Saturday, March 11, 2017

"The Red Pyramid" by Rick Riordan

Published by Disney-Hyperion
Released on May 4, 2010

Carter and Sadie Kane have been separated since their mother died.  Sadie has led a normal life in England with her grandparents, while Carter has led a not so normal life in hotels, airplanes, and museums with his Egyptologist dad.  Not even Carter, however, expected their father to blow up the Rosetta Stone, get locked in a coffin, and then sink through the floor.  Clearly, what started out as a nice family get-together ends up far different than the siblings expected. And when the uncle they never met takes them to a strange house, they learn that they are important figures in a secret world of magicians and Egyptian gods, who happen to be real.

MAIN CHARACTER:  Rick Riordan has already proved he's a genius with his Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, and while this first book in the Kane Chronicles isn't as good, Riordan doesn't disappoint with these two original sibling characters.  Carter and his tendency to always dress nice, Sadie with her British accent and rebellious attitude.  If I were to classify them into textures, Carter would be smooth and cool like hardwood, while Sadie would be rough and scratchy like sandpaper. She's definitely got grit.

THEMES: Carter and Sadie were told multiple times not to trust certain people, but they played it smart.  They never accepted the advice completely, keeping it in mind until they could be sure what they should do.  We hear so much about being careful who to trust, but The Red Pyramid introduces the importance of being careful who not to trust.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE:  Gods and goddesses - mythology and all that - is something to be careful of when reading.  I don't want to fill my head with all this idol nonsense when I believe in the One True God, who make it very clear that worship of idols isn't acceptable. The way Rick Riordan toys with mythology, however, is within my comfort zone.  Still, it's a little bit annoying that he seems to be so infatuated with the whole "ancient gods" thing that he's done, like, three series about it.

WHAT I LOVED:  I have to say that I appreciate the way he isn't serious at all with the whole gods and goddesses business.  They aren't real in the first place, duh, but the way he uses them is just so unrealistic and silly that I'm pretty sure he's making fun of Greek and Egyptian mythology every page of his Percy Jackson and Kane Chronicles series. For example, in The Red Pyramid, Thoth (the god of knowledge) lives in Memphis, Tennessee but thinks he's in the Egyptian city.  In the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, to summon someone from the dead, they fill a pit with cheeseburgers and soda from McDonald's.  Since I myself would be comfortable making fun of ancient mythology, I have no problem with Rick Riordan doing so.  In fact, he's probably better at it than I could ever be :D

RECOMMENDED:  I would recommend The Red Pyramid to...
                                 1)  fans of Percy Jackson
                                 2)  anyone interested in Egyptian mythology
                                 3)  lots of portal travel

"Ah, Mastery of the Five Elements!"
"Is that the one we want?" I asked.
"No, but a good one.  How to tame the five essential elements of the universe - earth, air, water, fire, and cheese!"
"Cheese?"  ~  from one of Carter's narrations in The Red Pyramid

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