The Red Pyramid

Rick Riordan, Author Disney-Hyperion $17.99 (528p) ISBN 978-1-4231-1338-6

This fun, if formulaic, start to the Kane Chronicles series opens with a signature Riordan move: an explosion. Siblings Carter and Sadie have been living apart since their mother’s mysterious death. On Christmas Eve, archeologist Julius Kane and son Carter, 14, show up in England for one of their two days a year with Sadie. Julius ushers his children to the British Museum, where he blows up the Rosetta Stone, unleashing five Egyptian gods and causing his own disappearance. The kids’ Uncle Amos whisks them to a Brooklyn mansion, where he reveals that the Kanes descend from powerful Egyptian magicians. Swap Egyptian mythology for Percy Jackson’s Greek gods and you’ve got the best part of this—an ancient history lesson seamlessly unfurled in a rip-roaring adventure. Told in alternating chapters by Carter and Sadie, the novel begins with a warning that the book is a “transcript of a digital recording,” a distracting gimmick, and the attempts to make Sadie sound English by dropping in British slang are intermittent. Despite those flaws, Riordan delivers another funny yarn with kids in the lead and animal sidekicks that nearly steal the show. Ages 9–12. (May)

Reviewed on: 04/12/2010
Release date: 05/01/2010
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