"The Lost Hero" by Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan's son told him that The Lost Hero, the first in the author's new Heroes of Olympus series, was his best book yet, even better than break-out sensation Percy Jackson and the Olympians. He was absolutely right. In May, I said The Red Pyramid, the first in new Egyptian series The Kane Chronicles was Riordan's best book yet. I loved the way he had come into his own as an author with a distinguished voice all his own. Unlike with PJ, you weren't comparing things to other popular series such as Harry Potter. This was a Rick Riordan book. It was HIM. I'll say the same thing about The Lost Hero. Riordan has really become a talented storyteller.

One thing I love about Riordan is the way he uses mythology, a genre that's always been dear to my heart. One thing that made The Kane Chronicles so fantastic was the fact that I learned so much about Egyptian mythology. I already knew a lot of the Greek mythology emphasized in PJ and it wasn't as detailed. With The Lost Hero, even though Riordan is delving into Greek mythology once more, he's taking the time to focus on little-known details and facts. There's a lot more information on the Romans, for example, as well as little-known gods and goddesses such as Khione, the goddess of snow.

The new book feels very tight and detailed. By the time the five-book series reaches its conclusion, there will be an epic tale for readers to return to. I like the way Riordan made the decision to split the book into the viewpoints of three different demigods, much as he did with The Kane Chronicles. It really allowed you to get into the head of everyone on the quest, not just one of the heroes. You could see the way they each struggled to come to terms with their new powers and immortal parents in their own way. I anticipate that every book will be this way as we are introduced to each of the seven demigods revealed in the Great Prophecy. I also feel that there's a good chance the next book will feature characters we haven't met yet and that the heroes we've encountered in this volume either won't appear at all, or not until the finale. If this proves to be the case, it will further solidify Riordan's merit as an extremely talented writer; breaking your characters up between volumes writers can make the writing process harder, as seen by struggles that have delayed authors such as George R. R. Martin from releasing material more frequently.

As with his other books, Riordan creates a fast, nail-biting pace from the get-go in his new series and introduces new characters for his readers to fall in love with. There's Jason, whose name brings back memories of one of the greatest heroes of old, Piper, who takes everyone by surprise by having such powerful gifts, especially given her parentage, and finally Leo, a son of Hephaestus with a wicked cool toolbelt and a penchant for fire-breathing dragons. We're also given updates regarding the new of what has become of our favorite heroes and heroines from the first Camp Half-Blood series. The nice thing about The Lost Hero is that you don't have to read the PJ series in order to get into this one. The two series complement one another and work together, but for a first-time reader, things will still make sense.

The series is designed to keep readers on their toes. If you're astute and know your mythology, you'll probably realize who the main villain is early on. Given enough clues, you'll probably realize the truth about Jason as well. There's also a good chance that you may figure out the truth revealed in the final chapter (and the reason Riordan wouldn't reveal the name of the next book at the live simulcast launch party on Tuesday). At the same time, you may be blown away with each new discovery. I tend to be one of those readers who reads too many books for her own good and learned how to read with a critical eye, which makes fooling me harder than most. At the same time, I still thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Some of my theories were very wrong and proven to be from almost the beginning, others developed as the novel progressed and I had an "Ah-ha!" moment, pleased with myself when my suspicions proved true. I was so involved in the novel and fate of all the characters. I wish I had the next book in my greedy little hands already. Scratch that. I wish I had the next two, if we don't get to see these characters again until book three.

If you liked Percy Jackson (or even disliked it due to its similarities to other novels, like some people I know) or enjoy mythology, this book is one of this fall's must-reads. My only hope for the rest of the series is that a closer eye is paid to the editing process. You could tell the book was rushed to press; I'm one of those annoying readers that can be pulled out of the moment when there's a word or comma where there shouldn't be (or something glaringly missing, too). These books are too good to let such neglect mar them and allow for criticism in the future.


  1. I've said it already, but I did deeply enjoy this book and I'm glad I bought it. :) I really do like all the characters and I'm curious as to more of what Jason is and his story. There has to be more than just the 'other camp' and that story.

    Although, yes please can we see the other camp and the demi-gods meeting? O_o The potential is staggeringly awesome.

  2. Trish,

    I know, I can't wait to see the other camp! As soon as they went to the department store and we heard about the Mercury kid in a purple shirt, I has a suspicion that Jason was from another camp....and later on, that Percy was, you know. So happy to see Riordan do that!

    Then again, when I first started reading and saw that Jason had no memory and Hera told Annabeth that if you found Jason, you found Percy, combined with Jason's strange tattoo that scared Chiron...well, let's just say that I thought Percy had been cursed and was now Jason in disguise, esp. because he knew so much about mythology! *cough* That one obviously didn't pan out...


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