Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Red Pyramid

The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
Hyperion, 2010
ISBN: 9781423113386
528 pages
4.5 out of 5

Since their mother's death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers.  While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.

One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a "research experiment" at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family.  Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.

Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them--Set--has his sights on the Kanes.  To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe--a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family, and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.

First off this is the first book I've read by Rick Riordan.  Because of this I cannot compare it to the Percy Jackson series, which might be a good thing.

This type of novel requires lots of research, and although I wouldn't know if he tweaked anything (I'm a bit rusty on my Egyptian gods), the background information perfectly sets the stage for the story.  The author's note helps to make it feel authentic and you wonder if Carter and Sadie are out there somewhere having further adventures.  This type of background encourages continued reading of the series.  The action moves the story forward and although there is necessary "down time" for explanations and understandings the book is well paced.

The story is told from the perspective of each sibling in turn.  Carter and Sadie each have unique voices, but there were times when they were muddled.  To be more specific, Carter sometimes sounds like Sadie and vice versa or Sadie used terminology that didn't exactly come across as British.  This is minor in the grand scheme of things.

The diversity of the siblings is also a wonderful element to the story.  The Kane parents are of different racial backgrounds and the children reflect them both: Carter is dark-skinned like his father, while Sadie is lighter-skinned with her mother's blond hair.  The interjections of how Carter has to dress and act a certain way because of his skin color is an interesting addition which adds to the story and increases his relate-ability to a variety of readers.

The Red Pyramid is an enjoyable read and I would recommend it to anyone in the market for this type of story and maybe even some who aren't.  Of course, this is just the beginning and I'm looking forward to the next installment.

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