Friday, February 8, 2013

The Lost Hero.

The Lost Hero
by: Rick Riordan
The Lost Hero (Heroes of Olympus, #1)
Jason has a problem. He doesn’t remember anything before waking up in a bus full of kids on a field trip. Piper has a secret. Her father has been missing for three days, ever since she had that terrifying nightmare. Piper doesn’t understand her dream, or why her boyfriend suddenly doesn’t recognize her. 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.

While this has much the same feeling as The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, it is also quite different. I really liked the new characters in this book, but I did miss Percy a lot.

Funny and Brave Heroes: CHECK
Leo: I love him. He is funny and super smart and often really hyper. As an extension of loving him, I also loved getting to know the character of Hephaestus more through him. How he did not deal with people particularly well, but he always meant well. Also, Leo's super powers (being able to identify and work any machine, being flame-proof, and being able to make fire.
Jason: First off, he is NOT Percy. But, he was himself, and I like him. I think the difference between him and Percy is that we first meet Jason when he is older and when he has already fought battles and monsters. He is not as sarcastic. He takes his job as hero and leader very seriously, probably because of his training at the Roman Camp not to show weakness. There were at least three times when he truly thought he was going to die for his friends, but he stepped up anyway and accepted his responsibility as quest leader.

Smart and Brave Heroine: CHECK
I didn't like Piper at the beginning of the book. She was sort of whiny. But, as the book went on she got stronger and more sure of herself. By the end of the book I really enjoyed reading from her perspective and I liked her as a character. This book also gave more dimension to both Aphrodite and her demigod children. I suppose it corrected the misjudgements given to them in the first five books and it kept Silena's legacy going.

Extraordinary Supporting Characters: CHECK
Clovis: He didn't have a very big part, but I loved Clovis. He made me laugh every time he said anything.I also loved hearing about all the minor gods' children and their new cabin life. Rick Riordan is great at working in little details that add depth to the story and make a lot of sense (like the Hecate cabin leader literally taking someone's nose and Butch's rainbow tattoo).
Mellie: While reading this book, Mellie reminded me a lot of Lidewij from The Fault in our Stars. Their stories were nearly identical. They both brought teens in to see their boss under false pretenses hoping that their boss would help them. Their boss then turns out to be a total lunatic who ends up hurting the kids. Then Mellie and Lidewij gave up their job to defend the kids and send them on their journey in peace. They were both sweet and helpful in their place in the story.
Nyssa and Jake Mason (and the other Hephaestus campers): I really enjoyed learning about the Hephaestus cabin and seeing the forges. It was interesting hearing about Bunker 9 and how the Hephaestus campers made weapons and other inventions.
Cal and Zethes: Funniest characters in this book. Their dialogue both with each other and with Piper, Jason, and Leo was hilarious. It was great the way Rick worked their original story into their modern personalities.
Khione: Jerk.
Hephaestus: It was really nice to see him as a dad and not just as a god. He was awkward around Leo and didn't really know how to act, but you could tell that he cared a great deal about him. I find myself liking him more and more as going through these books. And I loved that he didn't understand sarcasm like when he said,

"Mighty understanding of you..." Hephaestus frowned, then sighed wearily. "That was sarcasm, wasn't it? Machines don't have sarcasm, usually."

Hera: She is the very last character that I would have guessed I'd grow to like, but alas I do kind of like her now... kind of. I don't trust her yet, but I do not despise her anymore. Which is good, I suppose, because it seems like she will be a big part of this series what with her role as Jason's patron. It is an interesting twist that while he is the son of Jupiter, he is almost playing the part of being Hera's son.
Aphrodite: Actually, Aphrodite might be the last character that I would have guessed I'd end up liking. But, I don't just not despise her anymore, I genuinely like her. She seems like a good mother, even if she isn't the best listener or the best at compromise.
Thalia: I really loved finally learning about Thalia's past and her mom. She is still her awesome Hunter-self, fighting monsters and being all sassy.

Unique Setting and Interesting Plot: CHECK
I heard that the Heroes of Olympus series was going to include roman gods, but I had no idea how that was going to work out until reading this. The things left unanswered in the Percy Jackson and the Olympian series were adressed in this. Things such as Thalia's mother and what actually happened to Mount Othrys in the Titan War and the beginning of the new prophecy. I really want to learn more about the Roman Camp and figure out how it is all going to intersect.

Plot Twists and Action: 1/2 CHECK
There were plenty of action scenes and interesting turn of events. However, my problem with this book was the occasional repetitiveness. It seemed to me that while this book was 557 pages, it went through a lot of things over and over again. I realize that these things are vitally important to the story, but I eventually got tired of hearing the exact same details about Leo's mother and Piper's father and Jason's memory loss. It felt like they were saying the same words over and over again with no change. Also, I thought there were a lot of dreams in the Percy Jackson and the Olympian series, but there were probably ten times as many dreams in this book. Although, I didn't really mind it.

"Cute, smart, and violent. Jason wished he remembered having her as a girlfriend."

"Yo, Coach Supergoat, whatever you are-I just fell down the freaking Grand Canyon! Stop asking for challenges."

"It isn't time yet, little hero. Someday, you'll have your quest. You'll find your destiny, and your hard journey will finally make sense. But first you must face many sorrows. I regret that, but heroes cannot be shaped any other way."

"Leo didn't want to hog all the terrifying life-threatening adventures."

"The girl is pretty," Zethes admitted, "and of course she cannot help being attracted to my amazingness; but sadly, I cannot romance her at this time."

"Maybe people with special gifts show up when bad things are happening because that's when they're needed most."

"He felt like a broken machine himself-like someone had removed one little part of him, and now he'd never be complete. He might move, he might talk, he might keep going and do his job. But he'd always be off balance, never calibrated exactly right."

"You see possibilities much more vividly than others. You see what could be. And it still might be-don't give up.

"But beauty is about finding the right fit, the most natural fit."

"My point is that love is the most powerful motivator in the world. It spurs mortals to greatness. Their noblest, bravest acts are done for love."

"That's it, Thalia Grace," said the goddess. "I will turn you into an aardvark, so help me-"

"You must forge your own path for it to mean anything."

"You kidding? These people make Aeolus look sane."

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