Author: Rick Riordan
Release date: 13th May 2010
Genre: Fantasy Adventure
Target audience: 9+
Summary from Amazon:
Carter and Sadie have nothing in common but their parents: their father Dr. Julius Kane, a brilliant Egyptologist, and their mother, a famed archaeologist who died under mysterious circumstances when they were young. The siblings barely know each other, but one night, their father brings them together at the British Museum, promising a ‘research experiment’ that will set things right for their family. His plans go horribly wrong. An explosion unleashes an ancient evil – the Egyptian god Set who banishes Dr. Kane to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives. Now orphaned, Carter and Sadie must embark on a dangerous quest – from Cairo to Paris to the American Southwest, to save their father and stop Set from destroying everything they care about . . .
Rick Riordan brings to life another epic fantasy series in The Red Pyramid. Carter and Sadie Kane are a brother-sister team who embark on a quest that is written into their very blood. They are the beginning of a new generation of heroes who will undoubtedly prove popular with fans of Percy Jackson. After the death of their mother, the two Kane kids are raised separately. Carter is a little man rather than a boy. He grew up traveling the world with his dad moving from one archelogical site to another. Sadie lived in England with her grandparents and has what Carter imagines to be the normal life of a teenager. Both envy the experiences of the other and part of their journey is realising that appearances can be deceiving.
They each tell part of the story and so it alternates every two chapters between their voices. The narrative is pretty smooth sailing though as it all has the very Riordan-esque overdramatised style. Even Sadie's voice which should be decidedly English doesn't always come across that way. There are also many funny asides as they interrupt each other's chance to tell the story.
The plot is a whirlwind of hair-raising action, deadly battles with angry Gods and misunderstandings between the siblings. There are a few twists but they won't blow your multi-coloured socks off. I was still very much rooting for the Kane siblings. They have a very witty dialogue. I particularly liked Sadie's rebellious side. Carter takes quite a lot of persuading to get up to no good whereas Sadie is ready to throw herself face first into it. There is also a hint of romance to come in the story and so that kept you guessing.
Overall, I think the target audience will be very excited by Rick Riordan's new series although they could be put off by the length of the book. It comes in at 513 pages. Sometimes it feels a little slow but there is always a new crisis or action moment around the corner. I actually think the next book will be better. This book involved a lot of rule setting and establishing of the Egyptian landscape in the modern world which took away from some of the joyful adventurous fun. The ending certainly gave me so much to look forward to from the next book. If you loved Percy Jackson, then I think you just have to read it and see what you make of it for yourself. The Red Pyramid feels like just the beginning. I did enjoy it but I was still hoping for more.