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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Lost Hero Review

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
Jason has a problem. He doesn't remember anything before waking up in a bus full of kids on a field trip. Apparently has a girlfriend named Piper, and his best friend is a guy named Leo. They're all students at the Wilderness School, a boarding school for "bad kids," as Leo puts it. What did Jason do to end up here? And where is here, exactly? Jason doesn't know anything -- except that everything seems wrong.

Piper has a secret. Her father, a famous actor, has been missing or three days, ever since she had that terrifying nightmare about his being in trouble. Piper doesn't understand her dream, or why her boyfriend suddenly doesn't recognize her. When a freak storm hits during the school trip, unleashing strange creatures and whisking her, Jason, and Leo away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood, she has a feeling she's going to find out whether she wants to or not.

Leo has a way with tools. When he sees his cabin at Camp Half-Blood, filled with power tools and machine parts, he feels right at home. But there's weird stuff, too -- like the curse everyone keeps talking about, and some camper who's gone missing. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist that each of them -- including Leo -- is related to a god. Does this have anything to do with Jason's amnesia, or the fact that Leo keeps seeing ghosts?

This is one of those books where the actual book far exceeds the back summary. I'm not going to lie, this wasn't my favorite Riordan book. The first half was slow and didn't live up to my expectations at all. The second half was the complete opposite. It flew right along and I couldn't wait to see what happened next.

The number of mysteries introduced in the first few chapters almost gave me a headache trying to keep track of them all. It didn't help that there are three PoV characters and all of them had their own questions and problems.

Jason, strangely, is my favorite new character. I think it's because he has the most intrigue about him and I was constantly guessing who he was. I even went online and did some research into Greek and Roman mythology trying to look for clues to who he was. I didn't like Piper at all at first, but she's improving. She's so resigned to the fact that she's going to have to do what the dream tells her to do that she doesn't even bother trying to figure a way out. Instead she waits for Leo and Jason to figure it out for her.

I love the blend of Greek and Roman mythology in this series. It's fascinating how both sides are coming together very nicely.

The cliffhanger at the ending was brutal. I don't think a cliffhanger has affected me this badly since Catching Fire. I can't wait for the next book!

Overall: 8.5/10 The second half made buying it worth it, but still didn't live up to my expectations.

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

I figured out Gaea's involvement, the Giant's rising, and the reason behind Percy's disappearance long before any of the characters. It kind of annoyed me how long it took them to figure out. I mean, the meaning of exchange implies that since Jason is at the Greek camp than obviously someone else must be at the Roman camp and since there's only one missing demigod...

I feel so sorry for Annabeth in this one. :( I really hope she gets Percy back in the end. She deserves it after all they've been through.

2 comments:

E.J. Wesley said...

I'm a big Riordan fan (he's a fellow San Antonian!), and had to chime in. I actually really loved this book WAY more than I thought I would.

I'd read THE RED PYRAMID, and that book gave me the exact feeling you got from this one: it started slow, got very good, but still felt a little too much like PJ. As a result, I was a little letdown. Fortunately, I hadn't expected it to be up to Percy's standards, so I was still able to enjoy it.

The Lost Hero, on the other hand, had my expectations sky high because it was a continuation of the PJ universe that I love so much. Consequently, I'd didn't think it would ever live up to what I wanted it to be. In the end, it blew me away and left me thinking I enjoyed reading it more than I did the original PJ book. I think this storyline is more compelling, and the characters are much more diverse/interesting in TLH.

I'm with you on figuring out the plot ahead of time. It was fairly transparent, but I'm not sure how much he (Riordan) could have hidden due to most readers familiarity with the world. I did feel that Riordan's writing was much tighter than any of his previous books, which is high praise, because I've really enjoyed all of them so much. Particularly, I thought he seemed to really hit a groove with the multiple perspectives, to the point it felt pretty seamless to me as a reader jumping between the 3 main characters. (Something I'm not sure he ever fully managed in Red Pyramid, which has 2 perspectives.)

Glad to find another Riordan fan, and great review!

EJW

Race said...

I refruse to read ahead to the spoiler part (:D) because quite frankly I'm in the mood for a 8.5/10 book. Though I am known to put books down if they don't grab me from the beginning. Maybe I should start with a different Riordan.