to be honest, i wasn’t completely sold on buying THE RED PYRAMID yet. i held off from buying the PERCY JACKSON series until my mom bought the whole set (and then, i borrowed it from her) so i was thinking of doing the same thing with this release. after all, the wait would be shorter as this is supposedly part of a trilogy, not a series.
but in the end, curiosity won out. bought the book, and i finished it within the day.
what THE RED PYRAMID has working for it is that the PERCY JACKSON series was highly successful. which means people would be curious with rick riordan‘s other work. and that’s a good thing, because contrary to what the author says, egyptian mythology is not as popular as greek or roman mythology. it does okay, don’t get me wrong. but aside from the few popular ones, and the ankh, people don’t go around invoking egyptian gods and goddesses in daily conversations. unlike their greek or roman counterparts.
that aside, THE RED PYRAMID was an enjoyable read. it stars two heroes, and we follow two different perspectives, but only one journey. i was initially worried that it would come off as confusing, what with following two different narrators–but that fear was quickly put to rest within the first few chapters. you see, the book is presented as a transcript of a series of recorded messages. a very good way of making the characters, and the fantastical events, easy to relate to. because it feels like you’re reading a friend’s or a colleague’s accounts of their very interesting christmas vacation.
what i didn’t like so much was the small interruptions the “narrators” put in. i know that we’re to believe the conceit that it is just a transcript–but the interruptions actually derailed me while reading. i get it that their siblings, and siblings tease each other while the other is talking (i have sisters, i know what i’m saying), but in THE RED PYRAMID, it doesn’t add anything to the story. it actually distracts.
but aside from this one complaint, THE RED PYRAMID as a whole was very enjoyable. it’s certainly different enough from the PERCY JACKSON series that it doesn’t feel like a retread of the teenagers-as-gods storyline, but it doesn’t deviate so much from the successful formula that this feels like a cheap knock-off.
what i like about the book most is this one moment when a character tells our protagonists that she’s not very fond of manhattan because there are other gods there. i see this as an establishing moment wherein the characters in this series are affirming that it’s in the same universe as the other series. and i for one am looking forward to a crossover event–or even just a moment. wouldn’t it be funny for the kane siblings to suddenly bump into percy jackson in one of their journeys? the kanes are in brooklyn and camp half-blood is just over at long island. it’s impossible that they don’t bump into each other sooner or later.
do i recommend the book? definitely. especially since by book’s end, there are no immediate mysteries that one must quickly have the answer for. i mean, there are hanging story threads–but not like the ones in THE DREAMHOUSE KINGS series by robert liparulo that would keep you sleepless for a few days while you wonder what happens in the next book. but they’re intriguing enough that you definitely know that you’ll be buying the next book in the trilogy as soon as it’s released.