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The Battle Begins (2012)

by Tony Abbott(Favorite Author)
3.81 of 5 Votes: 6
0545308313 (ISBN13: 9780545308311)
Scholastic Inc.
review 1: After reading “Underworlds: The Battle Begins” I’m my interest level in peaked in the next few books of the series. With there only being just over a hundred pages per book, I want to get my hands on the next book. I also find the mixing of mythologies very interesting. It’s cool to see Greek and Norse myths combined to make an original story that still has all the magic and adventure I love.The book starts with Owen Brown telling the reader of his supernatural day. It starts out an ordinary day. When he sees his best friend Dana Runson in the hall right before class, she tells him that monsters are coming and to find “the book” at her house, which is supposed to explain everything according to Dana. Then a big fiery hole opens up in the floor, a spooky, hissi... moreng voice says, “The. . . battle. . . begins. . . .” and then sucks Dana into the fiery hole. As you might imagine, Owen was pretty spooked, but he had to save Dana. He set out for Dana’s house with his best friends Jon and Sydney, who had seen Dana’s disappearance from the other side of the hall. Inside Dana’s house was the book, which was full of descriptions of mythological creatures and people, and Fenrir, a giant fire breathing wolf. After escaping the house, they went back to school. As they were going through the lunch line at school, the three lunch ladies turned into the Valkyries, the choosers of who dies in battle from Norse mythology. Owen and company thought they wanted to kill them, but the Valkyries were there to warn and advise them about the underworlds. They told Owen that Loki was behind the monsters escaping the underworlds and that Dana was being held captive by Hades. Also, they told him he needed Orpheus’ Lyre, a magical instrument used by Orpheus to escape Hades’ underworld, to save Dana. Just before the Valkyries turned back into lunch ladies, they told Owen to retrieve his destiny, then enter the red double doors, and then walk among the ancient things. With that, they turned back into nice, normal lunch ladies. After leaving the lunch room, the trio found the Lyre and retrieved it. They then went to find an entrance to Hades’ underworld. They found the entrance under the school, in the boiler room. After crossing the River Styx, they met with Hades who said he did not kidnap Dana, so they made a deal. If they could find Dana where all the newcomers are kept and bring her back before the hourglass ran out, they could keep her and leave. They found Dana in a copper tower guarded by Myrmidons, ants turned into human soldiers by Zeus, Argus, guardian of the newly dead, and Loki, who was behind Dana’s kidnapping. Using the Lyre, Owen freed Dana and escaped the tower with his friends in tow. They made it back to Hades before the hour glass ran out, but Hades was not so nice. He told the group that they had to return a group of giants that Loki had let out or he would take Dana back. This is where the book ends.Owen Brown is your typical do good-er child. He raises money for the school and is in the school band. Everybody likes him, but there doesn't seem to be anything special about him. Despite this, it’s his destiny to do great things. Jon is the book’s comic relief. He’s alway cracking a joke. Sydney is a very intelligent and productive daughter of the shop teacher. She’s the perfect mixture of brains and brawn.This book is set in the early 2000’s at an average elementary school. There is also magic and portals to what are called “underworlds.” There are hundreds of different underworlds, all based on different mythologies.
review 2: Relatively boilerplate children's mythology story. It's got main character boy, comic relief boy, and girl. My son loved the fact that the main character bore his name and purchased it for his school library. I appreciated that it never stopped moving and was, thankfully, not very long. I don't think it added much to children's fantasy, being mostly a quick trip to some notable mythological grounds and not even a particularly good primer on the background stories for those unaware of Greek myths. Still, not too bad for a few nights of bedtime stories. less
Reviews (see all)
A viable option for those who want to read Lightning Thief but find it too challenging.
Liked it. Good plot. Included mythology, which is interesting to me.
A fast-paced story for younger readers who were Percy Jackson fans.
This was a very fun & short read. Book thoughts to come...
to come....
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