Top positive review
Action packed first book in a great trilogy
Reviewed in the United States on February 25, 2018
****This review contains some spoilers****
This trilogy begins with The Red Pyramid. The main characters, Carter and Sadie Kane are brother and sister, but have not been raised in the traditional sense. Since the death of their mother, Sadie has been living with her grandparents, her mother’s parents, in London, attending traditional schools and living a normal life. Carter has been home-schooled and traveling the world with their father, Dr. Julius Kane, a famed Egyptologist. Twice a year, Dr. Kane is allowed to visit with Sadie in London. This is where our story begins.
The Kane family is bi-racial. Dr. Kane is African-American, while his deceased wife was British Caucasian. According to the descriptions given in the book, Sadie resembles their mother, while Carter resembles their father. This causes people to have a hard time believing they are brother and sister, especially since they only spend 2 days a year together. It likely doesn’t help that Sadie, being raised in London, speaks with a British accent and uses British slang quite frequently.
Dr. Kane tells the children that he has a special visit planned to the British Museum, a research experiment that will set things right for their family. He blames himself for the death of their mother, and the children wonder if this “experiment” has something to do with this.
Things go horribly wrong, however, and instead of fixing things, Dr. Kane ends up unleashing the Egyptian god Set, who immediately banishes him into oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.
Not long after, Sadie and Carter learn that the Egyptian gods are awakening, and the most evil of them, Set, has his sights on the Kanes. In order to stop him, the children must embark on a journey unlike they’ve ever experienced. They learn that their family’s history is not what it seems, and that their family has a link to a secret society tied closely to the pharaoh’s of Egypt.
This novel is action packed, full of historical references, and is told alternately by Sadie and Carter themselves. Mr. Riordan writes it as if he has been sent a cassette tape by Sadie and Carter, and is just transcribing their words. He even goes so far as to write an afterword, in his own voice, explaining that he has done some research on his own, and that based on what he’s found, it appears that the children are telling the truth.
It’s an interesting way to present the events in the book and I personally found it to be endearing. I can imagine that it would draw in younger readers, who the books are marketed to, even further. I read the Kindle edition, but just for information purposes, the paperback version is 192 pages.
I have always been intrigued by Egyptian mythology, which is what initially drew me to this series. I had already completed the Percy Jackson series, also by Mr. Riordan, which I loved, but was a bit hesitant to read this one due to the lower reading age, simply because I feared it would not hold my interest. I am glad that I decided to go forward with it anyway. I could not have been more wrong in my thinking.
Mr. Riordan’s writing will captivate readers of all ages. He gives a voice to each character that any reader will find something in that makes you want to keep reading. For me especially, it was Sadie. She’s only 12 years old, but she tries so hard to be much older, snarky, and in charge. I was very similar at her age, so I found myself connecting with her character almost immediately. With Carter, it’s his innocence. He has been a world traveler his entire life, yet, he has also been sheltered. As a parent, I just wanted to keep him safe.
I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys stories about mythology, action, and adventure. If you’ve read the Percy Jackson series or Heroes of Olympus series, I think you would enjoy this book and the subsequent two as well.