Will Wilder: The Relic of Perilous Falls

Will Wilder: The Relic of Perilous Falls - Raymond Arroyo This book has been compared to Percy Jackson, and I can see why. It's pretty fast paced, has a snarky twelve-year-old boy for it's main character, and involves religion. In some ways, the fact that Catholicism is treated in a similar way as ancient-Greek-paganism fills me with nervousness. If you're writing a book pretending that the Greek gods exist then it's not hard to create all sorts of magical items and such that fit into that world. I am Catholic, and I understand things that this book referred to such as describing relics as 'keys to faith,' but it makes me nervous that the relic glows bright white and is used rather like a magic talisman to drive a demon back. Or things like the device introduced in the last chapter, the sarcopha-bus. Sarcophagi were used in Egyptian burial rites--by people who worshiped Ra and Horace and Isis, and are not something I expected to be used for travel in a Catholic world (there was also some obvious influence from floo powder from Harry Potter, with all of the warnings to keep you hands tucked in because it would be a rough ride, like a tornado, etc.) Raymond Arroyo is Catholic (or that is what I assume since he works for EWTN) so I know his intent is good in writing this book, I think will have to tread very, very carefully in the following books.

Because this is a middle grade book there were times when I could see flaws in the writing, just because sometimes things moved a little too quickly and you could tell the author was trying not to let young readers get bored, but it felt rushed and simplistic. I almost think that this book could have worked better in the YA section because there would have been more room for detail and depth, but then Will would have had to be at least fourteen, and even then it probably wouldn't have caught the attention of the teen readers...I wish I'd been able to read this when I was around twelve.

The ending of the book was frustrating (why a cliffhanger? why?) but I will probably keep reading this series.