The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
Hardcover, 528 pages
Book 1 in the Kane Chronicles
The Red Pyramid was Percy Jackson and the Olympians with Egyptian gods. The reference to the Percy Jackson series was amusing (the comment was something along the lines of Manhattan has its own set of gods). It’s a typical young adult hero journey, where the kids end up fighting battles and figuring out puzzles without the aid of adults. I did like that I had a hard time keeping track of who was on the side of the protagonists, and who sided with Set, the initial main antagonist. As with series novels, there has to be a bigger antagonist lurking in the shadows, just waiting for his moment (Kronos, anyone?). In this case, Apophis the serpent (a Bible allusion as well? Because an apple is never just an apple.)
A major difference between this series and the previous series (which excludes the opening section) is that Riordan hopped on the the alternating perspectives bandwagon. The narration is split between the two sibling-protagonists, Carter and Sadie. This is an effective device, and Riordan wields it well; Sadie and Carter have very distinct voices. I think it helps that one child was raised in England and the other in the United States. The balance of responsibility/challenges is even; neither character dominates.
The second book in the Kane Chronicles is due out sometime in the Spring of 2011.