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Monday, October 25, 2010

Author Review: Rick Riordan

I will be as audacious as to say that Rick Riordan is the next J. K. Rowling; in fact, he may even be a better writer than her. His books are aimed at a young adult audience, but the way that Riordan mixes mythology and history into his stories is amazing, and provides a fun platform for those interested in different, modern takes on mythology, as well as a platform for things to study about the old mythology.

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I started with The Red Pyramid, which is the first book in the Kane Chronicles. This book focuses on Egyptian mythology. Since I've been obsessed with Egyptology since I first learned what Egypt is and what an archaeologist is, I was very interested in this book when I saw it at Barnes and Noble. I was a little wary though; wasn't this a book for kids? I enjoy reading, but I want a complex storyline, even if the prose isn't incredibly advanced. I had nothing to worry about. I don't want to give away the story, but a brother and sister find out that they are actually Egyptian demi-gods, and it's a tale of their self-discovery in that respect, and a quest to save their father. It is the first in a series, and I can't wait for when Riordan releases the next in this series.

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I then devoured the Percy Jackson series. This is Riordan's best known series, and the first installment has even been turned into a movie. In The Lightning Thief, a young Percy Jackson (13, I believe), is suddenly attacked by monsters, including a fury and a minotaur. He then discovers that he is a son of a Greek god (I won't say who) and that the only safe place for him is a place called Camp Half-Blood, where he finds he is not the only demi-god in the world. The next 4 books (making a total of 5) deal with the coming battle between the gods and Kronos, an evil titan. If you know anything about Greek mythology (think back to 7th grade!) you will enjoy seeing the modern versions of well-loved myths. The books are a quick read once you're into them; I averaged one book a day for the last 4 books. However, the story is gripping, the writing is witty and you just cannot put these books down!

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I waited, quite (im)patiently, for the next book, The Lost Hero. This book is a continuation of sorts of the Percy Jackson series, and the first book in Riordan's new Heroes of Olympus series. I got the sneak peek on my nook, which pretty much drove me nuts, til the book was released on Oct 12. It opens with a young man (about 16) waking up on a school bus, holding hands with a girl, and having no memory of anything, even his name. This first book chronicles Jason's journey, with his two friends Piper and Leo, and we run into familiar faces from the Percy Jackson series. Again, I don't want to give away too much, but I adored this book! One of the reasons I loved it was that the characters ended up in my hometown of Walnut Creek, CA and a battle took place on Mt. Diablo, so it was familiar territory toward the end. It was marvelously written, and left me craving the next installment, as it left a few plotlines definitely NOT tied up nicely.

If you enjoy a fun read that's also educational (in a totally non-boring way), pick up any of the Riordan books. I would recommend starting with the Lightning Thief or the Red Pyramid, since Heroes of Olympus involves characters from the Percy Jackson series. Maybe you'll become an older (demographic of 12 yr olds) Riordan fan, like myself.

1 comment:

  1. he lost hero is about a boy named Jason who finds himself on a school bus in the desert with a group of juveniles delinquents. He woke up forgetting everything even his name. So his so called girl friend Piper and his so called best friend Leo. Together the three are on a field trip to the Grand Canyon in Colorado. Coach Hedge, the person in charge of the field trip then realizes that Jason is not a normal child and he came out of now where. Jason doesn’t understand because he lost most of his memory. The only thing he remembered was his name. Dylan the meanest of the delinquents rushes out the door once they got to the Grand Canyon.