43 of 61 people found the following review helpful
Another Great Adventure Begins,
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This review is from: The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles, Book 1) (Hardcover)
Because I so thoroughly enjoyed Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians series (first book: The Lightning Thief), I was happy to see a new series from him coming so soon after The Last Olympian. Riordan is smart enough not to mess too much with success - The Kane Chronicles also deals with ancient gods - this time Egyptian - and kids with newly discovered special powers. Luckily, he is also talented enough to keep this, the first of a planned trilogy, from seeming like a carbon copy of the characters and adventures found in the Percy Jackson series.
Sadie and Carter Kane are siblings who were separated quite young in life after the death of their mother. (Aside: I loved that their father is African American and their mother Caucasian - I'm all for increasing cultural diversity in children's and YA books.) Carter traveled the world with his archeologist father while Sadie, his junior by two years, lived a more "normal" life in England with their grandparents. They only spend two days a year together with their father and it is on one of these occasions that we are dropped into their story. The action begins immediately with explosive displays of magic and the disappearance of their father. The siblings - whose powers are enhanced when they are together (which turns out to be one reason why they were raised separately) - begin making one startling discovery after another about themselves and their family and are set on course to rescue their father and (of course) to save the world from the evil forces their father unwittingly released from the Rosetta Stone. A variety of ancient Egyptian forces - both good and evil - appear to help or hinder them on their quest.
Riordan has a gift for making his characters come to life and for making us care about them, a skill I enjoyed in the Percy Jackson books and again here. The Red Pyramid is told from both Sadie and Carter's POV, with each chapter narrated by one of the two. Their voices are somewhat similar, but distinctive enough to make this work and I enjoyed getting to know these two bright, brave and adaptable kids better through this device. The action is virtually non-stop and the 500+ pages seem to fly by. IMHO, the many characters and creatures will probably be enjoyed more by readers 10 years old and over than by those under 10, but, of course, parents should judge that for themselves.
I found this a fast, fun read and am happy to recommend it. I hope that it will inspire kids to want to know more about ancient Egypt, one of the most fascinating civilizations our world has known and I would encourage parents to rent some kid-friendly documentaries about ancient Egypt once their children have finished The Red Pyramid.
Readers who fall in love with this story and are intrigued by the Egyptian aspects of it may enjoy these other stories while waiting for the Kanes to return in book two: The Theodosia Throckmorton series consisting of Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos, Theodosia and the Staff of Osiris and Theodosia and the Eyes of Horus; The Children of the Lamp series, which begins with The Akhenaten Adventure and The Pharaoh's Secret.