Seven Wonders is a new science-fiction/fantasy series from children and young adult author Peter Lerangis. The Colossus Rises is the first installment of the series. It had been on the New York Times Middle Level Best-Sellers list every week back in March, and it has popped back in a couple times in the top-15 over the last month. This book is probably most appropriate for the early middle school reader (grades 5-7). I suspect fantasy fans all the way through high school would enjoy this book.
I am not a big fantasy reader. Most fantasy books I start usually get abandoned, but this book kept me entertained and engaged. I really enjoyed the narrative voice of Jack. It is humorous and witty and keeps you smiling throughout the story. I thought the book had solid characters as well. Jack, Marco, Aly, and Cass have unique personalities that I think will allow different types of readers to connect to.
One of my favorite parts of the book is the mixture of the history of the seven wonders of the ancient world with the fantasy elements. This novel takes the kids to the Greek island of Rhodes (The Colossus of Rhodes). I love science fiction, and Lerangis has mixed a little bit of science into the plot that helped with my buy-in. The kids all have a special genetic marker (G7W) that will cause the kids to die when they turn 14. To cure themselves they must gather all of the Loculi that are hidden around the world at the locations of the seven wonders.
There’s nothing groundbreaking about this book, and it is not a book that has deep thematic elements. In an interview with Publisher’s Weekly, Lerangis’ editor, David Linker, calls it, “Indiana Jones meets Percy Jackson.” This is a pretty accurate description of the book. There is even an allusion to Indiana Jones as the kids enter a volcano with a hidden maze inside of it. It is a fun read, and would be good for the avid middle level reader that just wants to be entertained. Fans of Percy Jackson, Harry Potter and the Michael Vey series will enjoy this book. Overall, it’s a solid first effort of what looks to be a decent series.
Check out the official book trailer from HarperKids: