Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Soul of the World (Legends of Amun Ra #2) by Joshua Silverman


The ancient powers lost to Potara have returned. The Brotherhood of the Black Rose rises to bring Thoth into disorder. And, while the Brotherhood reclaims their power, chaos reigns among the survivors. Six individuals have emerged from the aftermath struggling for control over their lives and a divided land. Kem and Shirin, who abolished the five thousand year reign of the Amun Priests, rule from the golden throne of the Oracle’s Chair in the Hall of the Nine. Dio and Axios struggle to piece together a resistance worthy to challenge the ancient magic which resides in the Great Temple of Amun, and Leoros and Atlantia try to remain true to their hearts and their cause despite tragedy.



But when the Book of Breathings is discovered, the path to immortality is revealed. Leoros and Kem race to capture the Soul of the World unaware of the challenges awaiting them. This time, the gods themselves will intervene.


In a tale where boys become men and girls become women, where treachery and deception are around every corner, and where primeval mysticism finds its way back from the grave, victory is reserved for neither the good nor the evil, but the powerful.GOODREADS
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I didn't like this cover at first but looking at it now, it actually works. I've read the previous book in this series a long time ago and only remember bits an pieces. Not that the book isn't memorable, I just have really bad memory.

There were a lot of things that bothered me, but as a whole this is an awesome book and sequel.  I like mythology and this one doesn't only focus on popular Greek mythology but Egyptian as well. There's also a futuristic element to the world Silverman has created. The use of exo-skeletons in battle and holograms and other advanced technology. I didn't touch on this in my first review, but these three things: Greek, Egyptian and futuristic technology all in ancient Egypt ( or a version of Egypt) . The Greek and Egyptian mythology mixing them together and creating the story works and is believable even the advanced stuff works. However, I found it to be distracting at times and contradicting in  way. I would sometimes be so engrossed in the story that I would forget that they had such technology in Potara and  it would surprise me. Then there's the the Am-ra (energy), these abilities some of the characters have and the presence of mythological creatures. It's just a lot to take in and isn't always believable. But it works!

The narration bothered me as well. The story is told from multiple POV's but at times it feels really static and drags. It picks up in the last chapters.  Some of the dialogue as well sound really textbook-like. Especially when Leoros talks about energy and life. At times it seems like almost every person in this world has a sarcastic bone in their body...even the freaking Griffin and Sphinx can be sarcastic. It's like every thing or person has a default sarcastic punk as an alter ego. This isn't necessarily a bad thing but it's also not very dynamic. 

I didn't connect with any of the characters. The  story picks up two years after the events in The Emerald Tablet, Leoros is stuck on earth and wants to get back to Potara. Leoros is suppose to be the chosen one; He's the hero and I don't like him. I don't sympathize with this kid at all. The way he just  accepts his fate and jumps into the role of the savior is unbelievable. The characters that I even remotely liked were probably Dio and ( hate to admit it ) Shirin; Shirin reminded me of Artemesia from Rise of Empire. The way she took control of things and the way she encouraged Kem ( that arrogant bastard) to become a god. I can totally see Kem as the new God king......pharaoh?. Dio is an alcoholic now and eventually gets her *&%$ together. Her relationship with Axios has progressed and they've become closer. Even though Dio has fallen off the wagon they stick together; Dio even tries to commit suicide at one point. I mention this scene, because Axios catches her in the act. The way this event took place was interesting. They just calmly talked it out...even though she pulled the trigger and the gun was empty. The characters don't always react the way you think they will.

The book is called Soul of the World because Kem has to go looking for the Soul of the world to become a god. The soul of the world is a freaking dragon ( I am going with that). There is more to it then just a dragon, but seriously you do not want me to even try to explain it. In the end this dragon is defeated by Leoros with a magic sword. This happens in the end when Leoros , Atlantia and a new character Kevin show up in Ankar. They practically walk into the Resistance fight led by  Axios and Dio in the frey and the city being attacked by Kem's soldiers and ah.... ..did I mention the dragon?. Leoros and company enter the city on a flying griffin and spinx. 

I liked the last chapters because they were exciting and actually funny; Atlantia hits Leoros upside the head because the Sword of Thoth, which he had, could kill the dragon. I also hated that Axios, a supposedly awesome general didn't realize that Shirin was trying to capture Dio or that Dio was an important weapon in the war and sending her off on her own to fight the Brothers of the Rose was an idiotic move. These scenes where Shirin gives orders during the battle again reminded me of Artemesia, especially when she tells her general not to disappoint her. 


I don't know how to categorize this book. It could be sci-fi, it could be supernatural/spiritual. I definitely don't think it's Young Adult, because although some of the main characters are teenagers there's a lot of violence and some sex in this book. Shirin's past is riddled with violence and rape; this surprised me because I didn't really expect that. At times even though Leoros and Atlantia are suppose to be kids they sound really mature and being reminded of this fact, instead of being amazed by this it sounded unbelievable. 

The ending sucks and in a  bad way. I like it when the last line in a book lingers in your mind, it should be memorable. The chapter itself isn't bad it's just the last line ...Leoros after reading a prophecy off of a pyramid miniature literally says " I've heard that before"....that's the ending line...I'm not impressed.



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