Saturday, May 7, 2011

[Review] The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

Summary from Goodreads:

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 an Egyptian god, 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 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.


Thoughts - This is the sixth time I've read a Rick Riordan book, and yet, he has this gift of storytelling that makes you want to pick up his YA books! They are just so addictive! Maybe it's just his writing style, or how he connects to his readers, or how he marries historical facts with the story, or his humour - I can't explain it!

Anyhoo, on to my feelings and thoughts about the book. Given that I've seen other blog reviews and gathered thoughts from other book blog friends, it appears that this book is not one of their Riordan favourites. Well, if you have managed to read the Percy Jackson series, you would know how most of his stories work: two children find out that they have ties to gods [Percy - Greek, the Kanes - Egyptian], meet new friends along the way, have an animal that would provide valuable help to their quest. I think it's part of a formula that he had developed, which makes me feel that some parts are predictable: the red herring would eventually give it away - it is always someone close to them that's the antagonist. [sorry for the spoiler]

Enough about what I noticed about the books. I'm here to review the Red Pyramid, so I'll concentrate there. I listened to the audio book so it was nice to hear the banter between Sadie and Carter Kane, complete with the accents. Since the book was based on a recording that the two kids made, I think I enjoyed it better. Although I got lost at some of the parts [where the narrator passes on between Carter to Sadie or vice versa], and the thought of "Huh? What just happened" had passed on to me, I was quick to pick up where they had just left off.

The secondary characters are loveable - I cannot believe there are that many Egyptian gods in the first place, and the Ushabtis definitely caught me off guard. What, with doughboy being so loveable and all. The other animals are absolutely cute and loveable too - Philip of Macedonia, Khufu, and Bast/Fluffy. Then again, I am always positive about stories with animals as characters.

The book was fast-paced, circling through a few weeks in the first chapter, but drastically sped up even faster at the final chapter, which moved on to a few months. Nevertheless, I wouldn't consider that to be an impediment on how the story was told.

Since this is a part of the series [I believe book 2 is out now as I type this], there is a cliffhanger, which I suppose has to deal with a new character to be introduced in the next book. I guess I'll have to wait and see until I read the next book to check out that character.

Overall, I find it a good read, regardless of some of the disappointed reviews around the web.

Published: 2010
Available From:everywhere
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Book was: listened to [audiobook]
Rating: Another good read from Rick Riordan [4/5]

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