The author of the wildly popular Percy Jackson series introduces a new set of heroes to his legions of fans in Book One of the Kane Chronicles series. Siblings Carter and Sadie Kane have been raised on opposite sides of the globe—Sadie with her grandparents in London and Carter with his father, who travels the world studying Egyptian artifacts. Once a year, the Kane siblings get together, and this time the visit starts with a bang—the Rosetta Stone explodes and their father is taken away in a magical coffin.
And that’s just in the first few pages! Part Men in Black, part Avatar, this nonstop thriller reads like a movie. Sadie and Carter, who barely know each other, are thrust into confusing situations where nothing is quite what it seems to be. They soon learn that animals, people and everyday objects in the modern world have links to Egyptian magic and religion. Indeed, the Kane family is part of a lineage that leads all the way back to the first Egyptians.
The Red Pyramid takes place in a magical world with its own rules and history; the numerous mentions of Egyptian gods had me running to reference guides and making lists of names to keep up.
Sadie and Carter spend most of their time fighting monsters and one another and just a bit of time really getting to know each other. No doubt future volumes in this action-packed adventure series will flesh out this sister-and-brother team a little more thoroughly.
Copyright 2010 BookPage Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2010 Fall
Carter and Sadie's father is a magician and descendant of the pharaohs; he disappears after a failed spell summons five gods into the mortal world. Fleeing assassination orders, the brother and sister begin to discover their own powers; the action hits its stride in the second chapter and never lets up. Narrators Carter and Sadie are nicely individuated with honest, compelling voices. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2010 #4
Siblings Carter and Sadie Kane are plunged into a world of Egyptian gods and monsters when their father, secretly a powerful magician and descendant of the pharaohs, disappears after a failed spell blows up the Rosetta Stone and summons five gods into the mortal world. Fleeing assassination orders from the underground House of Life, the brother and sister begin to discover their new powers-to read hieroglyphics, to work spells using Divine Words, to create ghostly avatars to help them in combat-and soon learn that Carter is host to Horus, god of war, while Isis, goddess of wisdom, has manifested in Sadie. Under attack from magicians, monsters, and crocodile gods alike, and hoping to rescue their father from Set, god of chaos, the Kanes must find a way to banish the chaos god before he destroys all of North America. Similar in concept to the author's best-selling Percy Jackson books, the new series relies lightly on formula, here invoking Egyptian (rather than Greek) mythology and culture in a story driven by wisecracking adolescents in the modern world. Refreshingly for fantasy, Carter and Sadie are biracial; nicely individuated with honest, compelling voices, they share the duties of narration, while the action hits its stride in the second chapter and never lets up. Fans of the Riordan magic-equal parts danger, myth, and irreverence-will embrace this new series with open arms. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2010 April #2
The gods sure are busy in New York City. Manhattan was the site of the climactic battle of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. Now, Brooklyn is the base for Riordan's new series involving Egyptian gods. Similar story, different gods. In fact, fans of The Lightning Thief and its sequels will find themselves put through familiar paces here--short chapters with catchy titles, cheeky characters, a lightning-paced plot, humorous banter between characters, gods with mysterious connections to their human counterparts, young protagonists with powers not yet realized and a world in grave danger unless the humans get involved. Here, it's 14-year-old Carter Kane and his 12-year-old sister Sadie, African-American siblings, who must battle the gathering forces of chaos. Lacking the more leisurely development of characters and settings of The Lightning Thief, this tale explodes into action from chapter one, when Dr. Kane, at the British Museum, unleashes mysterious forces that Carter and Sadie must stop. Readers pining for Percy Jackson will find new heroes in Carter and Sadie Kane, and that's not all bad, even if the plot will seem familiar. (Fantasy. 10 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Library Media Connection Reviews 2010 October
The first book in a new series, this fast-moving adventure story starts with a bang (literally) and doesn?t slow down until the end. Carter and Sadie, children of an archaeologist, find out they are descendants of Egyptian royalty. They also possess previously unknown magical powers and their father sets them on a course to save the world from ancient Egyptian evil. Riordan incorporates quite a bit of ancient Egyptian history and archaeology but in a whimsical, entertaining way. Told from the children?s perspective, the narrative is quite believable. It contains enough dry humor to hold the attention of older teens as well. The action and descriptions are quite detailed and vivid. Carter and Sadie save the world with the help of the ancient gods and accept their place as magicians in a modern world. They also realize they must find other children with magical talents and train them if they are to maintain the proper order of the world. Recommended. Kyla M. Johnson, Librarian, Farmington (New Mexico) High School ¬ 2010 Linworth Publishing, Inc.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2010 April #2
This fun, if formulaic, start to the Kane Chronicles series opens with a signature Riordan move: an explosion. Siblings Carter and Sadie have been living apart since their mother's mysterious death. On Christmas Eve, archeologist Julius Kane and son Carter, 14, show up in England for one of their two days a year with Sadie. Julius ushers his children to the British Museum, where he blows up the Rosetta Stone, unleashing five Egyptian gods and causing his own disappearance. The kids' Uncle Amos whisks them to a Brooklyn mansion, where he reveals that the Kanes descend from powerful Egyptian magicians. Swap Egyptian mythology for Percy Jackson's Greek gods and you've got the best part of this--an ancient history lesson seamlessly unfurled in a rip-roaring adventure. Told in alternating chapters by Carter and Sadie, the novel begins with a warning that the book is a "transcript of a digital recording," a distracting gimmick, and the attempts to make Sadie sound English by dropping in British slang are intermittent. Despite those flaws, Riordan delivers another funny yarn with kids in the lead and animal sidekicks that nearly steal the show. Ages 9-12. (May)[Page 51]. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
Gr 4-9--Riordan takes the elements that made the "Percy Jackson" books (Hyperion) so popular and ratchets them up a notch. Carter, 14, and Sadie, 12, have grown up apart. He has traveled all over the world with his Egyptologist father, Dr. Julius Kane, while Sadie has lived in London with her grandparents. Their mother passed away under mysterious circumstances, so when their father arrives in London and wants to take them both on a private tour of the British Museum, all is not necessarily what it seems. The evening ends with the apparent destruction of the Rosetta Stone, the disappearance of Dr. Kane, and the kidnapping of Carter and Sadie. More insidiously, it leads to the release of five Egyptian gods, including Set, who is their mortal enemy. Carter and Sadie discover the secrets of their family heritage and their ability to work magic as they realize that their task will be to save humanity from Set, who is building a destructive red pyramid inside Camelback Mountain in Phoenix. The text is presented as the transcript of an audio recording done by both children. Riordan creates two distinct and realistic voices for the siblings. He has a winning formula, but this book goes beyond the formulaic to present a truly original take on Egyptian mythology. His trademark humor is here in abundance, and there are numerous passages that will cause readers to double over with laughter. The humor never takes away from the story or from the overall tone. A must-have book, and in multiple copies.--Tim Wadham, St. Louis County Library, MO[Page 118]. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.