I found it ironic that just few days ago, I finished Riordan's The Sword of Summer, and it was one of my favorite books of the year, and now I (kind of) finished this and this was my least favorite book of his. I picked this up because I was still on a high after reading Riordan's latest and then a friend of mine told me to read this one -- because there would be short stories that were cross over between Percy/Annabeth and Carter/Sadie. On paper, I should be enjoying this -- we have Egypt myth and magic and well, Riordan's writing.
Unfortunately, it ended up as colossal failure for me. I found myself struggling and after around 1/3rd of the book, I practically gave up and started skimming. I think the first major issue that I had was that I simply did not care for the characters. When that happens, well, it will be hard for me to care about the story as well. I admit that even in his first book, I didn't instantly love Percy Jackson (it took me four years to start reading his second book!) but Carter and Sadie were 'worse' experience.
See, I found Carter very boring -- he dressed like a professor when he was just 14 years old? Every time I got to his chapter, I was bored. When the chapter turned over to Sadie, he was blending to the background. But Sadie wasn't winning my heart either. I found her too brattish. I can enjoy sarcastic characters but I found Sadie judgmental and looked down on others, and that I didn't enjoy.
On top of that, there were two POVs in this book and after awhile they didn't feel too different (aside from occasional reminder of who was talking by using intermittent words like [No, Sadie, not a chicken] or [Stop smirking, Carter] to show that the other person was talking. To be honest, I wasn't also sure with the idea of these chapters written as it was being spoken, because when I read it, it still felt like a text-book read. It didn't feel different.
I also found this book lacking of Riordan's hilarity -- one that helped me went through Percy Jackson books. I didn't care for the secondary characters either -- well, okay, except Bast, but she's a goddess of CATS and seriously, CATS are awesome! Plus I found the bad guys to be too caricaturish this time.
I guess this series is not one that I will be reading further. I will be just waiting for next year because luckily Riordan will have two new books, second Magnus Chase alongside a new book about Apollo (in Percy Jackson's universe).