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“The Red Pyramid” by Rick Riordan

Monday, November 29, 2010 - Book Reading

Written by Rick Riordan of the Percy Jackson series and the Heroes of Olympus series, the Kane Chronicles start off with:

The Red Pyramid

So, after finishing this book, I had a headache.  It’s unfortunate, because the story could be soo great.  The way it’s written, though, is just too distracting.

Essentially, it’s written as though it’s a transcript from a recording.  It’s an interesting concept.  It could probably work if it was written from one point of view.

However, this book is written as though two different people are telling the story.  The narrator switches from Carter and Sadie Kane, brother and sister.  One character will tell a couple of chapters, then they switch and the other character tells a couple chapters.

I suppose that Riordan knew that this would be distracting and confusing because at the top of the odd numbered pages is the name of the character that is currently narrating.  (The tops of the even numbered pages is the title of the book.)

Also, the two characters occasionally interact in “real time” as they’re making their recording.  While those interactions are clearly set apart from the story itself, it’s still kind of weird and potentially confusing.

Umm, obviously this is something that bugged me.  I had a difficult time finishing this book because of the constant narrator switches.  Yesterday morning, while soaking in the tub, I had to force myself to finish it so that I could start reading other books.

However, if you are able to get past the way it’s written, and you like his other works (Percy Jackson, Heroes of Olympus, etc…) then you will more than likely like this book.

There was actually a mention of Hermes, one of the Greek gods, by Thoth, one of the Egyptian gods.  And, honestly, considering that the time period is about the same and that Riordan is writing the Kane Chronicles and the Heroes of Olympus at the same time (the second book of each series are due out May 3rd and fall, respectively, of next year), I think he might have a few minor interactions between the characters.

Speaking purely from a business/money-making standpoint, it would be genius.  Write three separate series, have the second of those series be a sequel to the first and have characters from the second and third series interact with each other.  What better way to make sure you sell all of your books from all of your series to people?!

Soooooo…  I’m off topic.  :-D

Bottom line: The content is great, but the writing is distracting.  It’s a good read regardless, especially if you enjoy Riordan’s other work.

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