Book Review: The Red Pyramid

Rick Riordan
Hyperion, 2010
528 pages
hard cover


So if you've read Riordan's Percy Jackson books about how Percy is really the son of Poseidon, making him a half-god with cool powers, then you can substitute a brother-sister team for Percy and Egyptian gods for the Greek ones, and you've pretty much got The Red Pyramid summed up.

Carter Kane is 14 and travels the world with his Egyptologist father. His sister Sadie is 12 and lives in London with their maternal grandparents. Carter and Sadie only see each other twice a year, so they aren't particularly close. Until . . .

Riordan's books are formulaic, but that's not to say they aren't good. Though geared towards ages, oh, let's say 9 to 12, adults can find them entertaining as well. They aren't nearly as deep and involving as the Harry Potter books, but they hold their own.

The Red Pyramid is the first in Riordan's new series The Kane Chronicles. As the portal, so to speak, it does a fine job of setting up the rules and introducing the major players. Having Carter and Sadie alternate as narrators is a nice way to fill in perspective, though the gimmick of the author's opening and closing notes about having "found a recording that he's transcribed" falls a bit flat.

If you (or your kids, students, what-have-you) liked the Percy Jackson books, you'll probably like this too. Though you run the risk of getting bored with or tired of it, since it is so very similar. But Riordan has had a winning formula in the past, and has clearly decided not to tamper with what works.

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