Review: The Lost Hero

Title: The Lost Hero
Author: Rick Riordan
Published: Published 2010 by Hyperion Books
Purchase: Book Depository | Amazon
Synopsis:Jason has a problem. He doesn’t remember anything before waking in a bus full of kids on a field trip. Apparently he has a girlfriend named Piper, and his best friend is a guy named Leo. They’re all students at the Wilderness School, a boarding school for “bad kids,” as Leo puts it. What did Jason do to end up here? And where is here, exactly? Jason doesn’t know anything-except that everything seems very wrong.

Piper has a secret. Her father, a famous actor, has been missing for three days, ever since she had that terrifying nightmare about his being in trouble. Piper doesn’t understand her dream, or why her boyfriend suddenly doesn’t recognize her. When a freak storm hits during the school trip, unleashing strange creatures and whisking her, Jason, and Leo away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood, she has a feeling she’s going to find out, whether she wants to or not.

Leo has a way with tools. When he sees his cabin at Camp Half-Blood, filled with power tools and machine parts, he feels right at home. But there’s weird stuff, too — like the curse everyone keeps talking about, and some camper who’s gone missing. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist that each of them — including Leo — is related to a god. Does this have anything to do with Jason’s amnesia, or the fact that Leo keeps seeing ghosts?

Three times I’ve tried reading this book, it was only on the third try I had to push myself to get through it. There are new characters, new adventures and the merging of mythologies. It should have blown my brains but instead I felt bored.

The formula is there: interesting, funny twists on mythology (Greek and Roman in this book), dangerous quests and world destruction while our daring heroes go off to stop this. I’ve encountered all of this in the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series; it doesn’t feel unique or engaging in the spinoff. There are intriguing elements and some shocking plot twists but it isn’t enough to pull me in, not for the first 400 pages. The book is fast paced; it starts off with a bang and therein the heroes tumble from one crazy situation to another, never really catching a break. While I struggled for the majority of the book, the last 200 pages were pretty amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed to epic battles though the climax was a bit disappointing.

My disinterest in the story had a lot to do with the characters, Jason, Piper and Leo. Jason has amnesia, he may not have known anything about himself but automatically he knows how to lead in battle, he’s confident and steady under pressure and he’s powerful. Piper is intelligent and her boldness is admirable. But these two characters failed to come alive, they felt like cardboard; bland and difficult to care about.

Leo, however, was very likeable, he felt genuine and it was so easy to love his creativity and resourcefulness, his awkwardness around people and it was easy to feel sympathy towards his pain and insecurities. There’s so much I can say about Leo yet so little for Piper and Jason. I did really enjoy their friendship and teamwork on the quest. As for the villainous characters? Definitely the most intriguing backstory and I’m looking forward to more of those bad guys.

I didn’t love this book but it was a quick, fun read and I felt two extremes while reading; boredom, and total fascination and enjoyment mostly towards the end. If you haven’t read this series I recommend you read Percy Jackson & the Olympians first as there are many references in The Lost Hero relating to the first series.

3.5 Stars

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