Title: The Lost Hero
Author: Rick Riordan
Publisher: Disney/Hyperion Books
Date Read: December 13-17, 2012
“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 his best friend is a guy named Leo. They’re all students at the Wilderness School, a boarding school for “bad kids,” as Leo puts it. What did Jason do to end up here? And where is here, exactly? Jason doesn’t know anything- except that everything seems very wrong.
Piper has a secret. Her father, a famous actor, 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, whether she wants to or not.
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’t amnesia, or the fact that Leo keeps seeing ghosts?
Join new and old friends from Camp Half-Blood in this thrilling first book in the Heroes of Olympus series.”
Piper– Piper McLean is the daughter of a famous actor and an even more famous goddess- and she hates it. She is a modest girl that gets more attention than she thinks she deserves. She has to face a personal conflict throughout the novel, and she struggles internally, unsure whether or not she will make the right choice and how that choice may effect the dynamic between her, Leo, and especially Jason.
Leo– Poor Leo is the third wheel. He is great with tools, but not as great with people. Leo and his friends face a lot of danger, but none of that matters to Leo- he is too afraid of what sort of danger he poses. He has a knack for fire that does not come in handy, and his only friend seems to be a mechanical dragon. As the reader, you really sympathize with Leo. He’s the class clown that doesn’t really get all of the attention he deserves, and this makes it hard for him to open up to his friends.
Jason– While reading this book, you feel really bad for Jason. He wakes up in the middle of a world he doesn’t know or remember, all he knows is that something is not right. His strange tattoos are the least of his concerns as he discovers his powers- in the most dangerous of situations. He has a girlfriend he doesn’t remember, and he feels horrible about it. He doesn’t know whether or not he has a girlfriends waiting for him from wherever he came from. He seems to be stepping on eggshells throughout most of the book, and it really stresses him out.
Conflict: One obvious conflict is that Jason has no idea who he is or where he came from. He only knows his name is Jason because that is what everyone has been calling him. Besides not knowing anything about himself, the conflict for Jason lies in the dynamic of the group around him and how he knows that something just does not feel right.
Piper is forced to choose between her father and her friends, and she is having a really hard time making the decision. Unfortunately for her, she keeps getting awful nightmares that seem more real than dream.
Leo has problems with fire, and a really bad history with it. In the novel, you learn how Leo’s past has changed him forever, and how a certain goddess had a whole lot to do with some of his worst memories.
The main conflict of the book is that the earth goddess and mother of the Titans, Gaea, is trying to make a comeback. With the help of her sons, the giants, she has managed to trap the goddess Hera. She has some pretty crazy plans for the future, and her version of the future is no good for the gods. She wants to eradicate the world as they know it and all of the gods, demigods, and humans that come with it.
Themes: There are several in this novel. I don’t know if I am going to be very good at picking them out for you, but I know they’re there! One that was pretty obvious was the presence of dreams. Dreams are more prophetic than surreal for the demigods. Another one is the tension between the gods of Olympus and their demigod children. If you read the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, you are aware that there has always been some tension between them, but this books gets a little more in depth with the problems between individual demigods and their parents. It causes a lot of stress for some of the characters, and helps some of the others come to a sort of peace with what and who they are.
Things I Liked: I liked that the story is told from the viewpoints of all three of the main characters. They each have some pretty heavy problems to deal with, and the story would lack a lot of depth if it was told from only one view. One thing that I really liked from his previous heroes series is all of the interesting little things you learn about Greek mythology. In this series, you get a lot of that and a little more- you also hear about Roman history. Love it!
Things I Didn’t Like: Sometimes, this book got a little slow for me. If you look at the time it took me to read this book, you can’t really tell that I found parts of this slow, but I plowed through. I knew that there was a lot to look forward to, Riordan really sets it up, the slowness came from the intense character development that was required. This book is the first of series, and therefore sets the stage for the rest of the books. That is a tough task, especially when there are a lot of characters. I guess that leads me to something I liked about this book that I didn’t quite realize until I got to the second- this book does a fantastic job at building the foundations for the rest of the story and also being entertaining in its own right.
Overall View: All in all, I liked this book a lot. I love books that aren’t all fantasy, but weave fantasy with reality. I have always loved Greek mythology and I really love that these books make it come to life. There are awesome little personality quirks that the gods have that keep coming out in this series, I love it! This books was a great foundation for the rest of the series (I know, I know, I ‘m a broken record) and after just finishing the third installment, I still hold fast to that opinion. This book is not the highest reading level, but it definitely has the capability to keep readers of all ages captivated and entertained.
Rating: 4 stars
Other Works by Rick Riordan: Percy Jackson and the Olympians (series), Heroes of Olympus (series), The Kane Chroncles (series), The 39 Clues (series) , Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Ultimate Guide, The Demigod Diaries