duminică, 22 decembrie 2013

Review: The Red Pyramid

7090447 Title: The Red Pyramid
Author: Rick Riordan
First Published: May 4th 2010
Pages: 514

Since their mother's death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.

One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a "research experiment" at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.

I just want to say sorry in advance, because I'm quite sure this review will either be pretty confusing, or will eventually turn into a rumble. And now that I got that out of the way, enjoy the fangirling. (God, I hope it won't come to it)

Plot: For those of you (us) who are fans of Percy Jackson, but not only for those, of course, Rick Riordan brought another magic-is-real, what-the-hell-did-my-life-just-become, will-I-survive-to-see-tomorrow adventure type of book. Set in the same parallel reality as the aforementioned series, The Red Pyramid deals with a new mythology, new rules and new gods. Introducing a brother and sister duo, with an unfortunate relantionship and ready-to-be-messed-up lives, this first installment in The Kane Chronicles will take you from London to Brooklyn to Cairo in a seemingly impossible quest to save the world, stay alive and reinforce a type of magic banished thousands of years ago. To keep the story simple, Sadie and Carter were separated six years ago, after their mother's death and after a long custody battle. Now Sadie has a normal life in London, with her boring, father-hating grandparents, while Carter travels the world with their only remaining parent, famous egyptologist Julius Kanes. She only gets to see her father twice a year, which makes their family relationships quite strained. But this all ends on Christmas Eve, one of the visitation days, when Dr. Kane decides it's time to set mysterious things right. Unfortunately, this ends with his disappearance, a blown-to-pieces Rosetta Stone, five gods of Egypt unleashed, and the fate of the world on the shoulder of his two kids. Now Sadie and Carter have to save the world from being taken over by the God of Chaos, Set. All while being hosts for two other temperamental gods, going to live with an unknown uncle, finding out they're Blood of the Pharaohs and learning about their family appartanence to an Ancient Egyptian magic society named the House of Life.

Characters: Like Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Red Pyramid is also told from a first person perspective. This time, however, Sadie and Carter are both narrating, which adds to the hilarity of the story. Personally, I like Sadie's point of view better, not because she's a girl, but because she's sarcastic, and witty and she just reminds me of myself quite a lot. Also, Sadie's point of view has Anubis (God of Funerals, pretty hot God of Funerals), so you can't really blame a girl for her preferences. But, letting my biased reasons apart, she is a strong character, has some really cool powers seeing how she hosts Isis, and I just became attached to her pretty quickly. As for Carter, he is more on the geeky side, knows a lot about Ancient Egypt and he developes some impresive combat abilities, being the Eye of Horus and all that jazz. Their relantionship is rocky at best, they haven't seen each other more than a few times in the last years, honestly, they are near strangers. But I enjoyed seeing how the realisation that they are all that is left of their family brings them closer, makes them want to protect each other. You can see that behind the facade, they are just children, unsure of their powers, not knowing who to trust, missing their mother, in Sadie's case, missing her father also. Wanting to impress him, attract his attention. There's a nice assortment of secondary characters, too, like Zia Rashid, a young magician of the House of Life, Iskandar, the Chief Lector, whose appearance is brief, but whom I really liked as a character and also, why not, Michel Desjardins, the second most powerful magician in the world, who's quite interesting, too.

Personal opinion: There are a lot of people who say this series is the egyptian Percy Jackson, and while I can agree in a small measure, I feel the need to point out that The Kane Chronicles has its own qualities. It's action-packed, has an interesting premise and an even more interesting development. And there is this really nice twist near the end that is perfectly relevant for how the series is going to continue and, you know, just increases the tension. Personally, I was glued to the book and that is saying something. 

Favorite quote: "Fairness means everyone gets what they need. And the only way to get what you need is to make it happen yourself." 

Recommandation: I guess you already got this one: read The Red Pyramid. There's a great chance you will end up enjoying it. And if not, I'm really sorry, but at least you tried.


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