Author: Carrie Ryan
Length: 192 pages
Source: eGalley via NetGalley
Scholastic's next multi-platform mega-event begins here!
Dak, Sera, and Riq might be in over their heads when they attempt to stop a Viking invasion!
Hundreds of ships carrying thousands of warriors are laying siege to medieval Paris. The Parisians are holding their own, but the stalemate can only last so long. And that's bad news -- especially since Dak has been captured, forced to work alongside the Vikings while Sera and Riq defend Paris from within. No matter which side wins, the kids lose!
Protagonists: Dak, Sera and Riq find themselves in medieval Paris during a great siege by the Norse. Because this book is so short, or maybe because of it's intention for a younger audience, we don't see that much character development from out three protagonists. We do get a few here and there and there are great bonding moments for this team, but I just kind of wish there was more development and that we could get a deeper sense of who these characters really are beyond their "special skills."
World-Building: Unlike the voyage of Christopher Columbus I was completely unaware there was any conflict between the ancient Parisians and the Norse, While we do learn a bit more about this dystopian-esque world, I was really hoping we could get some more background on the SQ, maybe the origins of the war between the SQ and the Hystorians and while we do see a tiny bit of it in this book it's not substantial enough for it to really even be world-building.
Predictability: While I would normally say that with this being a lower Middle Grade story that it would be wildly predictable and full of tropes and cliches that. for a younger audience would be intriguing, but for an adult would be boring, this time while story does still have a lot of that same lower MG predictability, there are some really great moments that were very unpredictable. In this book things don't quite go as planned and things were able to get very out of hand in the best ways possible.
Ending: So the ending to this book wasn't quite as cut and dry as I expected it to be. In fact when I thought the book was about to end, there was still about a quarter of it left. Like I said, things don't quite go as planned. I really liked that it wasn't a cut and dry procedural type of story where things might get a little dramatic, but mostly it's a very formulaic story, instead the story went in a new and interesting direction for this ending. There is a bit of cliffhanger for the story with something possibly game-changing introduced.
Corresponding Game: So much like last time this game was very much a cheap RPG style game full of walking and fetching and far too much avoiding of things, but all in all it was actually kind of fun. I found the mission to keep Dolly Madison from being kidnapped during the war of 1812 more interesting than the actual book I had just read, I don't know if that's a bad thing or not, either way, while the game doesn't offer any real development to the story or characters it is a fun bit of history to link this book and the next book together.
Honestly I was a little bummed by this book, there were definitely some good parts, but overall it was just a bit too blah for my taste. Nothing awful, but nothing great either.