Monday, July 4, 2011

Book Review: Theodosia and the Last Pharaoh by R.L. LaFevers

Title: Theodosia and the Last Pharaoh (Theodosia Throckmorton, #4)
Author: R.L. LaFevers
Reading Level: Middle Grade
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
e-ARC, 394 pages
Date Published: April 4, 2011
Description (Taken from Goodreads): 
In this fourth book in the series, Theodosia sets off to Egypt to return the Emerald Tablet—embedded with the knowledge of some of the ancient world’s most guarded secrets. Accompanied by her cat, Isis (smuggled along in a basket), Theo plans to return the artifact, then explore the mysteries surrounding her own birth and oh, yes— help her mother dig up treasures on her archeological expedition.
But nothing ever works out as planned, especially when a precious treasure appears suddenly, and then just as suddenly disappears . . .

When the Serpents of Chaos get involved, Theo finds she’s digging up a lot more than she expected!
Theodosia and the Last Pharaoh is the fourth book in this impressive and intelligent middle grade series. It’s also my favorite book thus far.  In the past, Theodosia has been mostly confined to the Antiquities Museum of London, where her father is the curator, or the streets of London, but this book takes place entirely in Egypt. This brings a whole new facet and feel to the book, making the Egyptian magic tangible in a way that it hasn’t been in the previous books.

With the new setting, come new characters. Gadji, the donkey boy that Theo befriends, is funny and cocky and his monkey Sefu is fantastic. I missed Sticky Will, but Gadji certainly made up for the other boy’s absence. There are a slew of new characters within the various secret organizations, so they can be a bit difficult to keep straight, but I love how complex the series is becoming. Instead of giving us more questions, R.L. LaFevers gives us a bucket load of information to ponder. In doing so, Theodosia matures a great deal. Learning some of her history adds another layer to what was already an intriguing series.

Theo is still just as adventurous and ambitious as ever, but she grows so much in this installment. Her parents lack of attention starts getting to her and we finally see her break down because of it. She loves her family and she values the role she plays within the Brotherhood of Chosen Keepers, but she’s still only an 11 year old girl. And 11 year old girls need their parents to pay attention to them and do more than tell them they’re in the way. Theo’s fierce attitude and determination have flourished even without the encouragement of her family, but I look forward to seeing how some of the revelations learned here, play into how she conducts herself in the future.

Theodosia and the Last Pharaoh is another splendid journey into ancient Egyptian magic and mythology. Theo is certainly a character to remember, what with her stubborn will and unwaveringly good nature. She fights for what she believes in and she fights for it hard. Be it her family, her friends, or even the world, Theodosia is always up for the challenge. Add in a few secret organizations, a couple of powerful Egyptian artifacts, some family secrets, a chatty monkey, and an oddly intuitive cat, and you have yourself a series that is memorable and entertaining. I’m waiting on pins and needles for the next one!

Opening line: Even with the windows closed, the sand still managed to creep into the railway car and find its way into the most inconvenient places. ~ pg. 1

Favorite lines/passages: The thing was, the part of myself that everyone else found so peculiar was the very part I liked the best. ~ pg. 219

*This is the e-ARC version and lines, pages, cover art may differ from final copy  
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

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Candace said...

Wow! You really did love this one! I'll have to remember that for the future, that this is a series worth reading!

Bere said...

Ooooh Egypt! I love Egypt. This series sounds really great. This is my first time hearing about it and it has peaked my interest. I love your favorite line. Fantastic review, Nikki, thank you :].

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

Candace - It's sooo worth reading! Which you'll see once you get a chance to dive in :)

Bere - The premise of the books was what initially drew me in and I can see why middle graders would be captivated by the stories. Not only are they fun, but Theodosia's voice reminds me of a 10/11/12 year old girl; all whip-smart and knowing, hating being treated like a child, but knowing she is one. It's truly one of my favorite MG series, right behind Harry Potter. I think it ranks higher than Percy Jackson for me and I LOVED the Percy Jackson series.

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