Monday, December 06, 2010

The Lost Hero

Remember earlier this year when I sort of devoured the Percy Jackson series of books? Well, now, author Rick Riordan has come up with a sequel series called the Heroes of Olympus. And the first book of the series is The Lost Hero.

This time around we're focused on a new set of demigods. Yes, there are a lot of throwbacks to remind us that we're still in the same world of Percy Jackson and the kids at Camp Half Blood. In fact, our new heroes visit Camp Half Blood before being sent off on their very own quest. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

At the start, we're introduced to the trio of Jason, Piper, and Leo. Having read the previous series of books, the subtle clues that Riordan gives makes it fairly easy to identify these kids as demigods. And in Jason and Leo's cases, it's fairly easy to tell who their Olympian parents are. In their first battle together, Jason manages to take control of the wind, suggesting that he's a son of Zeus. Leo is constantly working with his hands, tinkering with small tools and putting things together, suggesting the offspring of Hephaestus. Piper is a little tougher to figure out.

Jason, as it turns out, is a bit more of a mystery than just being a son of Zeus. He has no memory of who he really is. Leo and Piper have all these memories of being friends with him, but it's determined that their memories have been modified by magic. Another wrinkle is that Jason keeps referring to the Olympian gods by their Roman names. He doesn't call himself a son of Zeus. He's a son of Jupiter. He fights with a sword that is traditionally a Roman weapon. And when he arrives at the Greek's Camp Half Blood, he has this strange feeling that he's really in the wrong place.

But this is a mystery that will have to wait. Things are going very badly after the end of the Titan's War the previous summer. Zeus has closed Olympus, so the gods are not communicating with their heroes. Hera has been captured by an unknown force. Percy Jackson is missing. And now this Roman hero shows up in a place that he knows he doesn't belong.

Jason, Leo, and Piper (who turns out to be a daughter of Aphrodite) are sent on a quest to save Hera from the clutches of the Giant king, Porphyrion. They have their share of battles as they make their way across the country meeting mythical figures like Medea and Midas along the way. During their time on the road and in the air, they learn more about each other and about Jason's hidden past.

The Lost Hero acts as a good opening for what should be an interesting series of books. It sets up Gaia as the ultimate bad guy in the overall series. In this installment, she's asleep, but beginning to stir, and is threatening to use her Giants to tear down Olympus.

So if the Percy Jackson series entertained you, there's a good chance you'll like the sequel series. And I think the Roman aspects of everything adds an interesting element. All in all, a pretty decent read.

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed it. It captured my attention just as quickly as the first series did (and a lot faster than The Red Pyramid). But I am pretty happy that we'll get to check in with Percy. I imagine the next one will likely focus on Percy's dealings with the Roman camp.