We're going to change things up a bit and today and I'm going to review some middle grade fiction. I'm usually not a huge fan of the middle grade genre, but for Rick Riordan, I'll read anything. It seems that Riordan has delved into my elementary-aged self and pulled all of my past loves into his books. What child in 4th grade didn't love learning about Greek, Roman and Egyptian mythology? If these things were your favorites as well, check out Mr. Riordan's books because they will definitely take you back.
While I have already read his first series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, (and I'm quite obsessed) I have read and re-read those books so many times I think later I'll do a big review of the series as a whole. The Lost Hero takes off a little after the last of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series stopped, only now we find out that Percy is missing. His girlfriend, Annabeth, is ready to tear the world apart to find him and she thinks Hera, the goddess who seems to hate demigods (especially Annabeth) is behind his disappearance. We are introduced to new demigods and one of them, Jason, has lost his memory and has no idea where he came from. This book takes readers on a whirlwind adventure through quests to find family, friends and answers to some of the worlds oldest questions.
I really did like this book. While not quite as much as the Percy Jackson and the Olympians books, this one really was great. We meet a host of new Gods and Goddesses and we're even introduced to their Roman counterparts. The thing I like most about Riordan's books is that they have a sneaky way of teaching you not only important lessons, but also about mythology. I will swear this to you, the only reason I passed my college Classics class was the fact that I had read Riordan's books. How else would I have known what each God and Goddess represented? Or what their Roman counterparts were named? Or that Aphrodite, while married to Hephaestus, had some pretty sordid affairs with Ares. These books only strengthened my love of mythology and I know that they're ones that I will one day read to my children. They're that great.
Rick does a superb job of world building. I'm sure it's just as exciting for kids to believe that Olympus is now located at the Empire State Building and that the Underworld is in L.A. These books really put your imagination into overdrive and you have to wonder where Rick gets his wonderfully brilliant ideas.
I do recommend starting out with the first series, beginning with The Lightening Thief as they are prequels to this series and you may be a tad confused with the characters and their parentage. Also, if you're a fan of Egyptian mythology, definitely check out The Kane Chronicles, another series by Rick Riordan that have the same quirky and fun way of sneaking some learning in while you read.
6 out of 10 (Only because I do love the Percy and the Olympians better)
Happy Reading :)