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Posted November 20, 2012
The Serpent's Ring is well written for middle-grade readers. The writing is simple with few embellishments, and the world of Asgard is beautifully wrought. Exploring the world with Evan and Claire was by far the most fun. I enjoyed meeting all the different and unique people living there. Personally, I would have liked to see more detailed exploration of the plot, maybe some more plot twists. For the reading level of the intended audience, however, it's understandable.
While, I would have also liked to see Evan and Claire figure out more things by themselves, in a world where the gods and goddesses play prevalent roles, I can see how they would want to meddle with the children's quest to retrieve the Serpent's Ring. It may even be more realistic, as two children would need divine intervention in order to stand a chance of outwitting a god. There are also some conversations that info dump rather than let readers figure things out along with the characters.
The story is well-paced and filled with a cast of charming characters. Young readers will be fascinated by the children's adventure and look up to Evan as a young hero who doesn't back down in his quest to right a wrong and save his world. I recommend this for upper elementary and lower middle-grade readers who enjoy fantasy reads.
Posted November 7, 2012
Wow! What a great book! It suits all of my needs. It's interesting, funny and magical. My favorite character is Evan because he is funny and has an attitude. He reminds me a bit of Percy Jackson because he is witty and always has a smart comment up his sleeve. My favorite part was when Evan was eating the Poppin-Droppins. It reminds me of my brother, who eats by shoveling food into his mouth like a bulldozer. I like how there are cute little recipies they put in the back of the book that told you how to actually make food from the story. I thought it was a nice touch. I love to cook so it was really sweet to put those recipies in the book.
My least favorite part of the book was when Dunkle and Barfel ran away in fear. It proved just how cowardly they were. And poor Evan had to face a sea god all by himself! I was mad at Sigurd for hitting on Claire. Achy should he like her? It's not fair to Claire! He's immortal and he probably dated a lot of girls in his life! He is my least favorite protagonist because of this fact.I also dislike Agier because of his temper. Sometimes I wanna be like " SHUT UP!!!!!!!".
Overall, the book was really good. It was slightly boring in the beginning, but the end was satisfing. It's a good book for middle school readers. I can't wait for the next book!!
Posted October 5, 2012
Overall: I know that it might seem cruel to rate this mediocre when I liked the story so much. The Serpent’s Ring hit a few pet peeves and if you aren’t bothered by these things, then this could be a 5 star book for you. I let my 9 year old *nephew* read the first few chapters and he adored the characters and the action. Now that I’m done reading, he can’t wait to finish.
Firstly, the beginning is slow and it feels like every other fantasy novel. There’s a couple of kids who get an epic quest, some magical powers, and have to finish it before the world ends. Another things is that there isn’t much “he said, she said” in this book. There are quite a few “exclaimed, grunted, yelled, shouted, declared” and so forth. Besides that, the book is very well written.
Characters: What I really appreciated about this book was the fact that Evan and Claire had personality and attitude. A lot of main characters in this age group are timid and follow adults without question, but not these two. Evan is sarcastic and definitely thinks that he knows what is best for himself – just like a fourteen year old teenager does. He does hold his tongue on a few occasions in this book, but only when an outburst might be lethal. He’s blunt but not stupid. It’s hard to say which sibling acts more mature. Claire is better at keeping a calm head in stressful situations but she can be such a GIRL! at times. I like how the two didn’t always get along, yet they knew the other sibling would always be there when needed.
Plot: Though horribly predictable at first, I liked the twist and pacing after Evan enters the underwater world. The first few chapters are bogged down with explanations about this magical world and Dr. Irving’s disappearance and connection to the serpent’s ring. Once the world was established, then this book shined. I just wish that the beginning was less dialogue and introduction. The later chapters managed to create a believable and visual world underwater effortlessly.
Ending: I kind of expected The Serpent’s Ring to end on a cliffhanger and it didn’t. The plot was wrapped up nicely and there’s little teasers for what to expect in book two. I was kind of surprised how long the children remained in the world after the plot wrapped up. Typically in this genre, the honeymoon is over quickly and the kids are shipped back home in the next paragraph. Not here. Definitely a different sort of ending then I’m used to and I liked that.