Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Word of Mouth-The Lost Hero

Hey there gang, time for some more Word of Mouth!

This time around we`ll be talking about the first novel ‘The Lost Hero’ in the new series ‘The Heroes of Olympus’ by the wonderfully talented Rick Riordan.

Some of you may be familiar with Mr. Riordan`s previous series of books about the demigod son of Poseidon Percy Jackson. A movie was made based on the first book of Percy`s five novel series-Percy Jackson and the Olympians-The Lightening Thief that perhaps many have seen. First off I will admit that I am a HUGE fan of the Greek pantheon of ancient gods. I`m no learned scholar mind you, but there is something about mythos that appeals to me on so many levels, and the Greek gods are my favorites bar none, with the Norse deities and Egyptian coming in a very close second.

Since I devoured all five of the Percy Jackson novels like they were Milano`s I was all aflutter to get my hands on this new book. Mr. Riordan did a wonderful job of taking the old mythos and gods and making them modern and relatable to young readers. Don`t let that fact, that these books are aimed at young readers, scare you off! Trust me they are appealing and entertaining for readers of all ages be you a fan of Greek legend or not!

This new book centers around three new demigods to grace Camp Half-Blood. (The summer camp where all half-mortal/half-god children learn to work with their powers and is run by a centaur named Chiron.)

Jason is the star of this new book and he has a slight problem. He doesn`t remember anything before he woke up on a bus filled with kids on a field trip. It seems he has a girlfriend named Piper and a best buddy named Leo. They all attend a boarding school called the Wilderness School, a school for ‘bad kids’ as Jason`s pal Leo calls it. What Jason did to end up here he can`t recall or does he know why he is there, all he knows is that things seem very wrong.

Piper has a very big secret, one that revolves around her father, a famous actor. Her dad has been missing for three days and she has been having some terrible nightmares about him and the trouble he`s in. She doesn`t understand her dreams or why her boyfriend suddenly doesn`t know who she is.

Leo has a knack for tools and he too seems to be hiding some secrets from his childhood.

The three kids, along with their gruff counselor Coach Hedge (Who I just adored!), end up being caught up in a freakish storm while on their field trip. The storm unleashes some very strange creatures that seem intent on wiping out our trio of new heroes. Help arrives and the threesome is then taken to the safety of Camp Half-Blood where at least two of our new heroes will find out who their godly parents are. Jason has a much harder time figuring out his parentage but eventually he also works out who is daddy is. I`m not telling, y`all will have to read to find out!

From that point on the three young heroes are sent on a quest to find and save Hera, the wife of Zeus. They encounter a wonderfully entertaining and sometimes very deadly bunch of gods and creatures as they battle onward to save Hera and stall a new and perhaps more deadly prophesy than the war against the Titan`s that Percy Jackson and his friends thwarted in the previous series. We see some old faces reappearing in this new series which is a nice bridge and keeps the reader appeased. I was especially glad to see Clarisse, the daughter of Ares, in this book as she is one of my favorites from Percy`s tales. (I have a weakness for Ares the god of war.) The plot is quick and clever, there is a ton of action, the mystery and suspense about Jason and who and what he is, and if these teen`s can aid Hera is woven well and of course the gods and beasts are presented with the touch only Rick Riordan has!

The only complaint I have about the book is the new characters themselves. They are very angst-ridden. Sometimes close to the point of me wanting to sigh out loud and beg them to just please stop. I realize that Mr. Riordan was trying to craft a new set of characters that were very different than the previous ones. As a writer I fully grasp that and understand his reasoning. New book, new series, new characters. That`s fine with me and I grew to really care about all three of the leads as I read along.

Perhaps it`s the fact that these kids are older than Percy was when he began his series, although he did grow up as his books progressed. Older kids mean different worries and troubles, and once more, I understand that. The humor though in this new book isn`t as rich as it was in the Percy Jackson`s series I feel. There are still funny moments of course but they tend to get over-shadowed by the angst at times. I bought this book for my daughter as a Christmas present and she read it first. Her words were’ It`s good and the gods are cool but the kids are too emo.’ That coming from a fifteen year old, the target audience for these books, but I wanted to read it and judge for myself. She was right, they are really far too emo, at least in my humble.

Aside from the teen angst I was once more swept up and carried away by the book and would recommend it to anyone who shares a love of mythos, action and adventure! I mean can anyone ever get too much Greek god?? I think not!


Rural Revival said...

Interesting. You know, the male twin LOVES the Percy Jackson series and this one as well. Maybe I should give it a try after all!

Feral Female said...

Oh please do! Both the Percy series and the new Kane Chronicles are great reads! Kane deals with Egyptian deities and the second book is next on my reading list.

Nancy said...

Great review! I do like the old-fashioned mythology stories. I do think I saw the movie you mentioned. :)

Pam said...

Love your blog!

Sharon said...

Great revue, you ought to send it to the author!

Feral Female said...

Thanks Nancy!

I think many adults would be pleased with Mr. Riordan`s works.