The Lost Hero, by Rick Riordan

The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, Book 1), by Rick Riordan (Hyperion, middle grade, 576 pages)

Jason, Piper, and Leo were on a Wilderness School field trip to the Grand Canyon when the storm spirits attacked. Not what they had expected to happen during their time at a camp for "at-risk" kids...and nor did they expect, in the aftermath of the attack, that they would be whisked off to a very different camp--Camp Halfblood, where their godly parents (if all were to go according to plan) would claim them as their own. But since Jason can't remember a thing before the bus trip, expectations, for him at least, are pretty meaningless...

Soon Jason, Piper, and Leo find themselves embroiled in an eons old conflict between the gods and a sinister, mysterious power that is slowly awakening--a power that wants nothing more than to overthrow all the Olympian gods and usher in a new era of chaos. Each of the three kids must claim their heritage and become heroes....if they live long enough.

In this continuation of the world introduced in the Percy Jackson stories, Riordan introduces a trio of engaging characters, each of whom has a past full of secrets, some darker than others. The action is, as one expects from Riordan, brisk and monster-full, with death lurking at every turn, the plot full of details and devices, and the story compelling--it's a good read.

There is no reason to read this one before the Percy Jackson series, and it would probably be extremely confusing to do so. But reading it after all the excitement of The Lightning Thief et seq., it's hard not to feel that it's a bit flat. The premise that made those books so magical (kids of the Greek gods at war with immortal enemies) is by now well-known to the reader, and although Riordan put a lot of effort into making his three new protagonists interesting characters, and introducing interesting new monsters and other sundry mythological accouterments, and was not unsuccessful, the effort kind of showed. It just wasn't as naturally joyous as the first series (in my opinion). But, that being said, I can't wait to read book two--this first book sets the stage for what promises to be an immensely exciting story to come!

For those interested in books with non-white kids--check out the US cover up above: front and center, doing the hard work of mechanical dragon steering, is Leo, who's Hispanic. Behind him is Piper, whose father is Cherokee. The white boy, Jason, is in third place, and looks a bit out of it. He is the central character (as reflected by the UK cover at right), but Piper and Leo have large enough shares of the narrative limelight to make them main characters as well.

(review copy gratefully received from the publisher for Cybils consideration)


  1. I'm reading it right now, and I agree with your take on it! Nice to see the multicultural MCs, though. Oh, and did you notice Riordan adapted the new kids' ages to match the Hollywood ages required of his Percy Jackson books for the movie? (Dating age, natch.)

  2. I didn't actually notice how old they were, but I did consider, when putting Labels on my review, if I should put YA...so I must have been picking up on something!

  3. I accidentally spoiled myself for this book and now I'm not sure I want to read it at all. Since it's already spoiled I might just wait until the second one comes out and see how he deals with it. Although I'm glad I know what I do now because if I read it not knowing there is a good chance the book would have been thrown across the room with great force.

  4. ummmmm (saying no more, for fear of spoiling it for someone else!)

  5. I'm reading it now. It does seem like a bit of the same thing but I am enjoying it, perhaps because it has the 3 points of view and the characters are multicultural.

  6. Nice! I wasn't nuts about The Red Pyramid when I read it, but I'll give this one a shot to see if it's as enjoyable as the Percy books were. Glad to see Riordan keeping up with the multicultural characters too.

  7. Is it bad that I feel bad for Riordan. Both of the books he's written since Percy ended have been "good but it's not Percy Jackson". Sigh. It's so hard to live up to excellence.

    That said, both my girls loved this one almost as much as Percy and better than the Kane chronicles.

  8. I love the book , but thinking of jason as the hero is something that i don't agree with . Percy was amazing. We love him and have loved him since the first book came out. Jason just got thrown in there and you can't expect us to make him the hero now.


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