Friday, 24 December 2010

The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

May 2010, Puffin
528 pages, Hardcover
Review copy 


Modern world colliding with Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, travelling the world, animals who are not ordinary, a fair amount of fighting, lots of tissues needed, mild early teen romance, bravery, confronting fears and faults, super powers, tragedy, famous landmarks, 

Summary from Penguin (this is for the paperback version but applies to the hardback) 

CARTER AND SADIE KANE’Sdad is a brilliant Egyptologist with a secret plan that goes horribly wrong. An explosion shatters the ancient Rosetta stone and unleashes Set, the evil god of chaos . . .

Set imprisons Dr Kane in a golden coffin and Carter and Sadie must run for their lives. To save their dad, they embark on a terrifying quest from Cairo to Paris to the American South-west and discover the truth about their family’s connection to the House of Life: an Egyptian temple of magic that has existed for thousands of years.

The pharaohs of ancient Egypt are far from dead and buried. And so, unfortunately, are their gods...

Nayuleska's thoughts
All the humour, action and mythological facts (if there is such a phrase) that were in Percy are here in the new series, the Kane Chronicles. I love this series! Not least because of Sadie :) I now enjoy books with male protagonists, but I love it when females take a lead role. Both Sadie and Carter are likeable for many reasons. They are quite different personalities - when they first get together things get a little heated. It turns out there is more to their friction than mere sibling rivalry. They annoy each other throughout the book, but they also look out for each other. I like having a brother and sister working together. They view events completely different, which gives the reader a wider picture of what's going on. It's also useful writing wise to have different points of view, so key facts and events can be explained even if one of the protagonists is absent. 

Sadie and Carter were absent a lot. Not necessarily by physical distance - but definitely a supernatural distance. Throughout the book the pair would fall asleep, and they would journey about the earth as their souls (which can take various shapes). Or they would visit various realms of existing gods and goddesses. Wherever they went, they weren't powerless. At least most of the time they weren't because they were able to use magic. My favourite part is when Sadie is able to read hieroglyphs, and her powers evolve around that. 

It is possible that I recognise and love the gods and goddesses in this series because many of them are in the TV series Stargate (various offshoots) so I'm used to have them fight against each other, cause chaos on a planet (or several), use and manipulate innocent people etc. Rick changes the idea from the Percy series (where children were offspring of the gods) to having people be hosts to gods (more like Stargate, but without the glowing eyes). Both humans and animals are used as hosts, which causes a lot of fun along the way. Finding the gods weaknesses was tricky and provided clever plot twists. My favourite god was Bast, the cat goddess - she plays a vital role in Carter and Sadie's lives. She's a fun older version of Sadie (sort of, she has authority that neither of the siblings have because they are children). She's also pretty lethal in the fighting department. 

I'm wondering how many series Rick will create with various gods/goddesses of various eras - there's the potential for a lot of books to be written. Some of you may be aware there is a spin off series from Percy's story - yes, the first book is on my TBR pile! 

Final conclusion 
I - marginally - prefer this to Percy Jackson series because there are two protagonists, and more importantly one of them is a girl :) And personally I think that Sadie goes through more than Carter does. Marginally! 

Check out Rick Riordan on his website

Make sure you've read the Percy Jackson series, which starts with Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

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