A friend I grew up with lent this book to me. He told me it would only take me one day to read the entire book. He was wrong. He also told me it wouldA friend I grew up with lent this book to me. He told me it would only take me one day to read the entire book. He was wrong. He also told me it would be good. And on that count, he was right. David Nichols, the author, manages to make his characters believable and relatable without becoming too much like cliches. I think what struck me the most though is how earnest "One Day" is. So heartfelt and sincere and bursting with earnestness. This is a book about LIFE dammit, and FRIENDSHIP, and all those other important things that should be spelled in all caps because that's how much they're supposed to matter, as this book tells us. And of course this is true. Of course. But at the same time, this story was so familiar to me on many levels, so many of the days/thoughts/fears seemed so much like my own that, I couldn't help but wonder, if my own closeness to the story hasn't actually made the book seem so much better than it actually is. And does that even matter? ...more
**spoiler alert** The thing that impresses me about Rick Riordian is his ability to seamlessly tell a story, building myth upon myth, with nary a brea**spoiler alert** The thing that impresses me about Rick Riordian is his ability to seamlessly tell a story, building myth upon myth, with nary a break in continuity. No, he's not Tolkien, who's world-building remains unparalleled (the guy invented a whole family of languages for Middle Earth!) and no, his ideas aren't particularly revolutionary or even unpredictable but he IS able to build on old material and make them, truly richer, yielding stories that not only avoid offending longtime mythology fans (like me) but also draw in new readers to the adventure. It's a tricky thing, this working on old material to make something new, and many a screenwriter could clearly learn a thing or two from Riordan (including, ironically, the guy who adapted the first Percy Jackson into a movie). With The Lost Hero, Riordan gives himself a Herculean task (so to speak) by tackling not just Greek myths but Roman myths as well. Not to mention keeping consistent with the Percy Jackson series, which this series takes off from.
One of my favorite moments in the book is when Hera/Juno speaks to Jason, the titular Lost Hero, telling him, "I am the goddess of marriage. It is not in my nature to be faithless...I have no mortal heroes to do my bidding, which is why I am often so bitter toward demigods--Heracles, Aeneas, all of them. But it is also why I favored the first Jason, a pure mortal, who had no godly parent to guide him." With these lines, Riordan not only (1) affirms the Greek myth of Hera as the goddess of marriage, but also (2) makes her a more sympathetic character. He explains Juno's animosity towards the demigods as not simply a byproduct of her jealousy and anger over Zeus's many affairs but also as a thwarted yearning to have mortals to champion.
Admittedly, The Lost Hero isn't perfect. The story drags at times and it took me days to finish this book. But the characters are likable enough and it does have its moments. So 3 stars. And another chance to go higher when I pick up the ones to come next....more