Title: Lost in Babylon (Seven Wonders #2)
Author: Peter Lerangis
Pub. Date: October 29, 2013
Source: e-ARC via edelweiss
Summary: With Marco gone and the first Loculus lost, Jack, Cass, and Ally are no closer to saving themselves (or the world) than when they first arrived at the Karai Institute. But when Bhegad tracks down Marco deep in the desert, the kids are off on the next leg of their quest-to the ancient city of Babylon. There the kids find themselves faced with a daunting choice that makes them question everything they’ve learned so far. It’s a gut wrenching decision, but what the kids don’t realize is that it’s also a trap. Surprises pile on surprises until a long-lost figure from Jack’s past returns, and the kids find themselves forced to engineer an escape that might just turn out to be a different kind of trap altogether.
Genre: MG, Fantasy
Back in February I reviewed the first book, The Colossus Rises and instantly knew it would be a hit with the Percy Jackson crowd. I’ve waited (not-so-patiently I’m afraid!) eight long months, but the sequel is finally here! I couldn’t wait to dive back into this fun, imaginative world – hello, ancient wonders!
Jack, Aly, Marco, and Cass are all Selects: they bear a special gene that allows their natural talents to grow and expand. Unfortunately, this gift comes at a price; no Select has ever lived past their 14th birthday. In The Colossus Rises Jack was taken from his home and send to the Karai Institute, a compound so totally remote and off the grid that even the employees working there aren’t entirely sure where they’re located. Under the care of Professor Bhegad (and Torquin, my favorite red-bearded Bigfoot), the kids search for a possible cure – one that’s buried deep within the seven ancient wonders.
After narrowly avoiding a run-in with griffins and a band of crazy monks, the kids are now headed to Babylon’s Hanging Gardens. Unlike last time, however, they’re not aiming for the ruins: they’re going back in time.
I’m so pleased to say Lost in Babylon doesn’t suffer from the Second Book Syndrome! Believe it or not, it just might be better than the first! With the world building and explanations out of the way, Lost in Babylon is able to jump right into the action – and it does so spectacularly. In a very happy accident, Marco discovered a way to go back in time – go into the river in the present day and exit thousands of years in the past. Aided by a sweet Babylonian girl (I’d love to see more of her in future books!), the four begin their search for the next Loculus: Invisibility.
In my review of the first book I mentioned the children feeling like real kids and that holds true for this book as well. Thirteen years old, being told they’re not going to live to see their next birthday, they’ve got no idea where they’re being kept and aren’t able to contact their families, that would be difficult for anyone to handle. They’re scared. They’re frustrated and angry. They miss their parents. As much as I love the historical aspect of this series, I really love seeing these kids react to their situation and grow.
Lost in Babylon digs deeper into the mystery surrounding the Selects and provides a bit of backstory and history – how these Loculi were formed and why. Jack also discovers that a long-lost family member might not be so lost after all. The third book, The Tomb of Shadows, doesn’t come out until May – but you can bet I’ll be reading it the moment is does! I’ve recommended this series to many people – friends, customers, family members – and will continue to do so. Anyone who enjoys a fun adventure story with a bit of history will be sure to enjoy these books!