Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Heroes of Olympus : The Lost Hero

In The Lost Hero, we meet Jason, a teenage boy who wakes up on a bus during a field trip, holding hands with a girl he's not certain he's ever seen before.  His memory's gone, and only the coach chaperoning the trip seems to notice anything's wrong.

Before he is able to figure out much of anything, they're attacked.  The coach turns out to be not-human.  Neither is what attacks them.  Jason, the girl, and a funny sidekick are launched on an adventure to figure out what myth or monster wants them all dead.  Jason hopes they'll find his memory along the way.  But it gets worse.  It seems Mount Olympus is mysteriously closed, Percy Jackson is missing, and he's not the only one....

This new series set in the Percy Jackson universe will delight long time Rick Riordan fans as well as new readers.  The writing is tight, the pacing keeps you turning pages, and there's enough humor to keep what could be a grim tale from seeming so.

Heroes of Olympus, of which this was book one, is set after the Percy Jackson and the Olympians stories.  In this modern world, old Greek / Roman gods and mythological creatures run rampant.  Percy and his friends figure prominently in the framework of the Heroes of Olympus, but, as someone who had never read any of the books in the previous series, I found I didn't need to in order to understand and love reading The Lost Hero.

Our main characters, a girl and two boys, tell the story from their perspectives in turn.  Their individual voices are distinct.  Each has their own history, their own secrets, their own twist of humor and goals.  I don't know, I seem to run into quite a few YA / children's fantasy lately that the characterization is nowhere near so well done, so it really stood out to me.  These were fun people to ride along on this adventure with.

Whether you've never read a Rick Riordan book before, or are a Percy Jackson fan looking for something to read next, try Heroes of Olympus.  Book five in the set is due to be released in October, so they'll keep us in good entertainment for a while.

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