Since their mother’s death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.
One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a “research experiment” at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.
Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them —Set— has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe – a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs. (goodreads.com)
Believe it or not, this is my first foray into Riordan’s work. I have the Percy Jackson series on my shelf, but ancient Egypt is far more compelling for me. It’s been a love of mine for as long as I can remember, to the point where I actually wanted to be an Egyptologist (with my eye on the Egyptology program at UCLA) until I was 14 and my dad talked me out of it (limited educational scope, very limited income potential, etc.; at least my dad had foresight enough on that one). But I’ve still stuck with reading about Egypt and I really hope I can visit the country in my lifetime without running the risk of separating my head from my neck.
With that being said, this was a fun jaunt through history as these kids try to navigate through a world of awakening gods and nominal possession while they try to save their dad. As far as I could tell Riordan played things fairly accurately when the situation called for it. Obviously there were a ton of liberties taken and I wouldn’t use THE RED PYRAMID as a text book any time soon, but he wasn’t shotgunning random Egyptian words into a story without them having actual context in what was going on.
I do wish Phoenix played a bigger role than it did, simply because I live there now. It just amuses me whenever I see a place I live or know in a book because I can orient myself in the story that much better. But Phoenix was mentioned at the beginning of the story and then the kids didn’t get there until the very end and even then Phoenix was merely a vague place with a mountain called Camelback. It ultimately wasn’t very relevant aside from its desert location. But that’s okay. It didn’t detract from the story any. Just kind of an ‘oh man’ thing going on.
I really liked Sadie and Carter. All things considered they handled the book’s events pretty well. Probably too well for a twelve and fourteen-year-old, respectively. I also liked how they didn’t do things on their own. Like how it wasn’t up to just them to get stuff done. They had a lot of help on the way to the end, including from the gods that possessed them, their cat-like helper god, other people, and so on. They didn’t solve problems in a vacuum. That’s probably why the story, to me, an adult, was more palatable and didn’t aggravate my suspension of disbelief much. Granted I’m not the target audience for these books, but whatever. I still read it so there’s that.
I’m looking forward to continuing the series and seeing where this all goes. I wish I had something like this when I was growing up because I would have loved the crap out of it. I liked it now, but, you know. I’m 34. Doesn’t hit quite the same way. Instead I get things like the trash pile that is Gods of Egypt with the whitest Egyptians ever in existence and it makes me sad. So I’ll live retroactively through these books. My eight-year-old self loves it. She who would go to the library and take out books on ancient Egypt on the regular.