colleen the convivial curmudgeon's Reviews > Keys to the Demon Prison

Keys to the Demon Prison by Brandon Mull
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Mar 14, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: action-adventure, middle-grade
Read from February 20 to 23, 2012

While this book had a lot of the same problems as the last two books in the series (i.e. overly convenient plot devices, lots of exposition, telling vs. showing, quests which are built up to be deadly and dangerous and 'you probably won't survive' and then end up being generally easy 'cause they just happen to have the best maguffin for the job (though, admittedly, a few red shirts might die here and there), lack of emotional attachment to characters who don't seem to really grow or change (and adults which are, generally, interchangeable), not to mention a disturbing trend by the guys to always want the girls to hang back) - I did like this one better than the last, so, um... yeah. Where was I?

Ah, yes.

So, in this book Kendra and Seth once again become major players, as opposed to going along with larger groups who do most of the real work, and I think that helped this book. Since they are the main characters, and you see the world through their eyes, and they're the only ones who really had any level of depth of development given to them, I think book four really suffered by having them on the sidelines a lot of the time.

So that was an improvement.

And while it did have the issues mentioned above, along with predictability and some other issues, it at least kept at a decent pace and I didn't feel like it would never end quite as much as I did with book four.

(This doesn't really sound like a 3 star review, does it? Erm... )

Overall, I'm kind of disappointed in the series. I had high hopes from the outset, but was generally let down. I definitely don't have any desire to run out and get Mull's newest series, and I may or may not read any of the teased "possible future books" in this series (even though there are a lot of threads left dangling which could easily be picked up).

But I can also see people liking the story. There is a lot of action and the pace does move along at a fair enough pace, and there is a lot that happens as we move from one quest item to the next, so, um, yeah...

3 stars for ok, not great, but better than the last two.
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Reading Progress

02/21/2012 page 159
25.0% "And the ever so convenient plot devices continue!" 1 comment
02/22/2012 page 307
48.0% "I like Patton. His message to Seth was really cool."
02/22/2012 page 444
70.0% "I liked the Singing Sisters - they were funny... But they didn't sing, nor were they the buildup they got."
02/23/2012 page 495
78.0% "Ya know, I'm kinda getting tired of the guys' constant need to try and shunt Kendra to the back to protect her. I'm sure it's because she's young and not 'cause she's the only girl on the mission... right?"

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