Thursday, November 18, 2010
The Secret of Ka, by Christopher Pike- Review
The Secret of Ka follows Sara on her bored ramblings through Turkey while her father spends all day everyday ensconced on a work site she's not allowed to visit. Until, that is, she discovers the Magic Carpet of Ka. At which point everything changes, possibly for the worst, and Sara's world quickly comes tumbling down. Between her new friend Amesh's problems with a seriously bad news Dijinn, her own tricky relationship with a powerful Dijinn and the voice of the carpet trying to guide her it'll be a miracle if everyone survives.
To be honest I found the narration a bit stiff. From a first point perspective of a 15 year old I expected a little more personality, but there are some strangely formal paragraphs, which isn't something I remember being a problem with Christopher Pike. But what the narration lacked the story made up for. Fast paced and very engrossing Sara's enormous mis-adventure through Turkey and beyond had me flipping pages fast.
The story is original enough to seem fresh and different while at the same time referencing historical myth that most people will feel at home with. Aladdin anyone? I'm not sure that it painted Turkey in the best possible light but then writing about it from a white Americans perspective might be tricky. In any case the country was just a bit player in a mostly mythical tale.
I was surprised to find the ending was definitely an open ended thing suggesting this was just the beginning of a series. I perused online but couldn't find any mention of a planned second book, but I'm assuming there is one being written in the wings possibly as I type this review. I'm intrigued to see where this story is headed, it has distinct possibilities of being a very fun series.
The Secret of Ka , by Christopher Pike
Published by Harcourt Children's Books, September 2010
Very Kindly mailed to me from the folks at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt