Saturday, April 6, 2013

Batty Returns.. The Colossus Rises

Batty About Books Triumphant Return...

Batty About Books is a magnificent duo - Kathy aka @thebrainlair and Maria @mselke01 here at the Melange. (Wait, should I call myself "magnificent"? Too late, I already did!) We choose a book, read it in chunks, and chat about it via Google Docs. Then we host our discussions on our blogs. I post my thoughts with Kathy's responses here, and she posts her thoughts with my responses at The Brain Lair. Welcome to our journey! My thoughts are in purple with Kathy's in blue

We decided to have our first post introduce the book itself, with our impressions of the cover art. We are also linking up to the book trailer. Next Saturday will be our discussion about the first 122 pages. So if anyone is in the mood for a "read-along" - join us for the ride!



The Colossus Rises 

Hardcover, 348 pages
Published February 5th 2013 by HarperCollins
ISBN 0062070401 (ISBN13: 9780062070401)

Goodreads Blurb: 
One Boy
Jack McKinley is an ordinary kid with an extraordinary problem. In a few months, he’s going to die.


One Mission
Jack needs to find seven magic loculi that, when combined, have the power to cure him.

One Problem
The loculi are the relics of a lost civilization and haven’t been seen in thousands of years.

Seven Wonders
Because they’re hidden in the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.



Our Thoughts: 


Let’s start with the fact that I brought this home and placed it on my coffee table. Before I could even pick it back up again, my 5th grade son stole it out from under me. Yes, he’s a voracious reader, but the cover definitely grabbed his attention. He proceeded to read the entire book in one day and come ask me when the sequel would be out. I think that’s a pretty good sign! He read the prequel, too.  
That’s the kind of stuff that should be blurbed! I would totally buy a book for the library knowing that some kid picked it and read it in a day!

So much for the youngling - what does the cover do for me? The gold is very striking. Not only does it catch the eye, but it gives me a sense that the publisher feels like this series will do well. It’s expensive to put shiny gold on a cover! I love the way the “Seven Wonders” portion of the title looks. The ring with the wavy appearance gives off strong Percy vibes (as does the fact that Riordan has a prominent blurb right above it). I also like the antiqued feel of “wonders”.
Yes, it does seem like the publisher is excited for this book and expects a lot! It’s beautifully done.  I saw it and immediately wanted to find out more. We need more covers like this.  Your eyes are pulled into the cover, hopefully the same way your mind will be pulled into the story. I also agree it’s very quest like, similar to the Lightning Thief with colors in the same family!. ::checkstoseeifsamejacketdesigner:: Nope, not the same people. John Rocco, the author/illustrator/Caldecott Honor winner designed the cover of The Percy Jackson books as well as The Heroes of Olympus and the Kane Chronicles.  Concept artist Torstein Norstrand created the cover art for Colossus Rises but he didn’t design.  His portfolio is very science fictiony!

The images on the cover continue the mythological theme. The glowing eyes and the orb in the boy’s hand make this have a heavily fantasy feel. The boy looks to be on the young side, which makes me hopeful that this will be one of those series that is sophisticated but still appropriate for my upper middle grade readers. I just hope there are some cool girls on the inside!
Interesting because I thought it was more science fiction like! Or maybe I knew it was science fiction because that’s where I have it shelved? Ah, it’s on the subject list due to the genetic traits they have. May re-think and put this in Fantasy. I can see it doing well there!

Speaking of the inside - I adore the maps on the endpapers. Another great way to tie into the current passion my students have for anything ancient or mythological, I’d say!
I love maps! And these are green! I hope we have to refer to them while we are reading!!

Even without the blurb, I think the cover art and endpapers would automatically lead me to think this would be a book that will attract Riordan’s readers. AGREED!

As a small aside - did you read the “about the author” text? Harvard with a degree in biochemistry, followed by a run as an actor in Broadway musical theater? This sounds like a guy I’d love to hang out and chat with over coffee and brownies (he mentions he likes chocolate, too!).  I think you would like him - he went to the last Comic Con!


Links to Check:

There is a free ebook prequel (My son also read and enjoyed this)
http://www.sevenwondersbooks.com/seven-wonders-journals-the-select

There is an interactive MAP! (About all the Seven Wonders shown on the endpaper map)
http://www.sevenwondersbooks.com/extras/seven-wonders-interactive-map

And, of course, a book trailer!

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