Sunday, April 28, 2013

Batty About Books concludes Colossus Rises


It's the final post for The Colossus Rises!

Check out our first few posts here:
Intro
Part One
Part Two

As always, my thoughts are in purple and Kathy's in blue. Be sure to visit her blog - The Brain Lair - for the other half of the conversation!







The End!
I’m going to stick with a 3 star rating on this one, even though my son loved it. I’m starting a science fiction mini unit with fourth grade readers, and one of them grabbed this right out of my hand the moment I held it up. What sold her? The mythological style of cover and the Riordan blurb. I really want to hear what she has to say when she finishes. She’s a voracious reader, but I don’t know that fourth and fifth graders who are so incredibly voracious are as picky about little plot points or flat characters as we can be.
Which is why this will have a prominent spot in the library now that I’m done with it.  I didn’t love Insignia and that hasn’t been in the library since I book talked it months ago.  I’m sure this will delight my fantasy readers who are looking for waiting on the next Riordan.  

The story continued at a quick pace, but I still found myself able to put it down without feeling drawn back to the book. This may be another good example of a book that needs to be read in one quick gulp, so that the plot holes and oddities aren’t as glaring. What the heck was up with that orb? He could tuck it under his arm, but it was also big enough for multiple people to hold so they could fly?
Right? I said the same thing! They could stand around and hug it while flying then it was small again. He didn’t have a clue what he was doing with it on one page then he could control it the next. I don’t think I would have been able to sit and read this in one gulp.  I wasn’t that into it.  Like you, it was easy to put down until I needed to write about it.  I also found that I could read it and then immediately forget what I was reading.  I will be watching student’s reactions closely. May hand deliver it to someone for some immediate feedback.

I continued to have trouble visualizing some of the things along the way. Maybe a GN version of the story would fit better for me? I didn’t enjoy Witch and Wizard by Patterson, but while reading the GN with my son I’m enjoying it more.
Never.mention.that.name.in.my.presence. I have in intense, and borderline irrational, dislike of that person. Though he did found Read.Kiddo.Read. But, yes, no matter how much detail Lerangis supplied, I could not picture these events.  I really wanted pictures.  And why did the monks have wet paint in their hair?? They’d been around for a long time according to the librarian (a totally unnecessary side trip).

SciFi or Fantasy?
Okay, now that the book is over I’m going to call this one a ‘cross genre’ read. There are definitely places where the explanations are scientific, but there are also mythical creatures that aren’t explained through science. There were a few spots when the science took the spotlight - enough that I did put it with my science fiction choices for my fourth grade unit. Especially on page 255 when Bhegad described how the fissure doesn’t fit with the laws of “classical” physics, but that they could fit with newer theories. I’d love to find some upper elementary resources to tie into this idea.
I’m going to keep it in Science Fiction for now. I don’t think the science “explanations” were anything detailed enough. I’m going by their “superpowers”.


Overall Impressions:
I wasn’t dying to chat about the ending, which usually means I didn’t feel like I had a lot to say. I only had a few sticky notes along the way. I’m still not falling in love with the characters, and I’m not dying to know what happens next.
At this point, I have no desire to continue with the series, either. Though, if he’d included an excerpt in the back of this one, I would have read it.  That might be something the publisher should do when the pb is released.

I do think Colossus Rising will find an audience of students who will enjoy it. As we mentioned last week, I think the 39 Clues crowd will enjoy this adventure, and it’s a step up from the length of those books. It could be a great “bridge” read into other books like this that have more character depth. So far, it’s also a good choice for my younger advanced readers, who need longer books but aren’t ready for darker series. In that light, I’m book talking it and putting it prominently on my shelf.
This reminds me that I didn’t like the 39 Clues until I found the audiobooks. I would have abandoned that series after book 1, even though it features my top authors: Korman, Riordan, Park, Smith. I will feature this one too. I love the idea of it being the bridge between 39 Clues and other books. Students need that.   


Have you read books you weren't excited about, only to have students adore them? (Pendragon is one of those for me)

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