The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan came out right after the Percy Jackson series (you can read my review here), but they had a much different effect on me. I remember eagerly pre-ordering The Red Pyramid (book one), but I didn’t finish The Serpent’s Shadow (book three) until a couple years ago, long after it was published.
The story just didn’t grab me like Percy Jackson did. Looking back, I’m not sure exactly what I didn’t like about it, but the characters weren’t very interesting and the plot was forgettable. My biggest problem with the series, though, is that it’s set in the Percy Jackson world.
Now, I do think the Percy Jackson world supports spin off series. Nonhuman creatures could make awesome main characters, maybe there could be some one-off stories or books about named extras from the originals, or a series set at a different time in history could be amazing (1940s female half-bloods? Yes!).
I also enjoy the idea of the world and the gods in The Kane Chronicles. I liked how it wasn’t a carbon copy of Percy Jackson, and the magic had its own set of rules. The whole gods-using-people-as-hosts was especially interesting (and made a hilarious solution to Sadie’s love triangle).
But put those two concepts together? Nope.
The Egyptian gods do not follow the same rules as the Greek gods. The Greek ones are supposedly the only gods from culture to culture, just with different names. But then the Egyptian ones have been around forever. The two ideas don’t fit.
Plus, the magic systems are completely different. I don’t remember the details, so feel free to correct me, but the Egyptian magic uses wands and runes. Greek magic is less systematized, more inborn, like Nico raising the dead. While it could be interesting to have the two types of magic systems in the same world, the connection needs to be stronger and better explained than a couple of crossover short stories.
This lack of continuity is a big deal for me. If I’m expected to buy into the idea of an extended Percy Jackson universe, it should fit and expand on what I already know of Percy Jackson’s world. What it shouldn’t do is twist the rules.
Even if you’re not planning on writing a sprawling, multi-series story (and if you are, that’s awesome!) continuity is important. Details and systems shouldn’t change between books in a series, or it strains believability.
The biggest issue I have with The Kane Chronicles isn’t that it wasn’t my type of read. The issue I have with it is that it twists the world of Percy Jackson into something I don’t recognize. And this is personal opinion, of course. The crossover might work for some people, and if it worked for you, feel free to let me know why. But because of the lack of continuity between the worlds, I couldn’t buy it.
Have you read The Kane Chronicles? What did you think?