Mythology given makeover in author's experienced hands

Mythology given makeover in author's experienced hands

The Red Pyramid By Rick Riordan Published by Puffin ISBN 978 0 141 38494 8

The ancient gods just can't leave the modern world alone. In Rick Riordan's popular Percy Jackson series, it was the Greek gods that rose up out of history to create problems for poor Percy in New York. Now it's the turn of ancient Egyptian gods to wake up in London and New York and cause headaches for new heroes Carter and Sadie Kane.

Fans both young and old of half-boy, half-god Percy will lap up The Red Pyramid, the first book in Riordan's rip-roaring new series. Different gods, different characters, same set-up - Riordan is onto another winner here.

Carter and Sadie are brother and sister but don't really know each other. Since their mother's mysterious death near an ancient Egyptian monument in London, Carter has travelled the world with his father, the brilliant Egyptologist Dr Julius Kane, while Sadie has lived a relatively unadventurous life with her grandparents in London. The pair don't see each other very often, but this particular Christmas, when the two siblings meet, things become explosive. Literally.

Kane takes his two children to the British Museum to take a look at the Rosetta Stone, one of the most famous Egyptian relics in the world. As Sadie and Carter are making up their minds whether to be bored or excited by the trip, the stone suddenly blows up in front of them, and Kane vanishes.

After a thorough quizzing by the authorities, Carter and Sadie are whisked away by their Uncle Amos to a strange mansion in Brooklyn, New York. Once there, he reveals that the children come from a line of powerful Egyptian magicians and that the explosion in London released five Egyptian gods who pose a terrible threat to the Kane family.

And now the adventure begins, with Riordan not letting the pace or excitement drop until the very end. The Kane children soon find themselves on a globe-trotting quest to save their lives and defeat the evil that is following them. Fascinating god-facts and ancient history unfold seamlessly as the hair-raising action progresses.

Riordan lets Carter and Sadie tell the tale in alternating chapters, and this cleverly attracts both male and female readers. The relationship between the siblings is very realistic and at times entertaining, because of their opposing characters.

The Red Pyramid is a big book, at more than 500 pages, but the chapters are short, and it soon becomes obvious there is going to be a crisis or cliff-hanger around every corner. This makes for a wild and entertaining adventure that leaves the door open for more Kane escapades to follow. The Red Pyramid is a thrill-a-minute series-starter that adventure lovers will not want to miss.



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