Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Lost Hero

Title:               The Lost Hero
Category:       Fantasy
Grade:            4-8
Author:          Rick Riordan
Publisher:       Disney / Hyperion Books
:              New York
Date:               2010
Pages:             553

Fans of the original Percy Jackson series will be delighted to return to Camp Half-Blood in this opening to Riordan’s new series.  Our young hero, Jason, is not nearly so delighted, however, when he awakens on the bus with no memory.  Soon, he and his friends, Piper and Leo, also demigods, are located and escorted to Camp Half-Blood, only to discover that the camp’s hero, Percy Jackson, is missing in action.  Meanwhile, Jason is having visitations from the goddess Hera, who has been imprisoned by the giants and a far more powerful enemy than the Titans were.  Jas on and his crew set out to rescue her before the winter solstice, but only Piper is aware that the giants have stolen her father.  As they near their destination, Piper must decide whether to lead them astray, betray her newfound friends and save her father, or risk his life by telling the truth.  Leo is just along for the ride – literally, as he attempts to tame and repair a rogue metal dragon on the loose.  Together the three of them must stop the giants’ plan and save Hera before their anonymous enemy can rise to power and destroy Olympus…and perhaps learn the mystery of Percy Jackson’s disappearance in the process.

Riordan does not fail to please in this action- and legend packed addition to the Percy Jackson chronicles.  Fans of the prior series will enjoy the humor and offbeat storytelling Riordan employs, and warm quickly to his new trio of demigods, who are as fully characterized as the originals.  While older readers may find places in the tale that seem resolved too simply, I would remind readers that these stories originated as bedtime tales for Riordan’s boys, and are written in a style easily translated to keeping young audiences spellbound with an oral retelling.  Slightly similar to Harry Potter in style, these books maintain the action, add the humor and avoid some of the darker and more macabre elements of their wizardly counterparts, making them suitable for upper elementary as well as youth audiences.  As always, Riordan continues to thoroughly research and add both famous and lesser-known stories from the Greek and now the Roman canon, a fabulous interest-gainer into the world of classic mythology. A thoroughly delightful story, and fans, including myself, will be eagerly awaiting the next installment.


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