Author: Peter Lerangis
Release date: 6th June 2013
Target audience: 9+
Genre: Fantasy adventure
UK Publisher: HarperCollins
The Colossus Rises is the first novel in the Seven Wonders series by Peter Lerangis. It’s a quest story – full of near-death experiences, unimaginable monsters and ancient legends.
Jack McKinley’s life changes when he passes out at school. He’s taken to hospital and when he wakes up he’s been kidnapped by the Karai Institute. Professor Bhegad – leader of the Institute – reveals that Jack is one of the Select – someone who has a G7W gene. The trouble with the gene is that it’s a double edged sword. On the one hand it can turn you into a superhuman. On the other it’s a ticking time bomb and it will kill you. Jack is charged with the quest to save to himself and his Select friends.
This story is full of great dialogue, snarky one-liners and has a very witty hero. The universal story of a reluctant hero who discovers his (not easy to achieve) destiny always appeals to our inner desire to be special and thus this is a really enjoyable book to read.
However, I did feel that the overall characterisation was weak. The main character was well crafted but his friends and enemies were all very shallow. Although they had great dialogue with their own way of speaking, but I just didn’t find them convincing at times. They didn’t seem to go any deeper than what they said. They needed to feel more physical and alive.
Despite that shortcoming, the book is a good read. The chapter length was perfect for the age group – not too long and not too short. The action is well plotted and is full of drama which will keep younger readers interested.
If you love Percy Jackson, then this is a must-read for you. It has all the ingredients that you enjoy – humour, action and a hero on a quest! The Colossus Rises is the beginning of an epic fantasy adventure.