Saturday, October 23, 2010

Review: The Lost Hero (Heroes of Olympus #1) by Rick Riordan

Synopsis (via Goodreads):
Jason has a problem. He doesn’t remember anything before waking up on a school bus holding hands with a girl. Apparently he has a girlfriend named Piper. His best friend is a kid named Leo, and they’re all students in the Wilderness School, a boarding school for “bad kids”, as Leo puts it. What he did to end up here, Jason has no idea — except that everything seems very wrong.

Piper has a secret. Her father, a famous actor, has been missing for three days, and her vivid nightmares reveal that he’s in terrible danger. Now her boyfriend doesn’t recognize her, and when a freak storm and strange creatures attack during a school field trip, she, Jason, and Leo are whisked away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood. What is going on?

Leo has a way with tools. His new cabin at Camp Half-Blood is filled with them. Seriously, the place beats Wilderness School hands down, with its weapons training, monsters, and fine-looking girls. What’s troubling is the curse everyone keeps talking about, and that a camper’s gone missing. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist they are all—including Leo—related to a god.
My Thoughts: I read the Percy Jackson series earlier this year and I zipped through those books.  Part of it is that I've always had a fascination with Greek mythology and the idea of those Gods living in modern times, adapting to the way the world has changed over the years, was very appealing.  So when I picked up The Lost Hero I pretty much knew that I was going to enjoy it.  And I did enjoy it, don't get me wrong, but I also found myself not quite as enraptured of it as I was of the PJ series.

Now, I grew up on a steady diet of the Greek Gods.  In fact, I can name a good portion of them, whereas the Roman Gods always confused me.  I can't explain it.  Every time I'd try to match up a Roman God's name with what he or she was the God of, I had a complete blank.  Hey!  Maybe I'm a Greek Half-Blood.  I shun the Roman side because I have that whole awesome Greek thing going on.

Okay.  Maybe not.

The point I'm trying to make here is that while I found this story to be very good, downright fun in fact, I kept stumbling over which of the damn Gods they were talking about when they were explaining the Roman pantheon.  *head desk*  Let's face it, though, this is more my issue than any technical problem with either the story or Rick Riordan's storytelling.

So, I enjoyed the book.  As usual, there are themes of betrayal, friendship, family, honor and loyalty woven throughout.  Jason, with no memory of who he is or what he's capable of, was intriguing.  Piper, who wants to be a regular girl with a regular family, makes a sacrifice that was hard to read about.  But then, for me, familial sacrifice is always hard.  Leo carries a weight on his shoulders that has been weighing him down but which he's slowly learning to let go of.

Overall, I thought it was an exciting addition to the Percy Jackson series and I liked how Rick Riordan is expanding what we learned on in the first series and making it bigger and even more epic.

More books by Rick Riordan

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