Reviews for Lost Hero
Booklist Reviews 2010 November #1
Readers longing for a return to Camp Half-Blood will get their wish in the first novel of the Heroes of Olympus series, which follows Riordan's popular Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and includes some of the same characters in minor roles. The new cast features Jason, Piper, and Leo, teen demigods who are just coming to understand and use their unique abilities as they learn how much depends upon their wits, courage, and fast-developing friendship. Setting up the books to come, the backstory of a master plan to unseat the gods is complex but is doled out in manageable bits with a general air of foreboding. Meanwhile, the action scenes come frequently as the three heroic teens fight monstrous enemies in North American locales, including the Grand Canyon, Quebec City, Detroit, Chicago, Omaha, Pikes Peak, and Sonoma Valley. Flashes of humor lighten the mood at times, but a tone of urgency and imminent danger seems as integral to this series as the last. With appealing new characters within a familiar framework, this spin-off will satisfy the demand for more. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Spring
Camp Half-Blood has three new arrivals: Piper, daughter of Aphrodite; Leo, son of Hephaestus; and Jason, son of Zeus. With the Titan war over, a new threat has emerged: a prophesied clash with Gaea's youngest children, the giants, who are returning to overthrow the Olympians. As with his Percy Jackson series, Riordan is completely in control of pacing and tone. Copyright 2011 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2011 #1
Camp Half-Blood, home to the mortal children of Greek gods (see the Percy Jackson and the Olympians books), has three new arrivals: Piper, a daughter of Aphrodite, good at persuasion; Leo, a son of Hephaestus, good at fixing things; and Jason, a son of Zeus, who is suffering from amnesia. With the Titan war over, a new threat has emerged: a prophesied clash with Gaea's youngest children, the giants, who are returning to overthrow the Olympians. Riding a bronze dragon rehabilitated by Leo, the three demigods go on a quest to free Hera from one such giant; another giant secretly holds Piper's father hostage in order to force her to betray her new friends. Jason's missing memories point to another mystery: why does Jason speak Latin rather than Greek like the other demigods? Why are the initials SPQR tattooed on his arm? Why does he know the Roman names for mythological creatures? Riordan extends the franchise in a logical direction while maximizing the elements that made the first series so popular: irreverent heroes, plenty of tension-filled moments fighting monsters, and authentic classical mythology mixed in with modern life. Completely in control of pacing and tone, he balances a faultless comic banter against deeper notes that reveal the characters' vulnerabilities. With Percy Jackson slated to make an appearance in later volumes, fans nostalgic for the old books should find in this new series everything they've been pining for. ANITA L. BURKAM Copyright 2011 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2011 January #2
"Not again!" yells one of the three protagonists at one point in Rick Riordan's first installment of his second five-book series that fuses Classical mythology with everyday teen angst. Readers may be forgiven if they've been feeling déjà vu from page one of this overlong and underedited retread. The three protagonists in question are Leo Valdez, son of a mechanic and the god Hephaestus, Piper McLean, daughter of a Cherokee movie star and the goddess Aphrodite, and Jason, son of Jupiter—come again? Yes, Riordan mixes it up between the Romans and the Greeks, playing further on his central, winning conceit that the gods have moved west over the centuries with the center of civilization. Jason has a serious identity crisis. In addition to speaking Latin instead of Greek and bearing the Imperial "SPQR" tattoo, he really has no idea who he is. Readers will know where he is, though. In not-short-enough order, Jason, Piper and Leo end up at Camp Half-Blood, learn, more or less, their identities and the quest begins. This exposition takes more than 100 pages to unspool with formulaic predictability. There are high points. Incidental details that bring the gods into the story often shine, as they have before. Argus, the camp's head of security, is distressed at the imprisonment of his creator, Hera, and weeps from all his eyes, causing him to "[wipe] the tears from his elbow." Boreas (who has taken up residence in Québec City, spawning a pretty great cover image) displays a classically godlike disregard for humans: "We are to crush your little mortal faces." Between these moments, however, are far too many pages of stretched-out action, telling not showing and awkward dialogue. Riordan has set himself an ambitious schedule of two books per year, alternating between The Kane Family Chronicles in the spring and The Heroes of Olympus in the fall, and the compressed timetable shows in an overall flabbiness of construction. The Greek-vs.-Roman tension tantalizes, but only after the lengthy denouement does it begin to take real shape, making this feel more like very long exposition than a complete novel. Throughout, both key secondary characters and the author play the irritating we-know-more-than-you-do game readers will remember from Percy Jackson, but here, rather than ratcheting up the suspense, it serves to emphasize the sense of a foregone conclusion. In a line of clunky, all-too-typical dialogue, Chiron tells Jason, "The last chapter approaches, just as it did before." Die-hard fans will probably be happy with this for a time, but unless Riordan tightens things up considerably by number five, they may find themselves hoping that it does not end with a third Great Prophecy. — Vicky Smith. Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2010 October #4
Percy Jackson fans can rest easy: this first book in Riordan's Heroes of Olympus spin-off series is a fast-paced adventure with enough familiar elements to immediately hook those eager to revisit his modern world of mythological mayhem. Clever plot devices--like gods who shift back and forth between their Greek and Roman personae--keep the book from feeling like a retread of Riordan's previous novels. Jason, Piper, and Leo, three students at a wilderness school for troubled teens, are transported to Camp Half-Blood after an unexpected encounter with evil storm spirits on the rim of the Grand Canyon. Not only do they discover that they are the offspring of ancient gods, but they also learn that they are three of seven demigods mentioned in the Great Prophecy uttered by Rachel in The Last Olympian. Wasting little time acclimating to their new lives, the three embark upon a quest to preserve Mt. Olympus and the divine status quo, by rescuing an erstwhile enemy. Rotating among his three protagonists, Riordan's storytelling is as polished as ever, brimming with wit, action, and heart--his devotees won't be disappointed. Ages 10-up. (Oct.) [Page ]. Copyright 2010 PWxyz LLC
School Library Journal Reviews 2011 February
Gr 5-9--This book will delight fans of The Lightning Thief (Hyperion, 2005) as Percy, Annabeth, and others play roles in the new prophecy and its subsequent quest. A few months after The Last Olympian (Hyperion, 2009) ends, Jason wakes up on a bus filled with problem kids from the Wilderness School who are headed to the Grand Canyon. He has no memory of his previous life, but seems to be with his girlfriend, Piper, and his best friend, Leo. The action takes off quickly: storm spirits attack them and capture their coach, who turns out to be a Satyr. Searching for Percy, who is missing, Annabeth arrives and takes the three to Camp Half-Blood, where they learn that they are demigods. Their parents are gods in their Roman rather than Greek personae. By sunset of the solstice in three days, the teens must rescue Hera, Queen of the gods, or Porphyrion, the giant king created to destroy Zeus and unseat the gods of Olympus, will rise. Their quest takes them across the United States, sometimes flying on a mechanical, 60-foot dragon, as they use their power and wits against Medea, King Midas, and the giant cannibal Enceladus. Riordan excels at clever plot devices and at creating an urgent sense of cliff-hanging danger. His interjection of humor by incongruous juxtaposition--Medea, for example, heads up a New York City department store--provides some welcome relief. The young heroes deal with issues familiar to teens today: Who am I? Can I live up to the expectations of others? Having read the first series is helpful but not essential, and the complex plot is made for sequels.--Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME [Page 118]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
School Library Journal Reviews 2011 March
Gr 4-7--Rick Riordan does it again with the first title (Hyperion, 2010) in a new series, introducing a young demigod named Jason who finds himself on a bus with no memory of who he is or how he got there. He soon discovers that all of his fellow travelers are juvenile offenders who have been sent to a wilderness boarding school for society's protection and their own re-education. Piper, a strange quiet girl, and Leo, a wise-cracking goof-off, both claim to be his friends, and the three embark on a journey that takes them across the United States, meeting Cyclopes in Detroit, Medea in Chicago, and Midas in Omaha. The final battle takes place at the Wolves Den, former home of Jack London, in Sonoma, California. Percy Jackson and Annabeth are mentioned at times, and at the book's conclusion we know that both will play important roles in the sequels. This tale belongs to Jason, Piper, and Leo, all of whom have suffered terrible losses and have their own insecurities. Each character is distinct in his/her pain and growing self-awareness. Narrator Joshua Swanson makes that clear with his variety of voices, along with conveying the hate of Hera, the greed of Midas, and the wickedness of Medea. Totally engaging.--Edie Ching, University of Maryland, College Park [Page 76]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
VOYA Reviews 2011 February
Fifteen-year-old Jason wakes up with no memory of his past while on a field trip to the Grand Canyon with a girlfriend, Piper, and a best friend, Leo, he does not recall. He is not able to ponder the gaping hole that is his past for long; one of his classmates suddenly changes into a wind-wielding psycho and attacks. Jason discovers he has powers and weapons of his own; and with the help of Counselor Coach Hedge (who is a goat person), Jason holds out until the monster-classmate flees. Seconds after he saves his friends, two strangers fly up in a chariot looking for someone named Percy Jackson. Can things get any weirder? They can and do when the two strangers, Annabeth and Butch, take the trio to Camp Half-blood, a place of protection for demigods--teens descended from Greek gods. Jason, Piper and Leo share narration duties alternating for two-chapter segments at a time. Each character has secrets they are afraid to share, and this causes major problems when they are tapped for a quest thanks to the Great Prophecy; the Giants are rising and so are the dead. Riordan kicks off a new series of mythology-infused adventures with a new cast of characters (and some old friends). The tale is longer than the Percy Jackson originals and can drag a bit at times, but fans hungry for further adventures in Riordan's modernized mythological realm will be well satisfied.--Timothy Capehart 3Q 5P M J Copyright 2011 Voya Reviews.