Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Review - The Lost Hero

Original Title: The Lost Hero
Series: The Heroes of Olympus, #1
Author: Rick Riordan
Published: October the 12th, 2010

Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children

THE FOLLOWING REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS

I never thought I would read this book, after seeing it in hundreds of bookstores, and wondering what that cover with a big, mechanic dragon may be about. But Rick Riordan is easily becoming one of my favorite authors. His stories, besides being fast-paced, funny and engaging, have a strong, solid foundation, that links everything and widens the already big and multilayered world ancient Greek mythology built, and in this case, keeps building every day.

First of all, I have to admit that I wouldn’t have liked this book so much if I haven’t met Percy Jackson and Camp Half-Blood first. I really missed him on this one, especially as narrator, because The Lost Hero is told in the third person, following the quest of three demigods, Jason, Leo, and Piper, who arrive at Camp Half-Blood in strange circumstances, as Jason’s memories have been stolen, and he has no idea who he is, and what is is he doing in a school bus full of kids on their way to a field trip. I liked the fact that the author chose to switch the heroes’ POV, so that way we can get to know the three of them at the same time, with their own personalities, struggles, personal stories... And they are demigods, so that never gets boring.

Camp-Half Blood is one of those places that always welcomes you back, and with every book, it feels like coming home. I love to go there, every time to find something new, and meet new campers, and now it is even more interesting, because there’s new cabins and new demigods, so that means new powers, and a new set of characters. Personally, I find really interesting to get to know the children of minor gods, like Iris’, Hecate’s, and Hypno’s, and I really hope there’s more about them, because they were underrated for a long time, and I’m really curious about what they can do. Sadly, I had unintentionally spoiled myself some things before reading this book, like Jason’s last name and Piper’s godly parent, but I have to say that it didn’t kept me from passing one page after another, and easily spending four or five hours straight reading non-stop. Every chapter finishes with a mean cliffhanger that makes you need to keep reading. As for the characters we already know from the Percy Jackson series, I must say, before this book, I really disliked the Aphrodite cabin (except for Silena Beauregard), along with their mother, but Piper really makes me rethink it, especially after her dream with her mother, in which she exposes the true power love has, that it is more than just beauty, pink, and the designer clothes and perfums that seem to be the cabin’s trademark. 

Love is powerful, Piper. It can bring even the gods to their knees.
My point is that love is the most powerful motivator in the world. It spurs mortals to greatness. Their noblest, bravest acts are done for love.

I still can’t believe my favorite quotes from this book came from Aphrodite, but there’s truth in her words. More than once, the gods, in their imperfection, acted out of love and passion (sometimes with catastrophic consequences), proving that Aphrodite, even when she’s usually considered shallow and fickle, is more powerful than she’s given credit for.

I really liked Piper, she’s a strong, powerful demigod, destined for something great, and she really gives another meaning to what it is to be a child of Aphrodite. However, the love story with Jason seems a bit forced. He has no memory of her, and her memories of him are a product of the Mist, so I don’t really like the whole “he’s mine” thing Piper comes up with. I get it when she practically spits it to Drew’s face to get her out of the way, but still, she doesn’t even know the guy!

As for the other characters, well... The ones from the Percy Jackson’s saga are still my favorites, as Annabeth and Thalia (by the way, I also liked to read again about the Hunters of Artemis). I liked Jason, but I still love Percy better. He’s powerful, and I really want to know more about him, the camp he comes from, his family, the battle in Mount Othrys... There’s a whole lot of things to find out about him, and I guess that’s why I didn’t fully liked him; because I need to know more. As for Leo Valdez, I liked that through him we get to know a lot more about both the Hephaestus cabin, and his talents are amazing, as he did a few things not even his siblings could do, in addition to be able to create and manipulate fire, which makes him even a more powerful demigod. He’s a Latin character, moreover! You don’t get to know many of them, and almost always they are horrible stereotypes based in no research. That’s not the case, and I really hope he grows even more to be an awesome character; the only thing about him is that I needed to be reminded of his age, because sometimes he doesn’t seem to be sixteen, but rather twelve or thirteen, by the way he talks and thinks. But still, he’s a great character.

The Roman mythology part sounds interesting and I’m more than willing to keep reading, especially now that we know where Percy is. I want to know more about Lupa the she-wolf, and of course, about the other camp in which the kids born from the Roman version of their godly parent are. I’m really curious about it, and I can’t wait to keep reading! I have the feeling that this saga won’t be better than the Percy Jackson one, but still, it promises to be really good. I’m always open to new fantasy sagas, and after of a couple of trashy ones, I’m very happy that I found an author who can really work magic with his words! Definitely a keeper!

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