Sunday, February 13, 2011

Review: The Lost Hero - Rick Riordan

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
Series: The Heroes of Olympus #1
Genre: YA, fantasy
Published on October 12, 2010
Published by Hyperion
Pages: 576

Jason has a problem. He doesn't remember anything before waking up in a bus full of kids on a field trip. Apparently he has a girlfriend named Piper, and his best friend is a guy named Leo. They're all students at the Wilderness School, a boarding school for "bad kids," as Leo puts it. What did Jason do to end up here? And where is here, exactly? Jason doesn't know anything - except that everything seems very wrong. 
Piper has a secret. Her father, a famous actor, has been missing for three days, ever since she had that terrifying nightmare about his being in trouble. Piper doesn't understand her dream, or why her boyfriend suddenly doesn't recognize her. When a freak storm hits during the school trip, unleashing strange creatures and whisking her, Jason, and Leo to someplace called Camp Half-Blood, she has a feeling she's going to find out, whether she wants to or not. 
Leo has a way with tools. When he sees his cabin at Camp Half-Blood, filled with power tools and machine parts, he feels right at home. But there's weird stuff, too - like the curse everyone keeps talking about, and some camper who's gone missing. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist that each of them - including Leo - is related to a god. Does this have anything to do with Jason's amnesia, or the fact that Leo keeps seeing ghosts?


Note: You cannot read this series without reading the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. You just won't understand a lot of it. I admit that I didn't much like it when I heard that Rick Riordan had written a sequel-series. Percy Jackson and the Olympians was an original idea, but it was an original idea that had reached its end. I found it novel for the first two to three books, but after that I just wanted it to end.

Nevertheless, I read The Lost Hero because it is a new book written by a popular author, and as a budding critic, it's my job to keep up-to-date on new literature - popular stuff especially. And I wasn't completely adverse to reading it, unlike some books that I simply won't touch - I don't care how popular they are.

I was pleasantly surprised with The Lost Hero. Somehow Rick Riordan managed to make it feel completely fresh and new. Not an easy feat, considering that overall it was more or less the same story: a prophecy, doom, the possible end of the gods, ect. If Riordan hadn't done what he did with the characters and introduced the interesting play between Roman gods and Greek gods, and how the children of these two might interact with each other, it would have fallen flat.

The characters, too, felt new somehow. I liked Percy and Annabeth, but Jason and Piper are better. Leo got on my nerves quite a bit, but in a good way, as he is supposed to. And of course there are some of the old characters still in there, and they play pretty important roles. With all of this interplay and Jason's amnesia, Riordan manages to keep the suspense up in a way which made reading this 553-paged book a breeze. And his introduction of Greek/Roman myths in a modern world was done in a more subtle, cleverer manner - it's like he thought about their roles in the overall storyline more. In short: The Lost Hero felt like it was planned out with the intention of sequels and a definite ending. Though Percy Jackson and the Olympians was planned, too, it didn't quite have that feeling.

Though I won't be adding this series to my collection, I do look forward to reading its sequel - The Son of Neptune (coming 10/11/11!)

Others in The Heroes of Olympus Series:
1)The Lost Hero
2)The Son of Neptune
3)The Mark of Athena
4)The House of Hades

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