Daria's Reviews > The Lost Hero

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
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Apr 16, 2010

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Read in December, 2010

So I finished this book in 8 hours of solid reading. Yes, even 400-something pages of Greek mythology take that long.

And the first thing which I should mention is that this book, and some others which have come before it and all those which will follow, have nothing going for them except for plot. Absolutely nothing. (Well, unless you count occasional hilarious one-liners on the side. I guess I should.)

Of course, we can't discuss this book without discussing the original Percy Jackson and the Olympians. What made Percy Jackson such a success? He was new. Some people call him the Harry Potter of the new age, but he was much more interesting than that; a smart-aleck, good-hearted 12-year old who sets out on the ultimate road trip to save the world from a god-scale war. The reader befriends the stumbling hero from page two. We want things to turn out alright for our demon-slaying protagonist, but, peeking from behind our fingers, we also really don't want them to, because the result will be much funnier. The most important thing about Percy was that he evolved over the course of his series. That was probably greatest asset Riordan could have granted to Percy: change. It takes Percy half the first book to even admit to himself that gods are toying around with mortals/demigods; he doesn't fall into the role of leadership until book three, or perhaps book four. But here, in The Lost Hero, our new heroes simply are. Jason is the new Percy, and he fails miserably at the job. Piper, although deeper than the Mary-Suestic (is there a male counterpart to that term?) Jason, will never be as likeable as Annabeth, and Piper's relationship with her father will never reach the depth or strength of the Percy-Sally relationship. The only interesting character of the trio proves to be Leo, who is haunted, a little insecure, and on occasion jealous.

But ever since The Last Olympian itself, all of Riordan's books have lacked something. What is it? Soul? There's little life in the writing style of the The Lost Hero. Gone are the mirthful chapter titles of the Olympian series (e.g. "I Accidentally Vaporize my Pre-Algebra Teacher"), and the sassy first-person tone of voice which worked so well in Percy's case will never again be. The third-person narration in this book distances us from the characters. There’s little to no illustrative description. The focus is instead of bland action and scenes which we have already encountered countless times. Needless to say, all of this becomes a little tiring. Riordan is trying to write a different series about different heroes in a different voice, but he has retained the writing style of the previous books, something which should not have happened.

But hey, all in all, there’s some fun to it. Although redundant, The Lost Hero avoids being boring. Sure, the plot structure is terrible (Evil powers are rising! Go on a quest! Leo, save the day! Piper, save the day! Jason, save the day! Boss battle, everyone – with the aid of a dues-ex-machina, of course, the fourth in a row!), but I was loathe to the put the book down, and that must say something. There was a great deal of focus on who finds what other character attractive, which irked me (someone tell me, where did this trend start?), and I was really surprised that the characters are initially are older than the targeted reading age group, since authors generally want to have as much connection with the reader as possible. I know that Riordan wanted to pick up where the Olympians left off, but maybe our new heroes could’ve hung around Nico, or something. The best aspect of the book, I think, is the whole dual idea of Greek and Roman camps, which means that this series will have just as much character-character conflict as character-bad guy conflict, if not more. The part which will doubtlessly hold readers on tenterhooks is the news of what has happened to Percy. Although this plot thread was not entirely unprecedented (Riordan has become about as suave as Suzanne Collins in his plot twists), I have to admit I was a little heartbroken, and now I nervously await the next installment.

Speaking of that… I am clearly very curious about the next book in the series. It will be titled The Son of Neptune, and, if I’m not mistaken, there will be a great deal of focus on a greatly beloved character. But I am afraid that Percy will not be Percy. What is he now? Seventeen? He’ll never again be the slightly naïve but courageous middle-schooler who chose to journey to the Underworld, granted, but I wish that Riordan could bridge that gap and take us to the old world of Percy Jackson once again.
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03/27/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-22 of 22) (22 new)

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message 1: by Rachel (new)

Rachel You're right... doubtless 'tis a cheap appeal to the masses. Dégoutant! -adjusts beret-


message 2: by Daria (last edited Apr 17, 2010 02:01PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Daria Well, I'm going to give him a chance. Do you follow Rick Riordan's blog? He stated in one of his entries that the few close people who had read the manuscript said it was his best.

What do you think of Stroud's next novel? My excitement has no limits. Having Bartimaeus back is better than passing the APs.


Claudia I'm posting this review on my bedroom freaking wall. My thoughts EXACTLY!


Daria Claudia wrote: "I'm posting this review on my bedroom freaking wall. My thoughts EXACTLY!"

Hahaha, I'm very honored!


message 5: by L. (new) - rated it 3 stars

L. Lim This is /exactly/ how I feel. I miss Percy Jackson!

Well done with your review. :)


message 6: by Daria (last edited Jun 25, 2011 01:56PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Daria farfromperfection wrote: "This is /exactly/ how I feel. I miss Percy Jackson!

Well done with your review. :)"


Thank you! Have you read the sneak peek of Son of Neptune? Percy Jackson in third person is just so terribly... not Percy Jackson.


Belen great review, exactly how I felt about the book (despite my early unwillingness to accept that).. but let's just hope 'the son of neptune' will redeem the series


message 8: by Jason (new)

Jason this book was amazing when is the second one coming out


message 9: by Daria (last edited Jul 30, 2011 11:07AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Daria Jason wrote: "this book was amazing when is the second one coming out"

This October, I think.


Taylor I agree completely. His books have really lost appeal since the Last Olympian. He writes about 400 page books on average and now he's coming out with two per year. I wonder if he was being pressured into finishing his books...I don't think he meant to start the next book to the prophecy so soon. And I think he should've just started with a clean slate, and not try to incorperate Percy and the other old characters into the Heroes of Olympus. It's a little much.


Daria Taylor wrote: "I agree completely. His books have really lost appeal since the Last Olympian. He writes about 400 page books on average and now he's coming out with two per year. I wonder if he was being pressure..."

It's definitely not easy writing a book every six months. I think he should have slowed down, and put a little more thought into his stories. We readers are a patient folk.


TimeyWimeyBooks I agree that the writing this time around was very weak. And yes, the Percy series was better (at least so far). But I don't think the problem is Jason's age or the fact that he is already a "leader". I personally prefer the books where they are older and deal with more serious issues, this gives Riordan a broader base than it would if it always centered around 12 year olds. What bothered me was the incessant, horrible inner dialogue of all three characters. It was tedious , boring and repetitive.


message 13: by Ben (new) - rated it 2 stars

Ben I agree. The third person nonsense takes away the ability to know what they think...and jumping around of characters makes you know to much information. If it was first person to Jason....(maybe I would like it)...but only to Jason


Daria Ben wrote: "I agree. The third person nonsense takes away the ability to know what they think...and jumping around of characters makes you know to much information. If it was first person to Jason....(maybe I ..."

I feel like Riordan wanted to change it up, but, this being his seventh succeful children's book, he was already out of ideas. We know his tricks. I think The Lost Hero just suffers from seriously unlikable characters.


message 15: by Ben (new) - rated it 2 stars

Ben Daria wrote: "Ben wrote: "I agree. The third person nonsense takes away the ability to know what they think...and jumping around of characters makes you know to much information. If it was first person to Jason...."

Agreed.


Lady Jaye I love this review. It encapsulates my feelings exactly.


message 17: by Daria (last edited Jul 13, 2012 11:16PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Daria Lady Jaye wrote: "I love this review. It encapsulates my feelings exactly."

Thanks! I guess a lot of people feel this way. On the one hand, we don't want the adventure to stop, but on the other, there comes a point when too much of a good thing is indeed too much... It's what makes any series so controversial, making loyalists of some fans and critics of others. I've just finished another fabulous series, Artemis Fowl, whose time I felt had come, too. It seems as though everywhere we feel let down by less-than-exciting finales and weak spinoffs. Perhaps our own imaginations are simply that powerful - we invent so much might-have-been for our beloved characters, we're disappointed when the "official" versions come out.


Lady Jaye Funnily enough I don't really mind the loss of originality if the characters are a joy to read about. Percy is. Tyson is. Annabeth is. So coming on a predictable adventure with them is worth I because we get to have fun with them. This Supposed "leader" Jason was so wooden and Piper too. Argh.

I also agree about Artemis Fowl. The later books were so weird and quite out of character :(

Here's hoping The Mark of Athena will be good.


message 19: by Abigail (new)

Abigail "(Is there a male counterpart for that term?)"
I've seen people use the term "Gary-Stu" (I.E. No Mary-Sues or Gary-Stus allowed)
I agree with your review. Leo was by far my favorite character in the whole book, he actually seemed human, whereas yes, Piper and Jason weren't very realistic or interesting. The book seemed to mimic a lot of scenes (fighting scenes in particular) from other PJ books. All the same, hard to put down.


Sydney Hicks I disagree with you. Mostly because I think you and a lot of readers that are Percy Jackson fans(along with me) wanted this book to be a continuance of the original series. I think this book made it harder to like the characters because it was not in first person so you didn't read as many of their inner thoughts. Also I think that comparing them does not allow you to see this book individually. No Piper will never be as likable as Annabeth but she has her own unique qualities that make her interesting. I enjoyed the book and look forward to reading the rest of this series.


Roisin Just finished this book. Where it usually only takes me a day or two to finish a book this one took me over two weeks as I found myself kinda bored.

I miss the funny chapter titles the and first person narrative the old books had and I especially miss Percy.

Though I hear he's in the other books so I hope I will enjoy them a lot more.


MeLvz feel the same way. Great review.


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