Going into this book I had very high expectations. After all, the Percy Jackson books are such a wonderful and unique offering in children's literature. They are funny, witty, filled with action and adventure, they breathe life into some of my favorite myths... They are hard to top. Pretty much this book is what would happen if the 39 Clues series and Percy Jackson books had a baby. There is alot more information being tossed out in this book than in Percy Jackson, but much more fun and mythology than the 39 Clues.
In this first of the Kane Chronicles, Riordan again does a great job of combining humor with action and adventure. This book as a lot to explain in terms of the mythology it is based on, I think most readers on average know less about Egyptian mythology than Greek. However, Riordan again explains it in a way that brings it to life. And once all of the ground work is laid in terms of what is going on in the story everything zooms along at a really fun pace.
Carter and Sadie Kane were raised separately after the sudden and tragic death of their mother. Carter has spent the last half dozen years traveling the world with his father, a noted Egyptologist. Living out of a suitcase and never staying in one place for long, Carter is quiet and a little socially awkward. Sadie on the other hand was raised in London by her grandparents. Even though she's the younger of the two she has a much more forceful personality than her brother. She is loud, wears combat boots and streaks her hair with crazy colors. Carter and his father only are allowed to see Sadie twice a year.
Carter and Sadie barely know each other when the actions of their father leave them on a crazy adventure with only a cat, named Muffin, to help them out. Not only is the crazy chaos god, Set, after them also an ancient group of wizards is tailing them across the world.
Riordan again does a great job of pulling ancient mythology into the modern world. He really grounds his story and makes it believable. By the end of the book you really know the characters and are ready for their next adventure.
Another fun thing about this book is that instead of having one narrator he allows Sadie and Carter to alternate every few chapters. Their voices are very different and how they see things is very interesting. It also sets up a lot of the humor.
In spite of its size (its around 41 Chapters long) I think anyone who enjoyed the Percy Jackson books will find themselves loving this book as well.
I'm only giving it 4 stars because it took me until maybe chapter 15 to really get into the book, there was so much information that it slowed down the narrative for me.
on May 20, 2015
Rick Riodan (RR) is one of the few M.G. authors I read, I mean I’m in my 30s so usually a M.G. book isn’t going to hold my attention but RR is one of the few authors who can pull it off and does it well at that. What makes him special???? Well there are a few things that I really like about his writing.
① - He writes teens like teens. They aren’t 12-16 year olds who act like they are in their 30s they are kids, behaving like kids. Carter and Sadie argue like real siblings would and I totally enjoyed their interactions and teasing of each other.
② - Action….Action….Action. Seriously there is always something happening. The stories move along quickly with chases, fights and discovery scenes everywhere. There are lots of clues along the way and some of them can be misleading until you get to the big picture of it all.
③ - The mythology used is fantastic and so well thought out. I love RR’s interpretation of the Egyptian gods, magic and lore. There is a new interesting interpretation of them and how they interact with the world. It is new and exciting and I really loved how it was all shown and explained.
④ - The magic and world building. I get so upset when reading a book and not understanding how powers work. I don’t care if it takes a little while to roll it out but I NEED to understand it. I want to feel like if I lived in this world I too could do magic. I’m still convinced I would have done as well as Hermione at Hogwarts if I got an invitation. So I appreciate it when authors incorporate learning how to use the magic in their story. After this book I was sure I could do the magic of this world if I was in it.
⑤ - Interesting cohesive story and plotting that lend to a bang up conclusion. RR totally has a good voice and knows where his story is going. I never feel at the end that he has just thrown something in at last minute to fix everything. It is a fantastic trait to have in a story teller.
There are a ton of reviews on this so I’ll just say Sadie and Carter were separated and raised apart after the death of their mother six years ago. But now through a series of events they are thrown together and must find a way to work with one another to save their father. With the help of a few unusual friends they must find ways to unlock the Power of the Gods (Egyptian ones) within themselves and try to save the world. Easy peasy….if they can quit squabbling long enough.
If you add a few Gods, an albino crocodile, a cat named muffin, some spunky clay creations, a secret magical society and an orangutan with some special dietary needs together and shake you come up with one hell of a good time.
I liked the Percy Jackson stories just a tad better but if you like mythology then this could be a great time for you too.
I must say, when I read the Percy Jackson series, I instantly liked it. I enjoyed the whole Greek Pantheon of ancient gods & goddesses, magic, etc. So, naturally, I wanted to read "The Red Pyramid" to see if it had the same magic. I can happily say that it does and then some. I would even volunteer that I liked "The Red Pyramid" even more than the Percy Jackson books for several reasons.
First, in "The Red Pyramid", we're introduced to two amazing lead characters who both share in the story's narration. Carter Kane, age 14, is an African American teen who has lived with his father, Julius, his entire life...due to what is described as an ugly custody battle between Julius and his former in-laws (Julius' wife, mother to both Carter and Sadie Kane, died when the children were quite young). Sadie Kane, age 12, looks caucasian (taking after their mother) with light skin, blue eyes, and hair she likes to put colored streaks throughout. Because of the custody agreement, Sadie lives in London year-round with her grandparents - seeing her brother and father only two times per year, which has resulted in the siblings being more like distant relatives to each other. Julius is an archeologist, traveling around the world studying ancient Egyptian artifacts and bringing his son Carter along with him wherever he goes. Carter, because of his father's teachings, is an awkward 14 year old boy, a bit hesitant and unsure of himself. Sadie, on the other hand, despite being two years younger than Carter, is quite a bit more bold, quick to speak her mind and very sure of herself and her opinions. I must say, I loved both Carter and Sadie Kane...for their differences as well as how they grow together as siblings! I cannot reveal much more than this without revealing too much of the book...but I think you'll know what I mean when you read "The Red Pyramid".
Another reason I enjoyed this book is because of the depth of information given to the reader. It's obvious that Riordan, in his research, learned quite a bit about the ancient Egyptian ways as well as the intricate nature of their belief system....and he definitely gets that information out to the reader in a very exciting and entertaining way.
Magic and mythology come together in a fascinating and fast-paced way in this book. Instantly, the action starts and you'll be pulled into the book. Humor plays a big role in this book as well (especially from Sadie), which just adds to the entertainment.
All in all, I'd highly recommend "The Red Pyramid". If you're a fan of the Percy Jackson series, I'm sure you'll like it. Or, perhaps you'll be like me and like it even more! :)
on July 20, 2012
I was poking around the library recently and ran across this book, which I was drawn to due to my love of the first Percy Jackson novel, and I wanted to see what else Riordan had to offer. While I can't say I enjoyed this as much as The Lightning Thief, it was still an entertaining book and I'm glad that I read it.
It took me awhile to get adjusted to the format this book was written in, which was essentially the story of what Carter and Sadie went through, transcribed from a tape they recorded for someone else to find. It's a clever concept, but I think I'd like it better in actual audio format as opposed to reading it. Some of the chapters are told by Sadie, others by Carter, and it was mildly difficult at times to keep track of which one of them is telling the story at which point. At times, that didn't really matter depending on what was going on, but at other points it was a little more important because of the different skills they each possess.
However, I definitely found myself with a bit of irritation while reading this book, and I think it was really with the way the Egyptian gods were handled throughout the story. A lot of detail concerning ancient Egypt and the entire culture of that civilization was included, but instead of the gods being living beings, they were more spirits that existed in different ways. I don't want to spoil anything for anyone who intends to read this book, but I'll just leave it by saying I would have preferred them to be more real entities instead of how they were presented.
That being said, I am not the target audience for this series and I think I'm bound to have different complaints than the ideal reader. If I were a pre-teen, I think I would have enjoyed this a lot more than I did as an adult. It was actually pretty informative, and I learned quite a bit about Egyptian mythology through reading it. The situations the kids find themselves in are rather harrowing considering their ages and what they are expected to go through in order to preserve the world as they know it.
My criticisms aside, I liked the book and I would be curious to read further into the series. It looks like Riordan has just three books planned for this one, and all are out now. I only wish the series was intended to go longer, since it would be great to see what Carter and Sadie have in store for them as they transition from being teens to adults.
on September 1, 2015
This review originally published on my blog: www.lookingforagoodbook.com. Rated 2.5 of 5
Rick Riordan is a big hit with my kids. I read the Percy Jackson series that my children enjoyed so much (I thought it was well done and offered a great way for young readers to start making sense of the complicated relationships in classic mythology. And on the heels of this success, Riordan attempts to do what he did for Greek mythology with Egyptian mythology. Enter, <em>The Red Pyramid</em>.
Perhaps Riordan tries just a little too hard to recreate the Percy Jackson magic as the similarities are a little too close, which feels a little strange to write, since I would describe the action differently than I would describe the Percy series, but in the reading (listening) it felt weirdly similar.
In The Red Pyramid, we have Carter Kane, son of an Egyptologist and used to traveling the world with his father. Carter's little sister, Sadie, has been sent off to live with her grandparents in London, so Carter and Sadie haven't spent a lot of time together. But during one of their times together, during the Christmas holiday, their father brings them to the British Museum where a mysterious figure appears and does something to make their father disappear. Carter and Sadie learn that the ancient Egyptian gods are awakening and that somehow Carter and his family are the key to controlling these gods.
There is plenty of excitement and a lot of action and, like the Greek gods series, a good deal of education about the different gods' relationships and powers. But unlike the other series, there is also a fair amount of ... I'll call it goofiness ... that I just found annoying. Specifically, the orangutan.
Yes...there is an intelligent orangutan that plays an important role in the action, and it feels like a Disney-fication of the book (let's put in some funny animals that interact with the humans!).
Carter and Sadie are perfectly fine as the protagonists of the book, and their relationship feels very true, but the course of action feels very 'made.' Things happen around them, but they don't seem to happen as a result of their plans or even as part of a plan against them, even though that's not quite the case. It's just that Sadie and Carter almost appear to be extras in their own story.
I listened to this book on Audible. The book is set up so that both Carter and Sadie tell part of the story,and the Audible version has two readers, Kevin R. Free and Katherine Kellgren, reading these parts and they do a really nice job. In fact it was the quality of the reading that kept me going with this as I thought the story itself was just too much of a pastiche of YA fantasy novels. Free really captures the innocence and wonder of the youthful Carter and Kellgren is very believable as the young Sadie. Any disbelief, specifically in regards to how old Carter and Sadie act, is on Riordan, and not Free or Kellgren.
Looking for a good book? Lighting doesn't strike twice for Rick Riordan, as <em>The Red Pyramid</em> doesn't hold the same magic as Riordan's more popular Percy Jackson series, though the readers of the Audible book male it lively and fun.
I am truly amazed by Rick Riordon. I love his Perseus Jackson Camp Half Blood Series, that feature demi-gods, children of Greek Gods and mortals, and their adventures as we learn about Greek mythology.
As Camp Half Blood is evolving into a new series, Riordon now has given the 'young folk' The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles, Book 1). It deals with Egyptian mythology, and boy does he give us an education in Egyptian mythology while he entertains us with an exciting story line! I thought I was familiar with most Egyptian gods, but he had me!
What I like is he features the children of a mixed race husband and wife -famous Egyptologists in their own right - the mother is killed at the Obelisk in London, and the children are divided up - Sadie, the daughter, who is like her mother, blond and blue eyed is based in London with her mother's parents. Carter, who is like his African American father, stays with his father and goes on his digs and adventures.
When the Dad goes to visit Sadie during Christmas Eve, he takes them to the - oh be still my heart - the British Museum - to see the Rosetta Stone - He tries to do a spell to release some Egyptian Gods, but the plan backfires and he is drawn in to the land of mythology leaving the children in the hands of their uncle Amos, and his baboon Khufu in a mansion in New York!
They have to stop Set from finishing the Red Pyramid in the desert because they will kill all humans and take over.
My favorite Egyptian God that was written absolutely perfectly was Anubis, who has a flirtation with Sadie, and I cannot wait for the next installment to see what happens next.
Riordon says, like the Harry Potter series, this is for the young folk, but I can tell you it is for everyone and the references to the gods will cause younger and older folks back to their mythology books to see who these gods and goddesses are.
Adventurous, groundbreaking, and fun. What more can one want in a book?
I know I am a little late catching up to the Kane Chronicles, but I must say that I love the new series by Rick Riordan and I'm very happy that he's switched from Greek to Egyptian mythology. I always felt that his books were great tools to enlighten and interest youngsters on ancient history, which is a nice touch. This series carries the history torch as well. Thought this first book was great and it did keep me interested but every once in awhile a few of those 41 chapters dragged, which is why I gave it 4 stars. The story could have been tightened up a bit and it would have been more engaging. Still, it was a fun read and I am sure others will enjoy it. I hope they turn this series into movies as well. Should translate nicely.
on April 29, 2015
While this book was enjoyable, it is a bit childish for my taste. Still, it makes for a good, easy read while traveling and I enjoy learning a bit about Egyptian mythology while I'm at it. I think my 12 year old self would have loved this... as the narrator is a 12 or 14 year old, and acts like a 12-14 year old, I sometimes get a bit annoyed with what they deem important. I guess that just probably makes it better for the age-appropriate audience though...
Back in April of this year I noticed a free chapter sample on Kindle for The Kane Chronicles, Book Two: The Throne of Fire. I read that chapter and thought it sounded like a really good book and wrote a review to that effect. Then I discovered that one of my grandchildren was reading the first book in the series so I bought The Red Pyramid so we could compare notes on the book. I'm sorry to say that the book was quite a bit of a let down for me.
The first few chapters were quite interesting and I thought I was going to like the decision author Rick Riordan had made to allow both children in the story, Sadie and Carter Kane, to present alternating chapters of their adventure. This device made sense to me since the two had been raised apart since the death of their mother and they really didn't know each other very well. Later, when I discovered that I often needed to refer to the top of the page to see which person was narrating I began to rethink my liking of that aspect of the book. I seemed to have trouble keeping straight in my mind which person was doing the storytelling. Luckily someone connected with the book must have foreseen this as a possible problem because the top of each right hand page has the name of either Sadie or Carter, depending on which one is 'talking', printed at the top.
This story really almost wore me out. I began to wonder if these children would ever be allowed just to eat a meal, spend some time sleeping or find an adult who would explain what was going on. The book is centered around magic and Egyptian gods and lore. When their father was involved in a magic episode Carter and Sadie began to try to rescue him, but were never told anything about what it would take to do that. Every chapter sent them on another harrowing adventure where they had to fight an Egyptian god or a magical beast without knowing how to do that. Each person or god they met sent them off on the next perilous adventure without giving them any explanation of what they were doing, what their ultimate goal could be, or how to accomplish what they wanted to do. In other words they spent all their time winging it and fighting for their lives. Finally toward the end of the book someone explained what they were caught up in, but by then I had read through chapter after chapter of one dilemma after another. Those poor kids were just constantly going and doing. I must say it reminded me very much of the Saturday morning cartoons where everything is constant action with very little explanation or contemplation.
I've never read any other work by this author and as this is my only example I doubt very seriously that I will try another of his books. I didn't like this very much, but I forced myself to finish it. Luckily for me some of my questions were answered in the final chapters. My granddaughter simply gave up on it and did not want to finish reading it. I think she is the more satisfied of the two of us.
on March 4, 2015
I think I enjoyed this book more than either Percy Jackson or Heroes of Olympus books, but I still didn't love it. I did think it was less predictable than his other books, which definitely made it less frustrating to read. I think my issue with Riordan's books is that I like them, but I don't love them enough to remain invested for 400+ pages. I read a lot of long books, but for some reason these books just seem never-ending to me. The one thing I did really love about this book was Riordan's interpretation of Bast. Obviously I love Bast in general because she's a cat goddess, but I thought the way he wrote her was really fun.
Even though I didn't love this book, I enjoyed it enough that I would recommend it to fans of mythology and myth/fairytale retellings.