The Red Pyramid — Rick Riordan
Rick Riordan, by far, has an unwavering flair for revamping primordial myths—whether it be Greek, Roman, or Egyptian. Anyone who had read the Percy Jackson and the Olympians, and the Heroes of Olympus would have to agree with that; plus, those who had already flipped through the Kane Chronicles.
I have wanted to read this, like, forever, but reading it simultaneously with the Heroes of Olympus would be such a bad idea. I mean, my mind’s already all baffled out with the mingling of Greek and Roman mythology; I think I’m going to be sick mastering more terminologies. But since I have to wait for another year for the House of Hades, I definitely should give this a go.
So… two siblings named Carter and Saddie Kane were estranged from each other since their mother’s death. Their maternal grandparents got custody of the latter, while the former has travelled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.
On Christmas Eve, their father tried to summon Osiris (god of the Underworld) by using the Rosetta Stone as an anchor. Instead, the other four major gods were brought about too, including Set (god of chaos). Set imprisons him in a coffin (he is now the host of the god Osiris) and plans of bringing destruction by means of constructing the Red Pyramid.
Oblivious to the fact that they are descended from a long line of Egyptian Pharaohs and the most powerful godlings ever brought forth—Carter and Saddie has to perform their individual tasks to embark on a journey to save the world.
Albeit enjoying the book as a whole, I have to nitpick a few things that I didn’t like:
1.It has the same recurring themes as the Percy Jackson books—the dorky kid who becomes a hero (Carter/Percy), the kid who knows everything (Zia/Annabeth), the kid who seemingly knows nothing but ends up a hero (Sadie/Nico), saving a parent (Sally/Julius), a mythological creature as a sidekick (Khufu/Grover), venturing into the Underword/Land of the Dead is never easy until they hit the road, the expeditious deadlines and dues ex machina, etc.
2.The storyline gets repetitive. The Kanes went off to some place. They start bickering. Someone falls asleep. Soul drifts somewhere. Enemy attacks them. A dash of fight here, a dash of fight there. Someone gets left behind to fight off and buy time. They eventually get reunited with that someone. Over and over again.
3.Indistinct voices. I swear, I have to go back a few pages just to make sure who’s narrating.
4.The story was a blur. I almost felt chasing after them.
But there are certain things that I liked too:
1.Sarcasm and one-liners. Though oftentimes corny and weak, I love the way they continuously interrupt each other while recording, with jokes and sarcasms.
2.Bi-racial protagonist. Since Carter is dark and Saddie is white, they were frequently not perceived as siblings. I liked the way Rick Riordan handled it so well, not making a big deal about it, since there aren’t too many bi-racial protagonists out there.
3.Humor. They beat a god by literally stuffing it with lots of salsa. Desjardins wearing pink boxers? LOL.
4.A different take on Egyptian mythology. Mixing modernity is a very effective way in introducing mythology—as perceived from the Percy Jackson books.
5.The little romances. Carter and Zia/Saddie and Anubis.
6.Anubis. Such a charmer, you are. I also think he’s hot. Hihi.
7.Action-packed. Do I even have to mention that? 🙂
It’s a given fact that I’ll never get tired of reading middle-grader books and children literature such as this one. The Red Pyramid was full of flaws, yes; but who knew Egyptian mythology could be so gratifying? I know nothing of Egyptian mythology and I have to thank Rick Riordan for writing this. At least now, I know some things, if not many.
This may not replace my love for the Percy Jackson books, but hey, this could be a welcome addition to my Rick Riordan fandom. 🙂