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The Lost Hero (Heroes of Olympus, Book 1) Hardcover – October 12, 2010
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From School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-This book will delight fans of The Lightning Thief (Hyperion, 2005) as Percy, Annabeth, and others play roles in the new prophecy and its subsequent quest. A few months after The Last Olympian (Hyperion, 2009) ends, Jason wakes up on a bus filled with problem kids from the Wilderness School who are headed to the Grand Canyon. He has no memory of his previous life, but seems to be with his girlfriend, Piper, and his best friend, Leo. The action takes off quickly: storm spirits attack them and capture their coach, who turns out to be a Satyr. Searching for Percy, who is missing, Annabeth arrives and takes the three to Camp Half-Blood, where they learn that they are demigods. Their parents are gods in their Roman rather than Greek personae. By sunset of the solstice in three days, the teens must rescue Hera, Queen of the gods, or Porphyrion, the giant king created to destroy Zeus and unseat the gods of Olympus, will rise. Their quest takes them across the United States, sometimes flying on a mechanical, 60-foot dragon, as they use their power and wits against Medea, King Midas, and the giant cannibal Enceladus. Riordan excels at clever plot devices and at creating an urgent sense of cliff-hanging danger. His interjection of humor by incongruous juxtaposition-Medea, for example, heads up a New York City department store-provides some welcome relief. The young heroes deal with issues familiar to teens today: Who am I? Can I live up to the expectations of others? Having read the first series is helpful but not essential, and the complex plot is made for sequels.-Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Readers longing for a return to Camp Half-Blood will get their wish in the first novel of the Heroes of Olympus series, which follows Riordan’s popular Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and includes some of the same characters in minor roles. The new cast features Jason, Piper, and Leo, teen demigods who are just coming to understand and use their unique abilities as they learn how much depends upon their wits, courage, and fast-developing friendship. Setting up the books to come, the backstory of a master plan to unseat the gods is complex but is doled out in manageable bits with a general air of foreboding. Meanwhile, the action scenes come frequently as the three heroic teens fight monstrous enemies in North American locales, including the Grand Canyon, Quebec City, Detroit, Chicago, Omaha, Pikes Peak, and Sonoma Valley. Flashes of humor lighten the mood at times, but a tone of urgency and imminent danger seems as integral to this series as the last. With appealing new characters within a familiar framework, this spin-off will satisfy the demand for more. Grades 4-8. --Carolyn Phelan
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Top Customer Reviews
The Lost Hero introduces three new main characters - Jason, who has no memory of his life before page one of the story, Piper, a girl with "kaleidoscope eyes" (all together now - Lucy in the sky-yi with diamonds...) who has the gift of persuading people to give her things and Leo, whose clever and creative hands need to be always busy. As the story begins, the three are part of a group from a school for troubled kids on a field trip to the horseshoe shaped Skywalk that curves out over the Grand Canyon. Since the very existence of this Skywalk in real life kind of freaks me out (seriously, have you seen the pictures of it?), I wasn't particularly surprised when freaky occurrences ensued almost as soon as our new heroes stepped onto it.
Readers are pitched head-first into one of the first forays in a new battle the demi-gods will soon find themselves embroiled in. In short order we learn that the gods have gone silent and that Percy Jackson is missing. Jason, Piper and Leo are all having visions, dreams or reawakened memories, many of which revolve around Hera who, we discover, is being held prisoner. Along with a new Great Prophecy (Seven half-bloods shall answer the call/To storm or fire the world must fall/An oath to keep with a final breath/and foes bear arms to the Doors of Death), a new quest must be undertaken by the trio of newbies to find and free Hera.
I appreciate that Riordan continues to give us both strong female and ethnically diverse characters and that he seems able to hit many of the right notes in depicting teenage language, actions and emotions. For me, he has a knack for making his characters seem real and believable and, in The Lost Hero, he once again succeeds in making me care about them. My sympathy for and interest in the trio builds as details of their lives are revealed in the early chapters of the book (each chapter is told from either Jason, Piper or Leo's third person POV) and by the time they head off on their quest, I'm fully invested in seeing them through their adventures.
One of my favorite aspects of The Lost Hero is the inclusion of Roman mythology with the Greek that was the focus in the Percy Jackson series. I found the discussions of the subtle differences in the gods from one culture to the other really interesting and reading about them made me want to learn more about both.
Lastly, for those dying to know, Percy Jackson definitely plays a role in this series. How significant that role will be remains to be seen. Next up in the series is The Son of Neptune, due in the fall of 2011.
Highly recommended. Riordan has laid the groundwork here for another fun and exciting series and I'm already looking forward to the next book.
The interviews are somewhat funny and have some interesting little tidbits -- and I'm sure Riordan had a blast working out the different questions to go along with each character interviewed: the Stoll Brothers, Annabeth, Percy, and a couple others. And the map was great to analyze to -- It was interesting to see where Riordan puts things versus the image in my own mind. Also of interest are the full color pages that have sparsely-detailed profiles of the main characters. They're nice looking -- but stuck oddly in the middle of the last of the three shorts, which I'll get to those in a second. There's also a crossword puzzle and a word search, containing facts and tidbits from the books. (The answers to both are just a couple of pages later, so don't feel too frustrated if you can't figure them out.)
The three short stories are the definite highlight of this volume, which definitely should be read after THE BATTLE FOR THE LABYRINTH. There are a few small references to events that have happened in all four books that would be missed by a casual reader trying to jump into the middle of the series. The stories include: "Percy Jackson and the Stolen Chariot," "Percy Jackson and the Bronze Dragon," and my favorite of the three: "Percy Jackson and the Sword of Hades." The stories are brand new adventures in the life of Percy, and they definitely brought back wonderful memories of reading through the first four books. "Stolen Chariot" is the weakest of the three, an adventure with Percy and Clarisse going after a stolen chariot. The whole thing is exciting, but definitely not up to the par of the other two.
"Bronze Dragon" starts to get things really rolling -- centering on a story with Beckendorf from the Hephaestus cabin. This is where Riordan pulls out some more of what he does best: presenting small bits of mystery surrounded by action. He even throws in a clever twist near the end that definitely made me smirk. But as good as "Bronze Dragon" is, it doesn't hold a candle to the amazing short, "Sword of Hades." I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. It's the longest of the three, coming in around fifty pages, while the other two average about thirty each. And this story definitely starts to build on the overall story arch of the series, elements of which I'm sure will be included in the final Percy Jackson book. There are plenty of surprises and a few familiar faces that I was so excited to see again. And this one doesn't stop until the last second leaving some very interesting questions left to stew when it's done.
Finally, there's a short snippet from the final book, which really doesn't tell us anything except introduce another one of Riordan's signature moves: introduce a story or piece of information without giving us hardly any details, and then interrupting it suddenly with some plot event. But the little tidbit he does show us, makes me wonder what exactly he has up his sleeve for one of the characters... who never quite seemed what they appeared to be on the surface when first introduced.
Overall -- this is a great addition to the series for fans, and hopefully it might bring in some new readers. It's definitely worth picking up just for "Percy Jackson and the Sword of Hades," but the other selections make for fun reading too. (Definitely, this addendum will go down a lot better than Rowling's attempt at something similar with her TALES OF BEEDLE THE BARD.)
New characters, new prophecy, whole new storyline. Now, most of the time it's pretty tough for me to get on board with new characters. But that wasn't the case with this bunch! There was a wonderful blend of new and old and it worked! Worked very well! Each of the new characters were unique in their own ways so I wasn't constantly scrutinizing and comparing them to the original trio. Percy wasn't around to entertain with his sarcastic humor, but I found that Leo more than made up for it. He had me laughing out loud quite a few times :)
To be honest I actually loved this book even more so than PJO. PJO always felt so rushed to me. Thanks to the large size of this book, I felt Rick Riordan was able to give a much more complex story and I was very grateful for that!
I'm usually pretty quick to figure out the twist in a book, but this one truly stumped me! I was so surprised at that ending!!
I'm in love! Highly recommend! Can't wait to continue on with the series!!!
As for if I would recommend this book, I'd say it's worth a try. :-)