Tuesday, November 12, 2013

“The Lost Hero” (The Heroes of Olympus #1) by Rick Riordan

Age: Middle Grade/ Young Adult
Genre: Fiction, fantasy

After finishing the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, the Heroes of Olympus series is the next step. It is a continuation of the stories of the demi-gods at Camp Half-Blood and beyond. I thought it would directly follow the same characters, but this was not the case (as anyone can tell by reading the book’s synopsis). Instead we start the story with Jason, who has woken up on a school bus next to a girl who claims to be his girlfriend. He has a bad case of amnesia and though everyone knows him, he has no idea who he is. The guy claiming to be his best friend, Leo, and his girlfriend, Piper, prove themselves to be friends to him quickly when they help him fight some evil storm spirits during a field trip. All three know something is different about them, but they don’t know what until they are taken away to Camp Half-Blood and filled in on the whole Mount Olympus in America and godly-parent thing. Meanwhile, our friend Annabeth from the Percy Jackson series is trying to find her boyfriend (Percy), who has suddenly and inexplicably gone missing. With many familiar characters and a whole new problem to figure out, The Lost Hero proves an easy transition into this new series.

I wasn’t crazy about Riordan’s choice to use three points of view in this book. Switching point of view is a difficult task for the writer and the reader as it can easily lead to confusion. However Riordan carries it off well. A few changes were not as clear as they could have been, but otherwise he kept the voices different enough for us to understand and recognize the individual characters. I didn’t feel as connected to these characters as I had to Percy, and I think that’s because I was trying to focus on three instead of just one. I would say that was the biggest sacrifice when sharing the main character’s spot. The back and forth with Roman and Greek names was a bit confusing at times as well. But the story moved well and I wanted to keep reading until the last page. I am more excited about the next book as it goes back to Percy’s point of view.

A note on the audio version: I had listened to the entire Percy Jackson and the Olympians series on audio, but when I tried to do the same with the Heroes of Olympus, I was disappointed. The company switched narrators, and I didn’t like the changes the new one instituted. He changed the pronunciation of some character’s names slightly (but I found it annoying) and made Annabeth’s character sound completely different, which I couldn’t get past. She used to be very spunky and he made her sound sad and wistful. I realize she is dealing with worrying about Percy in this book, but it didn’t come off in the right way. So I gave up after the first CD and switched to reading the hard copy of this book.

Bibliographic Information:
Riordan, Rick. The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus #1). New York, NY: Disney Hyperion Books, 2010.

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