Friday, March 25, 2011
The Lost Hero: Rick Riordan
I am convinced that everything Rick Riordan touches, turns to gold. Which is a funny sentiment to start off this review, considering King Midas makes an appearance in Riordan's newest series, The Heroes of Olympus. The first book in this series, The Lost Hero, picks up where the Percy Jackson series left off, and takes us to a whole new side of mythology--Rome.
Jason wakes up on a school field trip, but has no idea what school, where he's headed, or even who he is. A kid named Leo claims to be his friend, and the pretty girl holding his hand, Piper, claims to be his girlfriend. When the bus arrives at the Grand Canyon, field trip leader Coach Gleeson keeps a careful watch on Jason, which comes in handy when they group is attacked by wind spirits--also known as venti. It turns out that Coach Gleeson is a satyr who has been watching Leo and Piper, demigods not unlike Percy and Annabeth. When Jason's arrival attracts the venti, all three kids are whisked away to Camp Half-Blood to learn about their parents. It turns out that Leo is a fiery son of Hephaestus, Piper a smooth-talking daughter of Aphrodite, and Jason... Well, Jason is a son of Jupiter, which is the confusing basis for the Heroes of Olympus series in which Greek and Roman mythology begin to mingle.
With his usual enigmatic writing style, Riordan throws Percy Jackson fans a curve ball by introducing a new cast of characters who have ties to the Roman gods, offering brand new gods, myths, and monsters to navigate. However, while the Heroes of Olympus series is based on new characters, there are some familiar faces, including Annabeth and Chiron. Fans will find the story familiar; a little touch of magic, some daring battles, and some really terrifying monsters, as well as some lustful teenage glances. While some might find Riordan formulaic, I think he's still got a few tricks up his sleeve to surprise us.
I am easily hooked and looking forward to joining Jason, Leo, and Piper on their adventures. I love how Riordan manages to take his readers on wild adventures, and still manage to sneak in some education.