Monday, November 15, 2010
The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
Jason has a problem. He doesn’t remember anything before waking up on a school bus holding hands with a girl. Apparently she’s his girlfriend Piper, his best friend is a kid named Leo, and they’re all students in the Wilderness School, a boarding school for “bad kids.” What he did to end up here, Jason has no idea—except that everything seems very wrong.
Piper has a secret. Her father 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.
This book picks up where the Percy Jackson series ends. While the three viewpoint characters are new, many of the side characters and the world in which this story takes place is strait from the Percy Jackson series. In other words, if you liked Percy Jackson and the Olympians, you'll like this.
One difference between the two books as that Riordan started with his characters being a little older this time. I'm assuming he did that to bring this novel up to the YA audience-- whereas the other series started as more of a middle reader (aimed at kids 10-13). Obviously the other series became popular with the YA crowd, so it made sense for these characters to be older so they could deal with older themes. It's still great for the younger kids though. I have no problem with my nine and ten-year-old reading this book.
One of the things I really enjoy about this book and the Percy Jackson series is the lesson I feel like I'm getting about Greek (and now Roman) mythology. Riordan has a quirky sense of humor (for example, the three main characters are protected by a satyr who also happens to be a gym coach with a highly exaggerated estimation of his own abilities). Riordan's ability to mix mythology with popular culture is amazing and hilarious.
I really enjoyed this book and look forward to the other books in the series (not yet released). I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of YA and/or fantasy literature.