Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Red Pyramid

by Rick Riordan
New York: Disney/Hyperion, 2010.

Carter and Sadie Kane are brother and sister, but they've been apart for the last several years. After their mother died, Sadie went to live with her grandparents in England, while Carter traveled along with his Egyptologist father. Now it's Christmas Eve, one of the two days Sadie gets to spend with her father and Carter, and he takes them to the British Museum. But when a magical spell goes completely wrong, Sadie and Carter have to find a way to save their father, defeat Set, and keep chaos from breaking loose.

In a similar vein to the Percy Jackson books,The Red Pyramid re-imagines Egyptian mythology as true and present tense. In this case, the gods have been banished for ages and are starting to be released. Instead of focusing on one character's perspective, we see both Carter and Sadie's as they switch back and forth every couple of chapters in a "recording" that we are privy to. This starts of rather cryptically with a reference to the reader, telling you to go to a particular locker and find an object that they have stashed away. Otherwise, the pace was a little slow building (again, I'm comparing this to Percy Jackson, which often started off with an explosion), slowly revealing details, often laying out mythological explanations a bit bluntly instead of expecting the reader to catch on. To be honest, I probably would not have caught on without these explanations in the same way I did with the Greek mythology that is much more present in literary and cultural references. Carter and Sadie were believable characters, and their sibling relationship was realistic and fun to see develop. I'll be looking for the next book in the series.

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