Friday, August 26, 2011
The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
Title: The Red Pyramid (Book 1 in the Kane Chronicles series)
Author: Rick Riordan
Genre: Mid-Grade Fantasy
Premise: "After their father's research experiment at the British Museum unleashes the Egyptian god Set, Carter and Sadie Kane embark on a dangerous journey across the globe--a quest which brings them ever closer to the truth about their family, and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs." (King County Library System)
Opinions: Rick Riordan has expanded on his revisiting of different pantheons through modern twists and plots. This time, instead of using the Greek Gods as he did in the Percy Jackson series, he is focusing on the world of Egypt and its plethora of deities (though he frequently makes not-so-veiled comments about the Gods from his other series throughout the book).
This book was intriguing on many levels. I love the fact that Rick Riordan adds additional complexity of characters by dealing with a multi-racial family and the difficulties that entails (especially when it comes to others' prejudices). I also enjoyed seeing Sadie and Carter's relationships growing through the story as they had only seen each other twice a year since their mother's death 6 years earlier. I enjoyed being able to learn more about the various Pharaohs, gods, and Egyptian history. The narrative perspective took a little getting used to as the story is being "told" via a tape recording by Sadie and Carter (the main characters) and has been transcribed into book format for our reading pleasure. So you will find that even though each chapter is told from a specific character's point of view, the other sibling often butts in with their own comments (which siblings tend to do).
I think my favorite character of all was the cat-goddess Bast. She is spunky, tenacious, mischievous and draws the reader in. Bast would then quickly be followed by Khufu, the basketball-playing-eat-anything-ending-in-O loving baboon. He was hilarious, brilliant, lovable, and fascinating.
At times it was difficult to try and keep track of all the various gods, versions of gods, hosts, demons, magicians, hieroglyphics, familial relationship, etc., but the story was compelling and inventive. Also, for a first book in a series it was rather lengthy, but I think the detail required to cover all that was covered required it (if that made any sense at all). I look forward to reading more of this series and hope you do as well.