The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

 

ChildrenFantasy

The Red Pyramid The Red PyramidRick Riordan; Disney-Hyperion 2010WorldCatCarter and Sadie Kane watch in shock as their father blows up the Rosetta Stone in the British Museum. Ever since their mother died six years earlier, they’ve only seen each other twice a year. This time their Egyptologist father takes them to the museum. The last they see of him he is sinking into the ground in a golden sarcophagus. They also see five – people? – step out of the explosion. It seems that Dr. Kane has released five Egyptians gods near the beginning of the Demon Days – the last five days of the year. And Set, the evil one of the five, is ready to take over the world.

Carter, 14, and Sadie, 12, are rescued by their Uncle Seth who takes them to New York. They learn they are special – they are from two very strong ancient bloodlines and have magical powers they must now start learning. They aren’t there long before Uncle Seth’s home comes under attack and is destroyed. Sadie and Carter are on the run and go to Egypt to meet the primary magicians.

The further they go on their quest the more they learn about themselves, their magic, the Egyptian gods, and how important they are in the coming days. They can help prevent gods they only slightly understood before from taking over the world now. Set wants to bring the days of chaos back.

In this new series by Rick Riordan is once again resurrecting ancient gods. Sadie and Carter’s parents are both from lines of pharaohs. The two of them are the most powerful children in ages because of their heritage. They each have their own special powers that compliment each other.

Carter and Sadie are more shocked to discover they are hosts. That means two of the five gods they saw in the museum are now trying to share their bodies. The gods would like to take over the bodies. Sade and Carter refuse to do more than share their psyche.

Yes, this story line sounds similar to Riordan’s Olympian series. Riordan has changed this story, though, except for the kids coming from a family of gods, learning to use magic, and having to defeat ancient gods trying to take over the world.

First, The Red Pyramid features a brother and sister who don’t know or like each other. The story is told in two first person narratives by Carter and Sadie. There’s a great introduction explaining that much of the bickering and squabbles have been edited out. At times the person speaking makes a quick side comment when the other says something (usually snide) in the background.

Another, more important difference is the family. Their father is black; their mother was white. Carter looks more like their dad; Sadie looks like their mother. Yet when anyone comments on their appearance or how they can’t be related, both Sophie and Carter take offense. Their color doesn’t matter to the story line as much as bring another element of depth to the book.

Overall, while The Red Pyramid is a fun book and moves quickly, it tries to pack too much in. Most of what we learn is needed to set the stage. Yet after a while all the gods, their personalities, and their powers start getting confusing. Some of the scenes are over the top – taking out the devourer over Phoenix is one of those times. That said, tween kids will love this book. Who doesn’t like a slightly (OK two) stumbling hero coming into his/her powers and defeating the older generation?

Notice:  Non-graphic fantasy violence

More books by Rick Riordan

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