Monday, October 18, 2010

THE LOST HERO: THE HEROES OF OLYMPUS Book One by Rick Riordan

Oh, how happy I am that Rick Riordan is back with some more Greek mythology stories. I've missed percy Jackson since he finished his quests, saved the gods on Mt. Olympus, and completed his prophecy. Although he is not in THE LOST HERO, other than just his name being mentioned, he still plays an integral role. I loved being taken back to Camp Half Blood, and some familiar characters, as we met three new demigods who we learn are incredibly important to the world as the gods have set it up now.  THE LOST HERO has it all: adventure, battles, comedy, friendship, family drama, mythology references, saving the world urgency, excitement, mystery, and a little teen romance thrown in for good measure all in a quick read book.


In THE LOST HERO we meet Jason who doesn't remember who he is or where he's from - he just pops up one day on a school field trip. He's sitting next to Piper, who has her own issues because she keeps stealing things to get her famous father's attention and also thinks Jason is her boyfriend. Sitting near them is Leo who brings most of the comic relief to the story. When the monsters attack, we come to find out that Jason can speak Latin and refers to the gods by their Roman names. When the three are rescued and taken to Camp Half Blood, we meet up with lots of familiar characters and hear a new prophecy, and find out the parentage of the three new characters and what their quest will be. Along the way we meet new minor gods and goddesses, lots of mythological animals and people, and go along on their journey to building the friendship of Jason, Piper, and Leo and saving a major goddess.


The thing I really love about Rick Riordan's writing is that it's pretty straight forward and written at a great middle grades level.  That means it will be easily accessible/readable to all of my eighth grade students; however, as Percy's fans have grown, so has the size of the new series of books - this one tops out at 553 pages. The beauty is that because of the excitement and pacing of the story, I never wanted to stop reading it or put it down.  Another change that was made for this series, that I really enjoyed, is that it is actually told from three different character's points-of-view.  The book is written in third person, but when we first meet the main characters, we're reading from Jason's perspective, then after two chapters we move to Piper's, and then after another two chapters we get Leo's.  I liked that the timing of the change was consistent throughout the book allowing me to know what was coming, but also each chapter was titled the character's name from whose perspective it was written. 


This book nicely sets up the larger premise for this new series by Rick Riordan - but I won't give that away here because I don't want to spoil the story!  Luckily, we'll be getting new Rick Riordan books every six months alternating between The Kane Chronicles series and The Heroes of Olympus series - with the next heroes book, THE SON OF NEPTUNE coming out in a year.


THE LOST HERO is a must-read book for everyone who loved the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series: The Lightning Thief, Sea of Monsters, The Titan's Curse, Battle of the Labryinth, and The Last Olympian.  You won't be disappointed and will be so happy to be back in this world again. And if you haven't read the others yet, you need to!


5 STARS for THE LOST HERO

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