The Lost Hero by Rick RiordanThe 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.
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?
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
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