Teresa's Reviews > The Red Sun

The Red Sun by Alane Adams
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really liked it
bookshelves: books-i-own, met-author

I actually picked up this whole trilogy when I met the author at the OC Children's Book Festival in Fall 2017. She's very sweet and loved my enthusiasm for her books. She also gave me a notepad, pen, and character cards to go with my signed book set. What a great person and a fun series that I anticipated reading.

On the cover, the book claims "Percy Jackson meets Norse Mythology," and I'm like...so, Magnus Chase? But both of these books were published around the same time. While Magnus Chase delves into the Norse mythology that is more read and well-known, The Red Sun takes Norse mythology and twists some of the less-known mythical elements, deviating from what I am seeing in contemporary Norse mythology books for younger readers, making this book more unique than I first thought it might be. 

Sam, a twelve-year-old boy, has his world turned upside down when a substitute teacher turns his real teacher into a giant lizard! Sam is whisked away to Orkney where he is the only one who can save Orkney from the red sun. The sun has been poisoned by a wizard of the past, Rubicus, and is slowly killing crops, animals, and people. Why is Sam the only one who can save Orkney? He is a descendant of the Norse god, din, as well as the descendant of a witch. Male witches are not heard of, save for Rubicus, and the people of Orkney wonder just what side Sam will choose to be on.

Two of Sam's friends from Earth are taken by the witches, and his biggest concern is to save them, saving a world he is not familiar with being on the back-burner of his mind. Another friend follows him to Orkney, aiming to protect Sam. He also meets a young witch who was banished as a failure from the witches  island, and she becomes a great asset and friend when Sam begins to learn about his own magical powers.

One of the things I liked about this novel was the deviation from traditional Norse mythology that is more common in literature. For example, Sam must venture to the underworld (Niflheim). He encounters Sinmara, theorized to be just another name for/deviation of Hel from Norse myth. I've seen Hel in a number of contemporary novels, but never encountered the name Sinmara before. I also really liked the whole witch aspect, because oftentimes Norse Mythology just has a bunch of giants (there are giants in this novel), but I've never really associated Norse mythology with witches before, so I found that unique as well. 

Something I found a bit off-putting was the writing consistency. Sometimes something would be said again and I'd think "Didn't I already read this?" The story itself also felt a bit lacking in action. While Same went around and did all these things, I feels like each thing was somewhat disconnected or wondered why he did what he did. Other than those few instances, I enjoyed the character and the world of Orkney. I want to see how this series continues to differ from other books in the genre, and I am also looking forward to the prequel children's series The Witches of Orkney, featuring Sam's mother as a leading character.
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Reading Progress

August 8, 2018 – Started Reading
August 8, 2018 – Shelved
August 8, 2018 – Shelved as: books-i-own
August 10, 2018 –
page 74
August 14, 2018 –
page 82
August 21, 2018 –
page 182
August 23, 2018 –
page 245
August 25, 2018 – Finished Reading
September 21, 2018 – Shelved as: met-author

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