Title: The Red Pyramid
Author: Rick Riordan
Genre: Fiction – Young Adult
Publication Date: 2010
Purchase Price: $18.00
Misc. Info.: I got a copy signed by the author!
Carter Kane is living what some would consider a perfect life: he travels the world with his Egyptologist father, exploring crypts and touching ancient history. Meanwhile Carter’s sister, Sadie, is living the life Carter wishes he could: she lives in London, where she has friends and a normal life.
But all that changes one night when their father, Julius Kane, performs a ritual that blurs the lines between truth and myth, this world and another.
The gods of Egypt are real, and they have powers far beyond what any human can control. But that is just what Julius has been trying to do. After an explosion which destroys part of the British Museum–as well as the Rosetta Stone–Carter and Sadie find themselves caught between the players of a war that is millennia long.
The future of the world is now in the hands of two fourteen year-olds, a cat which is more than it appears, a crocodile named Philip of Macedonia, and a monkey who likes the Lakers.
The Red Pyramid is the first book in the Kane series, by Rick Riordan. Riordan is the author of the enormously popular Olympians series, which I reviewed at length earlier this summer.
While Olympians followed Percy and his dealings with the gods and goddesses of Greek Mythology, the Kane series revolves around the Egyptian pantheon. Many of the Greek gods inspire a certain amount of awe, but the Egyptian gods portrayed in The Red Pyramid make your hair stand on end. It is in this book that I feel that Riordan has gone whole-hog with creating evil characters, and it’s awesome.
Upon first opening the book, the reader is greeted with these words:
“The following is a transcript of a digital recording. In certain places, the audio quality was poor, so some words and phrases represent the author’s best guesses. …The author makes no claim for the authenticity of the recording. It seems impossible that the two young narrators are telling the truth, but you, the reader, must decide for yourself.”
This is a genius move on Riordan’s part. It’s already a pretty fantastical story; add to that the fact that the author himself is apparently a bit disbelieving of the entire thing, and the reader is absolutely hooked.
I do wonder, however, at the maturity level of the main characters. Carter and Sadie are around fourteen years old — barely on the cusp of young adulthood. They’re dealing with apocalyptic nightmares, and they handle it remarkably well. My fourteen year-old self would be freaking the hell out. It’s really only in the characters’ snarky asides–mainly to one another–that there’s any indication that they’re any younger than seventeen or eighteen.
But aside from that little quibble, I completely enjoyed The Red Pyramid. The second book, whose title has not yet been released, will be available to the ravenous masses (namely me) in Spring 2011. You can read more about the author, as well as exciting things he’s writing, over at Riordan’s website.
Seyr Oyounik (Hossam Ramzy)
“The bird creature scratched at the stone floor. Then, unexpectedly, he smiled.
‘Pari, niswa nafeer,’ he told me, or at least that’s what it sounded like. …
‘All right,’ I said. ‘What did the bird guy say? You understood it?’
She nodded uneasily. ‘He mistook you for someone else. He must have bad eyesight.’
‘Because he said, ‘Go forth, good king.’ ” (pp. 151-152)