Only half the world is there

The Lost Hero - Rick Riordan
Paperback, 551 pages
Published October 12th 2010 by Puffin
I listened to the Percy Jackson books I enjoyed the stories and how Riordan had created a believable world. I thought it would be good to actually read the next in the series. Thus allowing the characters develop in my imagination.
It is pretty clear that this series is set in the world of Percy Jackson (PJ) as it is boldly printed on the front cover.  This serves as a warning that if you are thinking this is all Percy and Annabeth then you will be disappointed. Riordan has introduced three new heroes into the series and they have their own quest. You are offered the hope that the series will eventually link into the Percy Jackson story.

The book starts off at a cracking pace, with Jason waking up on the back of a school bus having no idea what he is doing there or who he is. Jason is holding the hand of Piper, she believes they are boyfriend/girlfriend and also there is his best friend Leo.  The trio are attacked on the school excursion by a bunch of wind monsters and Annabeth comes to the rescue. Yet Annabeth’s rescue is also about trying to find out where Percy is as we learn he has disappeared.  The group arrive at Camp Half Blood where their parentage is revealed, the prophecy is retold (it is mentioned in the last PJ book 5) and the trio head off to discover their destiny. Jason wants Annabeth to accompany them but she is off to find Percy.
Before I continue with the review – Riordan do not tell us Percy is missing in the first 50 odd pages of the novel and then completely neglect that story arch for the next 400 odd pages. I mean you offer next to nothing and that is a major disappointment. Plus providing a really lame cliff-hanger in the last 50 odd pages is not making amends.

The problem I had with the characters was that they were almost carbon copies of Percy, Annabeth, Grover and Nico.  At one stage Jason is having an internal monologue lamenting how he has led his friends into danger, who made him a leader and he sounded exactly like Percy. Piper was a little bit too perfect but it was good that a daughter of Aphrodite was more than an airhead worried about her looks. Before Piper is claimed she hopes to be in Annabeth’s cabin as the two of them are so alike and I wondered if that was Riordan having his own little joke. Leo is the innovator, the joker and your annoying kid brother at times.  I found it interesting that Leo seemed to fall in love with every pretty girl his path crossed but not Annabeth or Piper? To be honest Leo came across as a mixture of Grover and Nico. I am leaning to Leo being more like Nico before he became all serious and moody over his sister’s disappearance.  One of the difficulties with the characters is that they come pretty much ready-made and did not seem to have any difficulties understanding their new circumstances in life.  The characters need more shade as they were too predictable in their actions.
It is an easy read and unfortunately a little bit too obvious. I cannot understand why no one picked up a purple t-shirt and read the camp name that should have been printed on it. That Hera’s little amnesia trick might impact two demi gods and it is not too hard to guess who.  

For an establishment novel for a series it was not bad, it is fast paced, has some humour, teenage angst but what lets down the story is a lack of complexity.
If you want to find more on Rick and his world head over to his website.