Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #94: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #94: The Lost Hero by Rick RiordanThe Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
Series: The Heroes of Olympus #1
Published by Disney Hyperion on April 3, 2012
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Mythology, Romance
Pages: 553
Format: Paperback
Source: Gifted
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three-stars

Jason has a problem. He doesn't remember anything before waking up on a school bus holding hands with a girl. Apparently she's his girlfriend Piper, his best friend is a kid named Leo, and they're all students in the Wilderness School, a boarding school for "bad kids." What he did to end up here, Jason has no idea-except that everything seems very wrong.

Piper has a secret. Her father has been missing for three days, and her vivid nightmares reveal that he's in terrible danger. Now her boyfriend doesn't recognize her, and when a freak storm and strange creatures attack during a school field trip, she, Jason, and Leo are whisked away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood. What is going on?

Leo has a way with tools. His new cabin at Camp Half-Blood is filled with them. Seriously, the place beats Wilderness School hands down, with its weapons training, monsters, and fine-looking girls. What's troubling is the curse everyone keeps talking about, and that a camper's gone missing. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist they are all-including Leo-related to agod.
Rick Riordan, the best-selling author of the Percy Jackson series, pumps up the action and suspense inThe Lost Hero, the first book in The Heroes of Olympus series. Fans of demi-gods, prophesies, and quests will be left breathless--and panting for Book Two.

Recommended by: The Snuggly Orange One

After a brief break, I’m back in Rick Riordan’s world. It’s good to back. Everyone warned me about The Lost Hero. Debby and Gillian (Writer of Wrongs) certainly did. Multiple times each. Actually, though, possibly because I was warned so thoroughly, I didn’t have huge issues with The Lost Hero. I agree that it’s not Riordan’s strongest by any means and that it’s definitely a change in tone, but it was fun.

The titular lost hero is Percy Jackson. Annabeth is, of course, freaking the fuck out, as are most of the readers. It’s the loss of Percy’s narration and, perhaps more so, his presence at all, that makes this book a struggle. In Heroes of Olympus, Riordan switches from a single first person point of view to three third person points of view. That’s a major change, one that has some drawbacks and benefits. Obviously, a broader view of events is now possible. At the same time, it’s a bit distancing, which changes the pacing and attachment a bit.

I do have to agree that, though Riordan stuck to the same two guys and a girl format, the dynamic is completely different. On the plus side, Jason, Piper and Leo aren’t new versions of the previous cast. Riordan also clearly determined to add some much-needed diversity to the main characters. Unfortunately, they lack the verve of their predecessors. I don’t loathe Jason, Piper, or even Leo, but I don’t much care about them. Frankly, they’re all rather milquetoast. This book’s not as funny, because, of the three, only Leo seems to have a large sense of humor and I don’t think he’s as humorous as he thinks he does. Jason, personality-less golden boy, is the sort of person who maybe couldn’t banter if his life depended on it. Maybe he’ll get a sense of humor back with his memory? I hope?

Still, I like the transition to a more YA audience. In some ways, I may still have liked this more than the early Percy Jackson books, because it has more of an overarching plot, where that took a while to really get going in Percy Jackson. This, too, is a bit of a double-edged sword, though, since I feel like the three new heroes are conveniently well-educated on mythology and magically good at fighting without training. A chapter on training before launching into a mission would not have been unnecessary. Heck, I’d even take a sentence that mentioned that they’d had a bit of weapons-training.

What’s really amazing about The Lost Hero is how it plugs holes in the world building I didn’t even no existed. I’m not entirely sure yet how the Greek and Roman mythology blends, but I was agape when I got to the end and learned how the events of the previous series tie in. Riordan is so good at world building. Just so good. I did lose some of my starstruck wonder at the retelling magic, since I’m barely acquainted with the Roman versions of the gods. I will say that I thought the explanation for why meteorology is such a mess was fabulous, however.

I love the direction the series is heading in. I’m looking forward to hopefully getting all seven demigods of the prophecy as POV characters, so that it’s not these three all the time. I don’t hate them, but they’re just not the most interesting people in the world. Leo verges on deeply annoying, but will hopefully grow out of that. I don’t hate him because his love of Festus was pretty damn adorable. Festus was maybe the best part of this book. Or maybe Tempest, who I really hope shows up again. I do not ship Leo and Piper because of the lack of banter; I don’t unship, but I very don’t care. Oh, I also really hope that Gleeson Hedge isn’t in the next books because I do loathe him. Saytr it isn’t so, I will not.

The start to the Heroes of Olympus series is a bit rocky, but that painful ending bodes well. Bring on The Son of Neptune!

Favorite Quote:

“Can we just call them storm spirits?” Leo asked. “Venti makes them sound like evil espresso drinks.”

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

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7 responses to “Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #94: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan”

  1. “Freaking the fuck out.” Yeah, that pretty much sums up my reaction to The Lost Hero.

    I’ve read all of the books except The Blood of Olympus (I’m not ready to let the series end). By the end, the cast grows to include five new additions to the main cast. The new characters grew on me to a certain extent, but they’ll never top the original characters, in my opinion. Though I read The Lost Hero in 8th (I think?) grade, I remember being put off by the narration’s distinct change. I had trouble getting past the fact that Percy’s humor and sass just wasn’t there.

    I really like the shift towards YA though because it suited me well. I read PJO in middle school, and the new series came out just as I was becoming a teenager and branching into YA. Heroes of Olympus as a whole is a lot darker and even Percy has some somber moments. But, hey, I’d be seriously scarred if I went through as much shit as he has.
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    • Christina Franke says:

      I’m with you on the new characters. Most of them have grown on me, with one notable exception, but I still mostly wish they weren’t there. I think it’s too many new characters too quickly and so few of them have a sense of humor. I think that last is where things really went askew.

      That must have been fun, reading them at the intended age. It’s funny, though, that I do think this series is a lot darker, but it sort of feels less dark, since I’m less emotionally involved, due to the new cast. Ah well.

  2. I’M DYING WITH THE GIF!
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  3. Gillian says:

    “What’s really amazing about The Lost Hero is how it plugs holes in the world building I didn’t even no existed. I’m not entirely sure yet how the Greek and Roman mythology blends, but I was agape when I got to the end and learned how the events of the previous series tie in.” YES YES THIS VERY THIS.

    Totally agree with you on everything and that last gif made me chokelaugh
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    • Christina Franke says:

      If only I’d learned to like Piper more like I’d hoped. *sighs*

      I am totally still asking that question tbh.

  4. “I’m looking forward to hopefully getting all seven demigods of the prophecy as POV characters, so that it’s not these three all the time.”

    HA. HAHA. HAHAHAHA.

    -.-

    I was basically the same on this one. Characters = meh. BUT DAT WORLDBUILDING THO. Never stop, Riordan.
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