Review: The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1)

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.”

Characters:

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

Advertisements

What Next?

Alright, so I have finished reviewing the Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld, and now I’m not sure what to do. I have a couple options, but I am hoping for some feedback from you guys. I have read the first three books in the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan, and I  can definitely review those. I am also about halfway through Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater and I plan on reviewing that, but I don’t know if you guys would prefer I review that before or after the other series. Should I not review all three of the Heroes books one right after another? Or is that okay?

What do you think?

I’m back!

As some of you may have noticed, my blog experienced some down time yesterday and today. I was in the process of previewing my second post for you guys when I got a message on my dashboard that said that my blog was deactivated because I violated the terms of service for WordPress.com. Needless to say, I was a little upset! I wasn’t aware of having done anything at all to violate the terms of service… after all, my blog was only online for 5 hours at that point! So, after being the most impatient and frustrated WordPress user ever (I sent them four messages in less than 24 hours), I got a reply from WordPress! They said that the automatic spam filter flagged my blog for some reason, but upon review my blog was fine! I was at work when I got the email, but I rushed outside (I work in a hospital) to call my husband and share the awesome news!

I really need to publicly thank my husband too, without him my blog would not have nearly as much traffic as it does. He also helped me keep my followers posted about my situation through his blog (mentioned in my about section) and through his author page. He really is the best!

Which leads me to another point, the start-up success of my blog is phenomenal! You guys are awesome! The first day, even though my blog was down after 5 hours, my blog got 98 views!! That’s awesome! My blog also was down until around 5:30pm today, and I already have 70+ views! The support that you guys have given me has far exceeded my expectations!

In other news, we are still waiting on the arrival of the book Goliath by Scott Westerfield. The book was supposedly shipped on December 28th, but since it is coming through USPS (AKA snail mail), we have yet to receive it. Ugh. One of the things I hate about reading series is that I always read through them so quickly and am very eager to start the next installment. You may have noticed this in my rant in my last post. I am just itching to read this new book, and it still isn’t here!

I am also expecting two other books (one via UPS! woo!). They are Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan and The House at Riverton by Kate Morton. These two are nothing alike, but I like the other books the authors have published. Son of Neptune is the next installment in the Heroes of Olympus series, the first one being The Lost Hero. The first one was pretty good, it is a YA book and a very quick read, but I always enjoy reading anything having to do with Greek/Roman Gods and Goddesses. The House at Riverton is not part of a series, but I have read several other books by Kate Morton. Her books generally have female protagonists and stitch together past and present story lines. I’m excited to get my hands on these new books!

Also, you guys are probably wondering when I am going to start posting some book reviews. The problem is, I want to make my first review a sort of special review, so I am having some trouble picking the first book to review! I am thinking that I am going to wait until I get and finish Goliath and then post a super review of the whole Leviathan series. I will also do individual reviews of the three books in the trilogy. That’s the plan for now, but if Goliath doesn’t get here soon I may be forced to reconsider! I guess only time will tell!

Also, do you guys have any books that you might recommend? I’d love to start making a list of new books to add to my library!