Wednesday, 19 October 2011
The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
The Lost Hero is the first book in the sequel series to Percy Jackson & The Olympians series. It a fantasy book series where the Greek Gods are still around and father children: the Demi-Gods. These children perform quests for their divine parents, all the while educating readers on the basics (and sometimes not the basics) of Greek Mythology and characters.
It's a fun series that I read with a little bit of guilt. I always buy these for my brother, then read them without telling him. They're short so there is no drawn out periods in reading them, but they are entertaining and fun to read. I think of them as comfort reads because they are so easy to read, even if the humour is cringe worthy and awkward sometimes.
Anyway, this book doesn't even feature Percy Jackson directly (though he is mentioned and he is in the sequel to this), instead following Jason. Jason has amnesia, but seems to know a lot of Roman mythology and is combat proficient. He even comes out with bits of knowledge he even seems to be surprised to know. They go on a quest to try to rescue Hera (mother of the Gods) and in the process restore his memory. He goes with Leo Valdez and Piper McLean, both revealed to be demigods as time goes on. And that isn't a spoiler. If you know the series, you know it's going to happen and anyway, you can probably see it coming a mile away as a new reader.
I like the characters in Riordan's books because they tend to be fresh, entertaining and bearably cliché. Okay, all of the characters tend to fit into a certain stereotype of person and follow that, but I think the age the book seems to be for lets you get past it. I'm not sure if it's YA or MG or whatever (I'm not confident on my genre classification) but I think it isn't YA since it seems too young, at least in my opinion, and much to happy-go-lucky.
The best things for me with these series is that it's the type of simple, urban fantasy I can't help but like where the teens have powers and are teenager-y and fun about it, while I love the element of mythology. We see Medea and Midas in this book, but we've met Circe, all the Greek Gods (I think), Medusa, Cerberus and more that I can't remember or whose name I have forgotten. But it's highly educational, even if you think you know mythology. The way the Gods and characters are shown in a modern world is interesting. I actualy think that the mythology is the main thing I like about the books, and that the plot is mostly peripheral.
It's a good, easy-to-read book that I think any fantasy reader can like if they're not too fussy with a bit of cliché and few bad jokes. The adaptation of Greek Mythology to our world is just mind-bogglingly well done and is something to read the books for if nothing else. And if you're already a fan of the books, this novel at least sticks to the tried and (successfully) tested formula.