Friday, October 30, 2015

Review: The Lost Hero

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
The Heroes of Olympus #1
Published October 12th 2010 by Hyperion

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 about his being in trouble. Piper doesn't understand her dream, or why her boyfriend suddenly doesn't recognize her. When a freak storm hits during the school trip, 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, and some camper who;s gone missing. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist that each of them—including Leo—is related to a god. Does this have anything to do with Jason's amnesia, or the fact that Leo keeps seeing ghosts?
The Lost Hero is the first book in The Heroes of Olympus Series - a spinoff of Percy Jackson and the Olympians. I think that the main reason that I didn't jump into these straight after I finished with Percy Jackson and the gang was because I knew that we were getting a host of all-new characters here - and that always makes me nervous. I'm also one of those people who feel like spinoff series are usually weaker than the original material, so it was with a cautious mind that I finally bit the bullet and checked out The Lost Hero.

First of all, I should say that even though I've owned a physical copy of this book for years, my recent audiobook kick made me want to give this a try on audio.  When I first started listening, I had a brief moment of ''uhm, maybe audio wasn't the best idea''. The reason? The narrator, Joshua Swanson sounded great and all, but the way he put emphasis on certain words, with heavy pauses in between other words, reminded me a little too much of how William Shatner speaks. o.O I really wasn't sure if I could get used to it but luckily, I gave him a chance and it paid off. I can't tell if it either got better as the story went on or if I stopped noticing as much, but I ended up really enjoying the narration! Joshua Swanson did amazing voices for all of the characters;  not to mention the mythological beings, like Cyclopes, Giants, Gods and Goddesses alike! It was brilliant.

Back to the topic at hand, The Lost Hero picks up soon after the events of The Percy Jackson Series, but with a bunch of new characters and new mythology to boot!  For whatever reason, I thought that we'd get straight into the new aspect of Roman Mythology, but those details were slow going. Without getting into specifics, not all of the new characters are Roman Demi-Gods - so most of the mythos here remains a mystery.  Despite that, I had a lot of fun getting to know Jason, Piper and Leo! I was worried that they couldn't possibly live up to Percy and Co., but I have to say that these new heroes grew on me throughout their adventures here and now I want to hang out with every single one of them. Jason was a bit tricker because of the issue with his memory, but I still grew to admire and root for him. Piper was the one I thought I'd have the most trouble relating to at first, but she surprised me with her abilities and her personality eventually shone through and won me over. And Leo? Well, I think Leo is my favorite out of the bunch. I might even totally have a little crush on him ;)

The plot is the usual Rick Riordan fare - I remember complaining that certain Percy Jackson books felt repetitive and formulaic, but I didn't notice it as much in this instance. It might have been the combination of the nice break I took in between the two series and the addition of new characters and mythology but I was totally feeling my return amongst the Gods, Goddesses and Demi-Gods alike! Much of the details of the overarching storyline still remain mysterious by the end, so I'm already looking forward to unraveling the secrets within the rest of the series.  The pacing was mostly solid, with the exception of the last 10 chapters. I don't know if it was the multiple quests and goals, or that the resolution afterwards was slow going, but things was dragging by the end there, which is weird because the ending is where the pacing usually picks up drastically.  I have to say that this book is much thicker than the previous Percy Jackson books are, so it might have benefited from some trimming here and there.

Minor issues aside, I definitely enjoyed coming back to Camp Half-Blood and going on a quest with our new heroes! I think that I probably would have benefitted from a Percy re-read, since some of the past moments that were alluded to at times felt a bit foggy. Nonetheless, I had a lot of fun with The Lost Hero and I know I won't wait too long to get started on The Son of Neptune!

My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

16 comments:

  1. It took me a while to pick up the Heroes of Olympus books but once I did I ended up marathoning the whole thing XD I do prefer the Percy Jackson series but these books were also lots of fun to read. The characters do grow on you :D

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    1. I can totally see that happening to me too Soudha :) I think that like you, I'll still prefer the Percy Jackson books but I have such a soft spot for Mythological books, so I could never NOT like more of these LOL :D

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  2. I started this spin-off series, but never finished it. It was cute, though - I should pick it back up. Glad the narration got better for you!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. They definitely are cute Nicole! I'm not obsessed with the series like I know a lot of other blogger friends are but they're entertaining and I do love my mythology :) Thanks^^ x

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  3. This is definitely a fun trip back into Percy's world but its so hard not having any Percy in this one! I definitely enjoyed the middle books in this series best. Great review!

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    1. It WAS hard not having ANY Percy in this one! I missed him. I can't wait to compare notes with you on the middle books then ;) Thanks Teresa! xx

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  4. "I remember complaining that certain Percy Jackson books felt repetitive and formulaic," This. This is why I'm so worried about getting into another series by Riordan so I'm really happy to hear that's not the case here, and that the characters are just as lovable as the original in Percy Jackson :D Great review!

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    1. I'm so glad that I wasn't the only one^^ With the first three books in the Percy Series I felt like the same story kept getting rehashed over and over again. This was definitely a fresh start! Hopefully the rest of the series follows suit :) Thanks Alise ♥

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  5. I read The Lightning Thief like 3 years ago and STILL haven't picked up the rest of the PJ books- FAIL, lol. I'm always wary about spin-off series, too- glad to hear that this one is going OK so far! :D

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    1. Oh, no way?! I didn't know that! I liked the first three books but I wasn't hooked on them so I can understand that^^ Yeah so far so good here but I'm hoping that the new series stays strong :)

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  6. I'm not sure this is for me, Micheline, as the characters are quite young.. maybe if my youngest wants to read it, I'll read it with her :) But then it'll have to be in French!
    I hope you're having a fantastic week.
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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    1. They're around 15-16 Lexxie, but I guess that might be young for you since I know that you read a lot of NA. And Ooh la la, French ;) Have a wonderful week love^^xx

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  7. I recently did the audio for this whole series! I actually liked the first narrator, and they change narrators on you midway through the series and I didn't like the new one as much. But, maybe you'll like it better with the new one? Or maybe you'll be as annoyed as me because by then you'll be super used to the first narrator.

    I felt the same way about reading a series with a full new cast of characters. And clearly, it took me a long time to get to these books too. But, I'm so glad I did. The books get better as you go along and these new characters will end up mixing with the old a lot more.

    Also, funny, I hated Leo at first. But I totally understand your crush on him now. By the end of the series, he became one of my all time favorites. He's so funny and charming and brave, and well just awesome. Great review!

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    1. Oh no!! :O I think that I'll feel exactly like you Nori^^ because now I have gotten used to him and I was looking forward to the way he'd carry out the rest of the series. Man, that sucks!

      Yeah, it's also so tough when you get into a well-liked spinoff series with all new characters but I'm glad I finally dived in too! I love all of the new characters and the fact that you say that they'll mix in with the old favorites more as the series progresses is exciting :D

      LOL - I'm glad that Leo won you over, he's definitely a favorite of mine! He's such a sweetheart and he's just amazing ♥ Thank you! xxxx

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  8. Yup, pretty much my feelings. All of his books have a definite formulaic, repetitive feel for them... but I don't find it too annoying. Depends on the mood I'm in, I guess - sometimes it's comforting to sit down with a well worn story arc. I also listened to the audio, and I agree with you on the narrator. I hope you enjoy yourself with the remaining books in the series as well!

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    1. EXACTLY! I didn't mind too much either, but I think book three of the Percy Jackson series was the worst for me. I was like: AGAIN?!? But then book 4 was my favorite of the lot and well, book 5 was crazy intense and unique :D I know what you mean about familiar story arcs being comforting though. Thanks sweetie^^ ♥

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