Friday, September 24, 2010

The Red Pyramid (audio) by Rick Riordan

Description from Goodreads:
Since their mother’s death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist,Dr. Julius Kane.  One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a "research experiment" at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.  Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them--Set--has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe--a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family, and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.

I never thought I was going to finish this effin book.  Now that's a way to start a review.  But, seriously, I didn't.  I'm not entirely sure what my problem was.  Well, I do know but I'll get to that in a second.

The inevitable comparison to Percy Jackson:
I kind of feel like this is a less worthy follow-up to the Percy Jackson series.  The first one in that series was so great and made me want to read more.  Even the audio book was great!  Not all the Percy Jackson books are great, but the first one was a showstopper.  This was like reading one of the less great Percy Jackson books.  There were too many locations, too many gods, too much mystery.  And the big bad felt a lot like Kronos.  I wasn't feeling it.  It was too much like Percy Jackson with siblings and an Egyptian goddess instead of Percy, Anna and Grover.

How I felt about the narrators:
This is one thing I hate saying.  I wasn't enamored of the narrators, particularly Katherine Kellgren as Sadie.  I found her voice to be particularly grating though she was much funnier in her reading than Kevin R. Free as Carter.  I found him much easier to listen to and his voice really lent itself to the audio book.  His characterization of Sadie left much to be desired though.  Kellgren actually did better as Carter for her parts than Free did as Sadie.

Further things I didn't like:

Part of my problem is all me.  I'm not as familiar with the Egyptian gods and so I didn't care about meeting them so much.  I'm interested in learning more, but they were never my favorite subject growing up like the Greek gods were.  But like I said, there was too much jumping around and I got a little confused.

Things I did like:
Bast was the most awesome god.  I loved her.  She was so fun and kickass and an all around great character and I was happy to see a good solid character.  I missed her when she wasn't around.

The humor was good.  Very funny and sarcastic.  And there were a few genuine laugh out loud moments for me.

I really think I would have liked this more as a middle grader.  I was much more willing to deal with formula back then.  Now though I have a hard time excusing it.  I'm sure others will disagree with me because if you like Percy Jackson, then you should like The Red Pyramid.  Maybe it because it was on audio, I don't know.  But I do know that I was so happy to be done with the whole thing.

Hogwarts: Ancient Runes


  1. I was happy to see your review, I've been slowly writing my own review of the book.
    I found the book quite...dense, but I think most of the time was spent explaining the Egyptian gods and goddesses. There was action, I liked Carter and Sadie (felt bad for them, really), but it was a bit slow. My brain got tired.
    And I did feel that The Red Pyramid was way to similar to the Percy Jackson books.
    I hope the second books isn't as long.

  2. I do like reading about Egypt. I love the history of that country and I actually just finished making a dia for my interning class (highschool) about Egypt. I really love the sound of this book, but too bad that it didn't was great! Maybe too much Egyptian gods? :) Great review.

  3. I've been waiting for someones review of the audio-version as the book sets itself up as a sort of a transcript and with the interruptions by a sibling during the other's narrative. after reading the book I was curious about the audio. thanks for the insights.

    I liked this one better than Percy Jackson primarily because I found Carter less annoying, and Jackson was too Harry Potter-ish.

    and while I do love Greek myth, I like the Egyptian as well and get excited when someone uses it. since Egyptian lore is not as well known I think Riordan had to work harder to introduce it. I agree, however, that the book was exhausting, with its non-stop pace. and was disappointing that toward the end, the road trip adventure read so much like the Olympians formula, the re-cycling of myth.

    am curious what the following books will look like, though.


  4. @Jennifer - I agree about the denseness. It seemed to like the charm of the Percy Jackson series.

    @Nina - You might like it more than me. And like I said it may have been the format I used.

    @Juju - Thanks!

    @L - The audio seemed like a good idea since, as you mentioned, the book is set up like that. I really think it was the narrators. I find the girl particularly grating. And also it was too reminiscent of Percy Jackson though I agree about Carter being less annoying than Percy himself.

  5. I agree that the first Percy Jackson was amazing on audio! I haven't read the Red Pyramid yet, but I was surprised when I heard that his new series would be about Egyptian gods - it just seemed too derivative of his first I understand where you're coming from, even though I haven't read it yet. Maybe you're right and kids won't mind.


  6. @Sue - I hope so! It just seemed to drag on forever for me.


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