Friday, April 08, 2011

Review - The Lost Hero

The Heroes of Olympus, Book One: The Lost HeroThe Lost Hero is a new series set in the same 'world' as Riordan's Percy Jackson series. While we're still in the realm of modern day demigod children of Greek gods and goddesses, we're given a strange new twists, most notable of which is (*small spoiler*) the introduction of a demigod with ties to Roman mythology/deity.

The main hero in this book is Jason, a boy who wakes up on a school field trip with no memory of how he got there or who he is…only to almost immediately be thrown into conflict with violent venti (storm spirits), protected by a satyr and learn that he and his two friends (who he has no memory of) are all demigods.

Taken to Camp Half Blood, we're quickly introduced to a bevy of familiar characters including Chiron, Annabeth, Rachel Dare and others. Notably missing is Percy Jackson who vanished somewhat before the beginning of the story and is being searched for by another group of heroes. The new Oracle reveals a new Great Prophecy and our three newly discovered demigods are set off to save the world from utter destruction.

I had a lot of fun with the Percy Jackson series and I was stoked for another book/series following in the same realm. Similar to the Percy books, Lost Hero involves a standalone adventure but is obviously part of a larger story arc. In fact, Lost Hero more explicitly suggests the greater story and especially as this book winds to a close, we get ominous foreshadowing of bigger stuff to come.

In many regards, I actually enjoyed Lost Hero more than the Percy books. I think part of it was the introduction of three new demigods all at the same time and all learning to deal with their new identity and powers. In the Percy series, most of the characters were already "in the know" and only Percy was ignorant…however, to keep the readers "in the dark" while Percy came to new realizations, the result was that some of the older characters (Annabeth, Grover, etc) ended up seeming more ignorant and oblivious than they should have been. By having the adventure in Lost Hero include all novice heroes, it made the gradual revelations more realistic.

The quest itself was fun and had some cool interactions with more obscure characters and monsters from ancient mythology/history. I loved the twist that brought in some of the old "mortal" characters as well.

I really loved the mystery and tension between the Greek and Roman mythos and I look forward to seeing how this plays out.

If you enjoyed the Percy series, you should definitely enjoy this book and the new Heroes series. If you haven't read Percy, you can probably start out with the Lost Hero and dive right in without much of a learning curve…although since you'll be waiting on the release of book 2 this fall, you may as well go back and read the Percy series while you wait…just to get the backstory and have fun. This series isn't just a rehash of the Percy series but rather it's a great continuation and revitalization of an already great series.

So hop on board with Riordan's latest Greco-Roman adventure. It's good fun for kids and adults alike.

4 out of 5 stars

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1 comment:

Brian Miller said...

hmm...definitely going on the list...