01 December 2010

A New Perspective On Camp Half-Blood

The Lost Hero

4 Stars

Rick Riordan

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 a best friend named Leo. They’re all students at a boarding school for “bad kids.” What did Jason do to end up here? And where is here, exactly?
Piper has a secret. Her father has been missing for three days, ever since she had that terrifying nightmare. Piper doesn’t understand her dream, or why her boyfriend suddenly doesn’t recognize her. When a freak storm hits, 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.
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. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist that each of them—including Leo—is related to a god.
(quoted from goodreads)

First Sentence:
"Even before he got electrocuted, Jason was having a rotten day."

Okay, let's be honest - I was not all that excited about this book. Just because I love, love, love, the Percy Jackson series, and I guess I just didn't want to move on. I also wasn't that excited for it because I had recently read The Red Pyramid, also by Rick Riordan, which is the beginning of a new series, this time about kids who discover Egyptian gods exist and that they have amazing powers (sound familiar?). I really despised The Red Pyramid - it felt like it was written for really young kids and it was just a rehash of Percy Jackson, not to mention that it was really confusing at times. But, with all that said, I decided that The Lost Hero was going to include Percy and the rest of the old crew, so why not give it a try? It came out a few days before my birthday, I received it as a gift, and started reading. Let me just say - it was definitely not what I expected. Lots of twists and surprises to keep you reading, interspersed with beautifully done character development and an intriguing mystery, made for a fantastic novel. First of all, it was really interesting to see Camp Half-Blood and the rest of the Greek mythology world through someone else's eyes (other than Percy). When we're experiencing camp from Percy's mind, we only see what it's like to be an outsider - a child of the Big Three, not a normal camper. With this book, you understand the dynamics of the other cabins and how special they all are, Big Three material or not. Also, the fact is that Percy can be kind of stupid sometimes, whereas Jason, Leo, and Piper are all pretty smart. This book also breaks down some of the stereotypes about certain gods and demigods that were established in the Percy Jackson series - like how all children of Aphrodite are vain and stupid. It also reveals some of the deeper effects of the battle with Kronos in The Last Olympian, like how people are dealing with Silena's and Beckendorf's deaths and how camp Half-Blood itself has changed. It was great to see Annabeth,Thalia, Grover, Chiron, and all the rest of the gang again, but it was also fascinating to meet some new characters as well. This novel definitely has an intricate mystery going on, with plenty of action and surprises thrown in. I also really loved getting to see Jason, Piper, and Leo all grow individually and together; character development is always really important to me in a story. All three of them have their own revelations and major decisions, but continue to support each other as well. This book had a great sense of family and belonging and being accepted for who you are, which I thought was really sweet. The only complaints that I had were that at times, it was a bit slow; I sometimes felt that it was dragging on unnecessarily long. It wasn't as funny, either. Also, it seemed like the story was following some of the format for Percy Jackson - be claimed, go on quest, meet crazy gods and heroes and villains, realize all is not right with the world and there is a big mystery to be solved, etc. etc. But, I suppose that's to be expected, since the stories are set in the same world. But the cliffhanger at the end still has me yearning for fall 2011 to come and bring me the next book, so, all in all, a fantastic read.

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