29 January 2011

The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

Since their mother's death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.

One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a "research experiment" at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.

Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them —Set— has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe - a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.

  • Definitely something different.  For me, at least.  I’m usually not one for Egyptian mythology.  Greek mythology is really my cup of tea (which is why I adored the Percy Jackson & the Olympian series).  This was a fascinating story, though I was distracted a few times by the changes in Rick Riordan’s writing style.
  • If you’ve read Rick Riordan’s work before, you might understand this.  He writes in a certain way: good detail while keeping the point of view believable and fun.  This time, though, there was a lack of description and detail.  It was just in certain places, but towards the end, it became noticeable—almost to the point that it was distracting.  Actions that could have been described further (actions you expect to be explained further) were cut short.  I think I know why this is though.  It says in the very beginning of the book (and you are reminded throughout the story) that this is a recording.  So if you’re going to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, the writing style would be a bit different because the way you tell stories is different from how you write them. 
  • Now that that’s out of the way…I really enjoyed the characters.  It would have been very easy to make this story cliché, but Rick Riordan isn’t a cliché kind of author.  He’s good about mixing in fairytale endings with the harsh reality of real life.  He could have made Sadie and Carter totally hate each other (while still having that sibling bond) or they could have had that psychic connection or something like that.  But I liked how Rick Riordan handled it.  I liked how Sadie was a white girl who had grown up in England and Carter was a black boy travelling with his dad—it’s different and unique and I love how it slightly affects the story without becoming a subplot all its own.
  • There’s still the trademark randomness.  If you’ve read any of Rick Riordan’s books for children before, you’ll understand that.  Rick Riordan has the randomest things happen to his characters and it’s hilarious!  The whole thing with the salsa and the cow.  I mean, c’mon.  Who thinks up that stuff?  I really adds a richness to his stories that people of all ages can appreciate. 
  • So even though I’m not a fan of Egyptian mythology and probably never will be, I really liked this story and I recommend it to any of Rick Riordan’s fans.  And if you haven’t read Rick Riordan before but like authors like Eoin Colfer and Scott Westerfeld, you should really pick up one of his books.
Book Info:
  • pages – hardcover 516
  • published – May 2010
  • publisher – Hyperion Books for Children
  • genre – action & adventure/mythology
  • sequel – “The Throne of Fire” (coming May 3rd, 2011)
  • other books by this author -
    • The Percy Jackson series:
      • The Lightning Thief
      • The Sea of Monsters
      • The Titan’s Curse
      • The Battle of the Labyrinth
      • The Last Olympian
    • The Heroes of Olympus series:
      • The Lost Hero
      • The Son of Neptune (coming Fall 2011)
  • received via – Borders :)