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Rick Riordan – The Lost Hero

June 29, 2012

65. The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan (2006)
Heroes of Olympus, Book 1

Length: 553 pages
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Adventure

Started: 10 June 2012
Finished: 13 June 2012

Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? Rick Riordan’s books are my escapist lit drug of choice this year, it seems.

No memories? No
problem! Jason and friends still
have to save the world.

Summary: When Jason wakes up on a school bus, with no idea who he is or how he got there, but surrounded by people who seem to know him, he’s concerned. When it turns out that bus is from a school for delinquents, and they’re on a field trip to the Grand Canyon, he’s worried. But when monsters attack their group – and when Jason instinctively seems to know how to fight them – he starts to get really freaked out. Soon he, Piper (his supposed girlfriend, although he has no memory of that), and his best friend Leo have been whisked away to Camp Half-Blood, the sanctuary for the mortal offspring of the Greek Gods. The camp is still reeling after their costly battle with the forces of Lord Kronos, and the coming of the three new heroes doesn’t presage anything good. Because although the demigods won their last battle, things have not been peaceful on Olympus, both Percy Jackson and the goddess Hera are missing, and the Great Prophecy seems to suggest that it may be up to the three newcomers to stop a force even more dangerous and deadly than the Titans.

Review: I feel like I can count on Rick Riordan’s books to be entertaining, clever, fun, and full of mythology, and The Lost Hero didn’t disappoint. At the same time, though, I didn’t like it quite as much as the Percy Jackson books. I think part of that might have to do with the decision to split the narrative into the three POV characters. On the one hand, that decision does add some interesting layers to the story, since each of the leads has their own motivations and their own secrets, and Riordan does do a nice job of giving them each a unique voice. But on the other hand, since we’re only spending a third as much time with each character as we did with Percy, I feel like I don’t know any of them as well as I’d prefer, and certainly none of them have Percy’s spark… or sense of humor. There are still funny bits scattered throughout, but quite a lot of serious stuff, too, and as a whole this book didn’t feel as light. Similarly to the Percy Jackson books, however, I once again figured out who the bad guy was and what was going on way earlier than any of the characters did, which made their continued cluelessness a little frustrating. I guess it’s a double-edged sword: if I didn’t like Greek mythology so much, I wouldn’t be nearly as drawn to the series (I thought Midas’s cameo in this one was particularly interesting), but too much foreknowledge does have the effect of taking away some of the mystery and suspense. 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: This series could in theory be started on its own, but I think there’s enough familiar faces and references to past events that it’d be better read after finishing the Percy Jackson and the Olympians books. But all of them are certainly recommended for anyone who likes mythology mixed into their fiction is looking for a fun, fast, entertaining summer read.

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First Line: Even before he got electrocuted, Jason was having a rotten day.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. July 2, 2012 9:10 am

    I think I actually like this series a bit better than Percy Jackson, but then I’ve only read 2 of the Percy Jackson books so maybe my mind will change when I finish that series. Anyways, I hope you like the next book better. There’s a um, character there that I think you’ll be happy to see again.

    • July 2, 2012 9:29 am

      April – I’ve got the second one waiting for me at the library! And I’m definitely looking forward to it… assuming my educated guess about the main character based on the title is correct. :)

      How was the experience of reading this series without having finished all of the Percy Jackson books? At least in this one, they kept making references to the big battle etc. Understandable from context? Total spoilers?

  2. July 3, 2012 10:43 pm

    Now that I’ve finished the Kane Chronicles, I should pick this one up next. It sounds like another good premise, and I don’t know that I’d mind a more serious novel. I like Riordan’s humor immensely, but if serious also translates to slightly more mature, I think I’m good with that.

    • July 6, 2012 9:45 am

      cheryl – That’s a good way to look at it. I liked the Percy Jackson books so much in part because they were more mature than your typical mid-grade fantasy adventure (fewer fart jokes), without losing the humor, but this book does shade more into young-adult from mid-grade.

  3. July 21, 2012 11:57 am

    I didn’t like this one as well as the Percy Jackson series, and was worried that Riordan had lost his touch. But The Son of Neptune (book two in this series) is good, better (I think) than The Lost Hero, so I’m feeling better about the series as a whole. The third book comes out in October! :)

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