Em: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan – REVIEW

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
Release Date: October 12th, 2010
Hyperion Books for Children, 557 Pages
Sub-genre: Mythology
Source: Bought in Hardback
Age Group: Middle Grade/Young Adult
Series: Heroes of Olympus #1

Jason has a problem. He doesn’t remember anything before waking up in a bus full of kids on a field trip. Apparently he has a girlfriend named Piper and a best friend named Leo. They’re all students at a boarding school for “bad kids.” What did Jason do to end up here? And where is here, exactly?

Piper has a secret. Her father has been missing for three days, ever since she had that terrifying nightmare. Piper doesn’t understand her dream, or why her boyfriend suddenly doesn’t recognize her. When a freak storm hits, unleashing strange creatures and whisking her, Jason, and Leo away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood, she has a feeling she’s going to find out.

Leo has a way with tools. When he sees his cabin at Camp Half-Blood, filled with power tools and machine parts, he feels right at home. But there’s weird stuff, too—like the curse everyone keeps talking about. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist that each of them—including Leo—is related to a god.

Okay, so I won’t lie when I say that I am a little old to be shopping for books in the children’s section at the bookstore, but I got this in hardback before I got my Kindle. It was a little embarrassing to ask where to find the Rick Riordan books, and the bookstore employee gave me a weird look and and said, “Um…in the section for children’s books…” But it was totally worth it. I’ve read a few other Rick Riordan books which include the whole Percy Jackson & The Olympian series and the first book from the Kane Chronicles series (The Red Pyramid). I would highly recommend all of these books to readers of any age, but especially anyone who loves Greek/Roman/Egyptian mythology.

I read this book after I was already done with the PJ&O series, so it was a little weird to read this book with Percy missing completely. However, Jason’s mystique and the switch back and forth between Roman and Greek mythology regarding the different gods/goddesses was a really cool touch. Throughout the entire book you really feel for Piper because one minute you think you’ve been basically dating Jason, then the next…he doesn’t know who he is, where he’s from, how he got there, who anyone else is…anything. It’s like getting dumped over and over without being able to do anything about it. The whole time you want to scream…”Wake up, Jason! She likes you! Where have you been?” but the truth is…no one knows where he’s been.

It was a nice touch to start from the very beginning with the characters not being able to see through “the mist” and not knowing they were demigods, so the book makes sure that the readers don’t feel like they have a lot of catching up to do. And then there’s the whole “snake in the grass” idea that Riordan plants about Jason. Was he put there to help, hinder, or hurt the other demigods…is he helping the bad guy, Porphyrion, rise to overthrow Zeus. Not to mention you want to throttle Hera the entire time because she’s not super helpful to Jason and you’re so unsure what is going on. The best friend, and son of Hephaestus, Leo is a great comical relief…and you definitely couldn’t do without Piper’s being completely smitten with Jason.

It is definitely important to point out that reading this book/series before PJ&O is probably not a good idea. You miss out on a lot of information that helps build the other characters, especially the gods and goddesses. I would read this book again if it weren’t for my overwhelming book list…putting a present-day spin on mythology helps to make the book entertaining, while giving a little history lesson (which I learned in Latin class in high school). Totally wish I had these books back then to help me through that class!

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