Review: The Red Pyramid

TITLE: The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles #1)
AUTHOR: Rick Riordan
PUBLICATION: 2010 by Disney Hyperion Books
FORMAT: Hardcover

BOOK SYNOPSIS

Since the death of their mother, Carter and Sadie have been raised apart for the past six years. However, when their father unleashes the gods of Egypt into the world, things start to get interesting. The children only have each other as they learn of an ancient order of magicians tasked with fighting the gods and their own special lineage to Ancient Egypt. Soon the evil machinations of Set are made clear and the fate of the world lies with the legacy their parents left them.

WHAT I THOUGHT ABOUT IT . . .

This book is a reread for me and thank goodness because I had forgotten a lot more about it than I care to admit. I had originally resisted the urge to get The Red Pyramid because of my mixed feelings for Percy Jackson and the Olympians, but my boyfriend spoils me and makes whatever willpower I have mute by purchasing this book for me as a gift. (Which also kicks in my OCD because now I must have all the books in hardcover.)

My experience up to this point with Rick Riordan’s books have been exclusively with his stories that are aimed at a younger audience (although that’s not to say that adults can’t enjoy them too). I have yet to read anything regarding his adult novels so I can’t tell if his writing differs in respect to the target readers, but I can notice the obvious: the man knows how to pen a good yarn. He mixes a good blend of humor in with the suspense of his adventure tales. I’m far beyond the problems of kids of twelve and fourteen, but thanks to Riordan I was sucked into the tale of Carter and Sadie.

This book is formatted as a transcript of a recording that the siblings have made detailing their adventures. The perspective switches between Carter and Sadie every couple of chapters as they relate their adventures. These narrators are quite entertaining as they learn of the magic that has always existed on the edges of their respective realities. I liked both of them equally so I don’t really have a favorite between the two. And I confess that I have developed a new appreciation for Bast over the course of this second reading.

This novel also poses an interesting idea that it’s not only the Egyptian gods in the world. If I remember correctly in the Percy Jackson books it was only the Greek deities that receive any mention. However, on page 52 of The Red Pyramid when Amos explains to the kids about living on the east bank of the river and looks at the Empire State Building saying, “Manhattan has other problems. Other gods. It’s best we stay separate.” Can you imagine how much fun it would be if Riordan wrote an American Gods-style mesh-up of mythologies one day? Anyway I rather liked this notion that not just one civilization’s gods are the only gods out there. It makes me wonder if the Norse series that Riordan plans to write after the Heroes of Olympus books are done will contain any references to the Egyptian or Greek/Roman gods from his previous books. Even Thoth mentions Hermes at one point in The Red Pyramid.

I like how the gods require a host to exist in the mortal realm and that it explains their dual nature of being both human and animal in appearance. Although the notion that mortals perceive what they want to where the gods are concerned remains consistent in the rules of the Kane Chronicles.

I am happy to say that I enjoyed The Red Pyramid as much if not more than I did when I read it two years ago. For anyone who enjoys a good adventure and loves Egyptian mythology, this would be your cup of tea. Riordan’s books might not be considered high-brow literature, but they’re so bloody fun to read.

You can find out more about this series by visiting The Kane Chronicles Website.

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2 thoughts on “Review: The Red Pyramid

  1. I’ve only read two of the Percy Jackson books (so far). I think I’ll like this series better simply because of my love of ancient Egypt.

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