I finished January with my fifth book of the year, Lost in Babylon, the second book in the Seven Wonders series by Peter Lerangis. The series follows the Select, four 13-year-olds who have the G7W gene that means they are descendants of the royalty of the lost city of Atlantis, but that also means that they will die when they turn 14, unless they find the seven Loculi, orbs that hold the power of Atlantis, that were hidden in the Seven Wonders of the World right before the city of Atlantis sank into the sea. What makes their search even more difficult is that six of the seven Wonders have long since been destroyed.
Lost in Babylon begins with Selects Jack, Aly, and Cass searching for Marco who disappeared with the first Loculus shortly after they recovered it from the Colossus at Rhodes. Each of the Select have an implanted tracking device, but the signal from Marco’s device has disappeared, which could mean that he is dead, but when his signal returns and shows that he is somewhere in Iraq, the kids, as well as Professor Beghed, Torquin, and some others from the KI Institute, head to Iraq to find Marco and the Loculus. When they find Marco, they discover that he has found the location of another Loculus, the one that was hidden in the Hanging Gardens in ancient Babylon. The kids travel through a portal at the bottom of the Euphrates river and end up in Ancient Babylon, but they discover that this Babylon is caught in a time rift where time travels 90 times slower than time in the modern world. As the kids work to find and retrieve the Loculus, they meet Daria, a Babylonian slave who has a unique ability to learn languages. They also save the King’s son, hunt an ancient sacred beast, the mushushu, join a rebel group, and set off an earthquake that could destroy them all. On top of all this, loyalties are called into question and sacrifices are made.
I started this series because it was billed as part Percy Jackson, part 39 clues. The characters are typical teens (despite their extraordinary abilities): the tech wiz, the nerd, the sports star, and the kid who really doesn’t know who he is or what is special about him. Lerangis is very good at keeping the reader pulled into the action and wanting to find out what is going to happen next. This book definitely had some unexpected twists and turns, especially in the final pages, that have me anxiously awaiting the release of book three (Tomb of Shadows set to be released in May of 2014). You can find out more about the books and access lots of extras on the series website http://www.sevenwondersbooks.com/.