You are probably sick of me reviewing Rick Riordan’s work, I am aware that I have done a lot of it recently but sometimes you just want to read a set of books that you know you will be able to speed through and enjoy, and Rick Riordan is one of the authors I can rely on for that.
The Lost Hero is the first book in the Heroes of Olympus series and picks up a few months after the final book in the Percy Jackson series (though you could read Heroes of Olympus without reading the previous series). This book follows Jason, Piper and Leo as they race across the country to save Hera, the queen of the gods, and hopefully prevent the gods greatest enemies from rising from the Underworld. Each of the hero’s face their own personal challenges alongside the main quest. They also face a number of greek monsters who get in their way.
At the beginning of the series the readers know nothing of the characters, and it quickly becomes apparent that one of the characters not only doesn’t know those he is with, despite their apparent history, but he doesn’t know who he is either. This allows the readers to get to know the characters as they bond as a group.
Jason’s history is shrouded in mystery and theas the quest progresses more and more of his history becomes apparent, though each time a question is answered more seems to pop up. This lack of memory makes Jason feel conflicted with his relationships to the other two characters as the Mist, makes them believe that they have a relationship with him already.
Piper starts the series not enjoying the limelight, though she will do whatever it takes to have some attention from her dad. She changes as the book goes on, and while she is not comfortable with the limelight she is clearly more comfortable with it. She also finds her leadership qualities, taking the lead when necessary and in some cases showing her strength of mind over the males she is accompanying.
Leo’s conflicts are more internal l throughout the book, and as more of his history is revealed the reader can understand why he is struggling so much. He shows all of the traits of his father, including his awkwardness around people, but he integrates into the group, despite not being comfortable with the developing relationship between Jason and Piper as he wants that for himself.
The writing style of the Heroes of Olympus is different to the previous series. Chapters have differing points of view, this not only allows the reader to get to know each of the characters more intimately but it is also a useful tool for Riordan moving forwards as I can assume that the series end up split up between the different camps. Despite this change in story telling, the key traits of Rick Riordan’s storytelling are still here, both the pace of the writing and the building tension both in this book and the overall series.
One of the key themes in this book is the sense of belonging. Jason spends the majority of the story feeling like he doesn’t belong at camp half blood despite those around him saying that he does. Leo on the other hand feels at home there for the first time, until he is told that he shouldn’t have one of his gifts as it is a bad omen. This sense of belonging is something that everyone feels at different points. You feel it as adults when you are changing jobs, or some children feel it when they joining a new after school club or taking part in an event that they are not comfortable with. I am not one of those lucky people who feel comfortable in new situations, and if you are you should feel very lucky.
Family is another key theme in this book. Leo’s history impacts on this as he hasn’t had a true parental figure for a number of years and in this book it is the first time he has ever interacted with his godly parent. Jason who can’t remember his history finds out he has a sister which only adds to his confusion as to why he doesn’t feel comfortable at Camp Half-blood.
The last theme I want to share is friendship. This group of demi-gods were all friends prior to their quest even if only briefly. They are all given a choice to turn back or betray each other at different points in the story, but their friendships become stronger due to these difficult decisions throughout the story.
The ominous ending made me want to pick up the next book right away to see what happens next, which is always a good sign. The rest of the series will most likely have the characters we fell in love with in the previous series show up whilst exploring new territory.
I am going to give this book four stars. The premise is strong, but I could see where the book was going which took away some of the mystery for me and reduced some of the tension. If you have read this book tell me what you rthought in the comments
I am hoping that my next review will be on Skulduggery Pleasant or The Name of the Wind as right now my entire blog seems to mostly be about Rick Riordan.