Publisher's Note:  

Simon Thorn only recently discovered that he's an Animalgam--one of a secret race who can shift into animals. Now, for the first time in his life Simon has real friends to train and study with at the secret Animalgam Academy. The only missing part is his mother, held captive by his evil grandfather, Orion, who's bent on taking over the animal world.

To rescue his mom, Simon must head cross-country with his friends, battling rogue Animalgams and their own doubts and torn loyalties along the way. But if Simon's going to succeed, he will need to keep Orion from gathering together the fragments of a terrible weapon, or the lives of everyone Simon loves will be at risk.

With plenty of action and adventure and characters full of heart, this story is perfect for fans of Rick Riordan and Brandon Mull.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Bloomsbury Children's Books

Simon Thorn and the Viper's Pit

by Aimee Carter

Review Date:

Recommended Age:

Overall Rating:

Profanity / Language Rating:

Violence / Gore Rating:

Sex / Nudity Rating:

Overall Review:  

In the second novel of the Simon Thorn series, Simon Thorn and the Viper's Pit, Simon is set on finding where his mom has been taken and how he can keep his secret of who he really is. He continues on the journey of self-discovery as he focuses on setting things right in the Animalgam world, learning how to get along with his twin brother, and figuring out what his powers as an animalgam mean not only for him, but the entire kingdom. Again, just as in the first novel, there really doesn't appear to be a good verses evil side to things, but rather Simon and his trusted friends against the rest of the kingdoms. This time the stakes are a little higher as his grandfather has shown his true colors and is set on gaining the ultimate power. This takes Simon and his friends on a cross country journey, where they meet many more friends and foe, who shift into various animals. There is much more to the Animalgam world than Simon ever imagined.

Simon Thorn and the Viper's Pit by Aimee Carter is a stong second novel in the series and continues on the fast-paced adventure of the first novel. Simon is your typical teenage main character so sometimes you want to cheer him on as a reader and sometimes you want to shout "Don't do it!", but throughout the novel, the reader can see him grow and mature as he is faced with difficult situations and decisions. Presumably, we'll be able to continue to see this growth, because it seems as if Carter has set this up as a five-book series, with each novel focusing on one of the five animal kingdoms in the Animalgam world. That's good news for the reader, because once again she leaves you hanging.

As this is the second book in the series, it really doesn't stand alone and the back story from the first will be needed to understand what is going on in the second novel. Check out the review of the first novel, Simon Thorn and the Wolf's Den.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  None 

Violence/Gore: (Reviewer's note: A lot of the violence happens as people are in their animal forms. As it really is 2 people fighting each other and not just 2 animals, I've included this in the violence rating.)  Secondhand account of someone having been murdered and another person being kidnapped; a boy wrestles another to the ground; a boy transforms into a wolf and attacks another boy; an account of Animalgams (people that can transform into animals) being burned as witches; boy kicks a man trying to take him captive; man grabs boy roughly by the shoulder trying to get him to come along; mention that someone wants to kill a child; girl in snake form is thrown against a brick wall; boy grabbed by man and attempts to fight off kidnapper by hitting and kicking him; man threatens to slaughter a group of people; two people turned into birds and fight each other in the sky; man pulls gun on another person and threatens to kill him; character kicks person with gun; speculated that character wants certain powers so that he can kill someone; man grabs character by the shoulder and pulls him along and locks him up; two people as birds fight in the sky, pulling feathers and causing one to lose control and almost crash to the ground; people in the shape of various mammals fight each other which includes clawing, scratching, biting and tossing each other around; account of man having poisoned two characters with snake venom.

Sex/Nudity:  None

Mature Subject Matter:  


Alcohol / Drug Use:  


Reviewed By Sally
No image available