August 11, 2013

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

Title: The Lost Hero
Author: Rick Riordan
Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
Publish Date: October 12, 2010
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mythology, Romance
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

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.

Just a warning: this review is probably going to contain a lot of spoilers.

I first read this book about two years ago, and because of that I sort of knew the outcome. Surprisingly enough (well, not that surprising, considering it is Rick Riordan we're talking about), this didn't affect my reading experience whatsoever. The plot still kept me on my toes, I was still heartbroken when Festus died, and even though I knew it all along, it was exciting to find out that Percy was at the Roman camp.

The characters in this book are phenomenal. Jason still manages to be his own person even though he doesn't remember anything about his life. He is strong and fast and slightly confused, but he works as a main character. (Though I have to say, I love Leo the most.)

Piper is hiding behind her secrets, and comes out of her shell throughout the book. She isn't very confident, but grows in trust of her mom and her friends, which I think helps her in a way. The one thing I didn't like about Piper was that she spends all this time with her secret pent up, and then when she finally tells Jason and Leo they resolve to fix it and that's that. It's as if Riordan was making a big deal out of nothing. It sort of irked me.

Leo is funny, but lonely, and I felt so sympathetic towards him. In terms of development and how deep they go, I'd probably say Leo is the most complex. He has a lot of things going on inside his head that he never shares, and I think that adds to it--clearly there's more to him than he lets on. 

The writing isn't the greatest, but I don't think that's really the point. It is humorous, and not nearly bad enough for me to put down the book. I think part of the reason it's so casual is because it's directed towards middle grade readers, and that probably affected the way he had to write the book.

The plot was paced very evenly and moved pretty swiftly, despite the size of the book (and considering the fact that the quest doesn't begin until we're halfway through). Rick Riordan manages to draw out the fastest scenes without making us bored. I loved the idea of a Roman camp, and it will definitely add a new element to the next book.

Overall this is definitely one that should be on your TBR list, whether you're nine or sixteen.

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