Title: The Colossus Rises
Author: Peter Lerangis
Publication Date: February 5, 2013
AR Levels: Book Level - 4.1; Interest Level - 4th-8th grade; Points - 9.0
Goodreads Link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16061340-the-colossus-rises
In a nutshell: Jack McKinley is just a regular kid until one day he passes out at school and wakes up on a mysterious island where a scientist tells him that he and three other kids are members of the The Select, descendants of the royal family of a mythical lost city, and besides that they have a genetic anomaly that gives them superpowers after they undergo treatments. That's the good news. The bad news is that this anomaly will kill them if left untreated and if they cannot retrieve seven powerful artifacts that reside in the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Basically it's equal parts Percy Jackson, X-Men, Indiana Jones, and LOST!
I'd recommend it for grades: 4 to 8 (or above)
I'd recommend it to: Rick Riordan fans and adrenaline junkies
What I liked most about this book: After reading this, I feel like I now have a perfect answer to the "What should I read after the Percy Jackson series?" question. The dialogue and characters (and even the cover art) are very similar, yet this series is unique enough to hold its own and prevent me from stamping it as a rip-off. It's every bit as fast-paced and funny as the Percy books, and it also has a few unexpected twists. Overall, I still enjoy Riordan's books better, but this is a solid read-alike. If Percy Jackson is Batman, this series is Robin, but who doesn't love Robin? ;) It definitely left me wanting more, and I'm excited it's going to be a series.*
Single favorite moment (without getting spoiler-y): The opening chapter describes how Jack is attacked by a homemade alarm clock he rigged up from household items, including a dinosaur toy that smacks him in the face. It reminded me of the opening scene of Back to the Future with Doc's crazy inventions, which I realize dates me, but it's a very funny scene in the book, and it sets the strange yet somewhat silly tone for the rest of the story.
Star rating (where 5 stars is awesome and 0 stars is atrocious): 4 stars
*This is the first of a seven-book series. I'm assuming each book will focus on one of the Seven Wonders. Book two, Lost in Babylon, hits shelves on October 29, 2013.