A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Two ancient wonders left to visit in this installment: the Lighthouse of Alexandria and the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus with some details about their construction and destruction. Herostratus, who burned down the Temple of Artemis, is an immortal character in this book, under the power of the Amazon warriors. Time travel is also discussed with some theories about what can and can't happen.
Teamwork, bravery, and believing in yourself are overlying messages in the first four Seven Wonders books and in The Legend of the Rift. Also, even though modern-day civilization doesn't offer the magic of ancient Atlantis, there's still much worth saving.
Positive Role Models
Characters remain essentially unchanged in this final installment, comfortable in their roles in the group. Jack is the decision maker, Cass the walking map, Marco the strong one with the one-liners. Aly isn't around much. Cass' sister Eloise, who takes a larger role this time, finds her courage.
Violence & Scariness
When real people get hurt -- from darts, bullets, spears, swords, earthquakes, floods -- the descriptions are restrained, the worst being "blood spurts from mouth" when someone the main characters know well dies. But when fantasy creatures get hurt, there's yellow gushing blood everywhere and severed veins "dangling like wires." Tense underwater scuba scene involves being swallowed by a beast and almost running out of air. When main characters get injured, and they do quite a bit, they have a quick healing tool: a Loculus. If they don't find seven different Loculi before their 14th birthdays, they will all die.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A "what's he smoking?" joke.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Peter Lerangis' The Legend of the Rift is the final book in the Seven Wonders series, which sets four 13-year-olds on adventures to find seven sources of power (Loculi), each hidden in one of the ancient wonders of the world. They visit two in this installment: the (sunken) Lighthouse of Alexandria, where things get tense in the belly of a beast, and the Temple of Artemis, where Amazon warriors want to fight to the death. Thanks to a healing Loculus, the teens don't stay banged up for long. It's the monsters they fight that get the truly gory descriptions. One creature gushes yellow blood everywhere when decapitated, its severed veins "dangling like wires." The teens must finish their quest before their 14th birthdays, or the genetic mutation they all carry will kill them.
Is It Any Good?
This action-packed final installment with lots of complicated subplots to wrap up treats characters like puppets along for the ride. If you're a fan of Michael Bay movies, you may be fine with THE LEGEND OF THE RIFT. The Amazons, giant blob beasts, and underwater escapes are exciting. But if you like to dig into the trials of characters on a hero's journey -- think Frodo in Lord of the Rings -- the depth you're seeking is just not there. Marco delivers his one-liners on cue when things are tense, Jack makes the tough decisions, Cass uses his Google Map-like brain to break out of prison, and nobody grows or changes in any way. We know that Jack is motivated by wanting his family together again, but that's as far as the character reflection goes.
While sometimes a light read is a nice break, making characters memorable and relatable is what would make this series stand the test of time. Someone who studies the seven wonders can attest: It's not just the towering monuments that endure in our minds centuries later, it's the stories of the people who built them and why.
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