18 of 25 people found the following review helpful
A Dull Start to a new series that could have been great,
This review is from: The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles, Book 1) (Hardcover)
Having loved the Percy Jackson books, I expected that the next books would also be exciting adventures filled with the same wit, humor and suspense as the rest of Rick Riordan's books. I really wanted to like this book, and gave it a lot of chances to catch my interest, reading about two thirds of it before finally giving up. This review is my hope to give an accurate description of why I didn't like this book.
Firstly, let me say that I am very interested in Ancient Egyptian history and mythology. I am not going to say that I think these books should only be about Greek mythology, because there are other as exciting cultures to explore. However, this book felt, to me, like a dull repeat of Percy Jackson with a couple of switches (new characters, new gods, new monsters). But a lot of similar (or basically the same) ideas are introduced.
Let's start with the characters and the basic plot. The story follows two kids, as always, who realize they are destined for greatness (or something along those lines). We have two main characters, who alternate their viewpoints during the chapters: Carter and Sadie Kane.
I never really felt that developing fully three dimensional characters was Riordan's forte, but in Percy Jackson, at least, characters had some funny characteristics or flaws that mostly made up for their simplistic natures. However, I did not find that this was the case with "The Red Pyramid." The two main characters are not very interesting, or unique, for that matter. One is Carter Kane, a rather modest and humble boy of fourteen, and his loudmouthed, obnoxious, "say-the-first thing-that-come- to-mind-without-considering-whether-its-rude" sister, Sadie. Carter lives with his father Julius, an Egyptologist, and travels around the world with him. Sadie was raised by her mother's grandparents in London. Apparently, the childrens' mothers died mysteriously (is that not very common?) and the children were split up. The story begins with Carter and his father going to visit Sadie for the two allowed visiting days. Then, of course, a mysterious event (no spoilers here) happens, and the children are confronted with the secret world there parents have tried sheltered them from.
Neither of the characters was interesting. Carter was very average (but not in a good way!). He was, flatly described, a bore. Sadie on the other hand, is worse. She does have a personality, but it is obnoxious, ignorant (we're talking about someone who thinks the Rosetta Stone is a computer program) and extremely annoying. Unfortunately, she does not have a personality except for the fact she is rude, childish, and has an English accent. Apart from that, she, like Carter, is a dull bore.
Characters, I think, are the most important part of the book. Even the plot, in my opinion, is not extremely important if the characters are real and interesting to read about. But I found myself simply not caring what happened to these two children, and so, finally, I put the book down.
The plot was also annoying. The story alternated between the two children, which sometimes has a nice effect, but in this case it was simple irritating. I could usually tell who was speaking, but it didn't really matter, and it didn't add to the story. Like the Percy Jackson series, the characters were constantly on the run, facing monsters and dilemmas at every turn, and this book followed that format precisely.
Overall, I found this book to be a boring disappointment, and do not recommend it.