Sunday, October 17, 2010

Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

A couple of days later than promised, since I had to prepare for company and I'm trying to participate in the Halloween Read-a-thon, but I'm finally posting my review of Red Pyramid.

Carter and his younger sister Sadie have not lived together and have barely seen each other since their mother passed away.  Carter has traveled the world with their archeologist father while Sadie has lived in London with their mother's parents.  On one of their rare family visits, a trip to the museum in London turns their life upside down as the pair suddenly find themselves in America with an uncle they have never met and a cat goddess as a protector.  What is more they seem to be the hosts for two of the most powerful Egyptian Gods which embroils them in a battle between the Gods and hunted by an ancient order of Egyptian magicians.  Now they must journey around the world (mostly the US) trying to stop Set's evil plans all while staying ahead of the magicians.


Carter: A brain and a bit of a geek, due in no small part to the fact that their father always hammered into his head that as an African American male he always had to live above people's expectations.  His upbringing has also made him a bid awkward , but he's likable and its nice to see him grow as the story progresses.
Sadie: She had a vastly different upbringing than her brother, growing up in England with their grandparents, having friends, going to a school, and looking like their Caucasian mother.  In the beginning she can be a little unlikable, a little spoiled and a little hard on her brother, but she's a good person and develops nicely into a like-able person as the story progresses.
 Bast: A cat goddess, in human, she often acts like a cat, but she desperately wants to protect the kids, partly because of a debt she feels she owes to their parents.  She is probably my favorite character. 

As with his Percy Jackson series, Rick Riordan does a good job of meshing mythology (this time Egyptian) with the modern world.  The places that they visit and the events that occur are exciting, keep the plot moving and tie the mythology in wonderfully.  There were enough plot twists that even though some were somewhat predictable others left me truly surprised, even though he hinted at them earlier.  

I was excited to read this series and nervous as well.  I wondered if it could be as enjoyable as the Percy Jackson series when I didn't know as much about Egyptian mythology and I wasn't sure how he would distinguish it from the "demi-gods at camp" formula he used in the other series.  He did both great.  I really felt like I learned things I'd never known or considered about the Egyptian mythology, but never felt bogged down by new info or felt like I was reading a text book instead of a story.  Also, the way that the relationship between the children and the gods was handled so differently that there was no real comparison between this series and Percy Jackson (and I really loved the ever so brief reference made to the Greek gods in this story).
The plot of this book was nicely tied up, but still left me waiting and wanting the sequel.  

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