Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Red Pyramid (MG review)

Jacket description:
"Since their mother’s death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.

One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a "research experiment" at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.

Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them--Set--has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe--a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family, and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs."

Ok, so I love Rick Riordan's thought process for all of these books he's written in the past few years, I really do. Percy Jackson will always be one of my favorite characters and I will be recommending the entire series to boys, girls, teens, and adults alike for a long time to come. So, of course, when I snatched up a copy of The Red Pyramid, book one in Riordan's latest series, I was anticipating the same sort of connection (well, I was hoping). And overall, I wasn't disappointed.

More myths and Gods (Egyptian this time) and more likable characters. Sadie and Carter are written well and act towards each other as I picture siblings that don't know each other very well would. A bit wary at first, but they warm up to each other, while still getting those jabs in there occasionally.  I really enjoyed them and I enjoyed their journey, along with the crazy gaggle of secondary characters thrown in the mix. The traveling was awesome and I found myself picturing the different places the kids and their companions were going, as I've been to and lived in many of them myself (D.C., Las Cruces, New Mexico). So, that was fun.

I also REALLY liked the inclusion of Egyptian mythology as the plot basis. I've always loved mythology of any sort, which is really what drew me to the Percy Jackson books in the first place, and I hardly know anything about the Egyptian stories. A lot of people were giving Riordan flack for using myths and Gods again, but I really liked it. 

Ok, on to the not-my-favorite part...

Can we say....long?! Holy cow, the book was a beast! 516 pages and unfortunately, I really don't think it needed it be nearly that long. I found myself skimming in places, ready to move onto the next part, with lots of text, dialogue, and filler bogging it down. I hate to say that, I do, but I really think 300 pages would have been a good stopping point. No need for the extra bells and whistles. Dedicated Riordan fans will stick with it, but I can see more than a few having to take breaks throughout the reading process, rather than devouring it as they would a Percy Jackson novel.

 Overall rating: 3 out of 5
I'm looking forward to book 2, but I hope it's a bit shorter.

The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles: Book 1)
Rick Riordan
516 pages
Middle Grade
May 2010
Book is my own copy

To learn more or to purchase, click on the book cover above to link to Amazon. I am an Associate and will receive a small percentage of the purchase price. Thanks!


Jill of The O.W.L. said...

I had some kids gasp when they saw how long it was and they loved his Percy Jackson books! I told them to not let the size stop them!

It's on my summer reading list. I'm hoping I like it!

Abby said...

Thaaat was my problem, too. I was so looking forward to it and... I made it to page 200 and then gave up (for now). I will try it again at some point. But yeah.

Becky said...

I agree completely. I think it was a bit too long.