I just finished a new Junior Fiction book: Tut, The Story of My Immortal Life by P.J. Hoover
- Age Range: 8 – 12 years
- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Starscape (September 16, 2014)
Comparisons between Riordan’s Kane chronicles and this book are impossible to avoid and in fact it was my Son’s adoration of the Riodan books that made me pick this up. It is the start of a new series by P.J. Hoover, and does take some pointers from Riodan. It also has a weird romance angle between a 3000 year old Tut and a young girl that I am not fond of. But since Tut acts like a thirteen year old and the girl Tia is not quite what she looks like I will let it pass for now. So On with the review:
King Tut is alive and well, but he has a problem. He was cursed when he was thirteen and has been stuck as a thirteen year old for nearly three thousand years. A boy king could get tired of repeating the eighth grade endlessly. Though to be fair he did sort of loose a bet to Gilgamesh…(yes That Gilgamesh). And there are his crazy Gods and Goddesses (Auntie Isis is particularly nutty always trying to embalm people). Mix in Tut’s curse, family murder, and the inability to die and Tut has a lot to deal with. If that was not enough, he has his eighth grade history paper on strangely enough King Tut himself.
This is a first book in a series and it does end on a cliffhanger with many unanswered questions which I do not like in a junior fiction. I am intrigued enough to want to read the second in the series, but I am not sure children who have not read a lot of ancient mythology are going to get the point of Shabti, the Book of the Dead, Gilgamesh, Hapi, and many of the other things listed in the story. Why use Gilgamesh at all? And the Shabti are straight out of Toy Story even talking like the green soldiers. Some of the characters like Set have been used as the bad guys in other books. And I am perplexed with why Tut is frozen at thirteen since autopsies of his mummy say he died closer to nineteen. In her notes at the end of the book Ms. Hoover states “that is a mystery for another book” meh.
If your child is not irritated with reading series that you have to wait for a year to read the next book, and they are into ancient mythology of all kinds, they will probably like this. The juvenile actions of Tut are going to appeal more to boys than girls as Tia’s character is hardly present in this book.