort of JK Rowling move and the hero’s will return in between each quest? I assumed it would be 7 books - one for each Loculi. Though not much was revealed about the Loculus and Bhegad didn’t even get to see it!

I experienced a lot of confusion in the beginning of part 3 and Lerangis had to keep explaining things to me because I just didn’t get the connections at first.  Now the book title and the series title makes sense, though I wish more time was spent on the Colossus itself.  Does this mean the cover depicts The Colossus since the griffin was red? Yes! That is disappointing. The Colossus felt like such a small part of the story, but it was the title. Maybe that is part of my lingering discontent as well.

Hero Switching - My Disbelief
I was convinced that Jack was the hero until we reached Greece. Now I think it’s Marco, which I think might be a setup for the next book. Maybe the hero is each person and they each get to go through the transformation phase before we get a return in book 7? Hmm... that could make sense. Though I would have preferred that book 1 rounded out each character more so that I cared about them, and THEN devoted a book to each of them. Yes! Hopefully Lerangis will see our notes and make some changes, though book 2 releases in October so he’ll need to wait for book 3.  I want some character development!

They retrieve one Loculus but then Marco decides to refuse the call to return and instead he goes on what is called Magic Flight where he decides to keep the gift for himself. This is where Lerangis totally loses me. Just looking back over this section I see several instances where Marco puts others ahead of himself:
p. 252 - he jumps in front of the griffin
p. 258 - he hits the griffin with rocks and taunts him
p. 294 - tries to stop Monks from shooting griffin so they can still find Cass
p. 300 - another griffin attack
p. 324 - throws rock at griffin (he loves throwing rocks!)

I just cannot get behind the Marco change in the end. I cannot. Okay, I agree with you - if this is really what has happened. I may be missing something, but I don’t think that we know for sure why Marco took off with the orb. I think it’s equally likely that, since Marco sees himself as “immortal” now, he took off with it to do something he thought was too dangerous to risk his friends.
Or he could have been kidnapped. I hope it’s something along those lines and this is just a red herring.  Ok, I’m starting to feel better.

Last week, I thought I would give the book 3 stars but I’m leaning towards 2.5 now. There were too many instances where, even though things were described in detail, I could not picture them and would have loved sketches. Does the Loculus change sizes? They were all able to put their arms around it to fly but then Jack had it under his arm when he decided to give it to Marco for safekeeping.  Also, how did all three hold on to it? Especially when Marco was holding Cass. Why did Jack decide to give the Loculus to Marco at the hotel when he wouldn’t give it to him when he was facing down the griffin? How does a 13-year-old child rent a hotel room? Why hadn’t the professor known about Marco? Wasn’t he tracking them? I am left with many, many, questions but I’m not sure I will pick up book 2, Lost in Babylon, when it releases in October. At this point, I would not.

I’m playing a “wait and see” to hear what my students think about it. I have a feeling a few of them will read it - as long as the first student talks it up. If they love it, I would get others for my classroom. I’m pretty sure I won’t invest the time myself unless they insist that I should.
Alas, there are many, many, books in the school library that don’t reflect my tastes.  Which is a good thing, since it’s not my library. I’ve already ordered an additonal copy of this one because I think the students will enjoy it.  I will display it with Heroes of Olympus and the Pittacus Lore series for three different levels of reading.

Can't wait to see what other's think of this new entry into the Middle Grades SciFi/Fan family. Join us next week when we kick off our discussion of

Summer of the Mariposas 
by Guadalupe Garcia McCall.

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