Monday, February 17, 2014

Jenn's Review: The Lost Hero

Author: Rick Riordan
Series: The Heroes of Olympus, book 1
Publication Date: October 12, 2010
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Pages: 557
Obtained: purchased
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Rating: 5/5
Bottom Line: Beyond Percy Jackson
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? GRAB!
Blurb:  Jason has a problem. 
He doesn't remember anything before waking up on a school bus holding hands with a girl. Apparently he has a girlfriend named Piper. His best friend is a kid named Leo, and they're all students in the Wilderness School, a boarding school for "bad kids", as Leo puts it. What he did to end up here, Jason has no idea—except that everything seems very wrong.

Piper has a secret. 
Her father, a famous actor, has been missing for three days, and her vivid nightmares reveal that he's in terrible danger. Now her boyfriend doesn't recognize her, and when a freak storm and strange creatures attack during a school field trip, she, Jason, and Leo are whisked away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood. What is going on? 

Leo has a way with tools. 
His new cabin at Camp Half-Blood is filled with them. Seriously, the place beats Wilderness School hands down, with its weapons training, monsters, and fine-looking girls. What's troubling is the curse everyone keeps talking about, and that a camper's gone missing. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist they are all—including Leo—related to a god.

Review: My daughter has been on a mythology kick lately, which always leads me back to Percy Jackson. Her obsession inspired me to re-read most of the Percy Jackson series, which pulled me directly into the Heroes of Olympus

Though I knew at the outset this book would not be about Percy, I found myself missing him a little as soon as Annabeth showed up. But Jason, even without his memory, is a natural leader and a fantastic hero; he is easy to like and made it easier to be on a quest without Percy.  Leo and Piper are fun to get to know too as they learn to trust their new friends with their secrets.  Unlike Jason, they are awkward heroes who are learning on the fly, kind of like Percy.  Jason's appearance is a mystery and I must admit my first guess was the simplest answer and correct, but I kept wavering towards some much wilder theories.

I enjoyed seeing Camp Half-Blood through a newcomers point of view.  Things have changed since the battle of Olympus, but it was great to be back.  More cabins, more kids... and the fall out from loosing some camp members in battle.  Annabeth is off on her quest with a few others so the only character that seemed conspicuously absent was Clarisse.   Clarisse is so difficult though that the loss of her character thread was more relief than disappointment.

Unfortunately, if I thought my Greek mythology knowledge was rudimentary, The Lost Hero proves my Roman mythology knowledge non-existent. Luckily for me, Rick Riordan does a fantastic job of keeping the reader up to speed without pages of plot exposition.  There is even a glossary at the back. However, I know there were more than a few foreshadowing cues I missed because of it.  It was interesting to see the gods from the perspective of both cultures ...and it made me slightly more sympathetic towards them.

This is going to be a fantastic series.  Heroes of Olympus is more YA than middle grade as the books are growing with the characters as they should.  I loved The Lost Hero so much I immediately delved into the next book in the series, The Son of Neptune and well... Percy is back...



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