“Love is the most powerful motivator in the world. It spurs mortals to greatness. Their noblest and bravest acts are done for love.”
My daughter wanted me to read The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan, the first book in his Heroes of Olympus series. I got the audiobook (which is narrated by Joshua Swanson) from the library when we went on a road trip so we could listen to it together. All I have to say about the book is: Rick Riordan, how are you so great???
You know, I’m really starting to appreciate his work and not just because I am some superfan of his books. Because no, that’s not it. What he does that’s so brilliant (besides making mythology completely accessible) is create these fantastic characters who are so interesting and fully formed. I mean, can I tell you how much I love Leo? I love Leo SO VERY MUCH. I want to bake him cookies and watch iCarly with him (because you know he secretly watches it and admires Spencer’s handiwork). Then, he and my daughter could build fun stuff together. He’d be the son I never had and the big brother she always wanted. THAT IS HOW MUCH I LOVE LEO. I would feed him actual food.
Other Things I Liked
– The introduction of Native American mythology/beliefs. Having Piper as a character allows Riordan to explore some of the similarities (and differences!) between not only the Roman and Greek gods but also allows for space to talk about Native American stories. So great.
– Seeing Camp Half-Blood from new characters’ perspectives and especially reading about the different cabins was ace. So fun seeing Butch from Iris Cabin, Clovis from the Hypnos cabin, and inside the cabins the main characters belonged to. (DEAR J. K. ROWLING, DO THIS WITH THE HARRY POTTER WORLD, PLEASE!!!!)
– I still love Rachel Elizabeth Dare. I would read a whole book about her.
– The title works on ~levels~.
What I Didn’t Like
Unfortunately, the narrator was not that great. He had a very robotic reading voice and read almost all of the characters (except Leo and Coach Hedge [LOVE COACH HEDGE]) and some of the minor characters) and their dialogue with these odd pauses. I mean, he’s not worse than the Percy Jackson narrator, but even that dude read Annabeth with some spirit.
Also, he pronounced Hera and Gaea wrong. It drove me NUTS. My daughter and I would correct his pronunciation every time. That’s not good.
Thankfully, the story overcomes the narrator. I had to know what would happen. So, kudos to Mr. Riordan. I really wish they would find worthy narrators for his books, though. (Kane Chronicles, thankfully, does not suffer from this issue.)
In conclusion: AWESOME book, so-so narrator. The book is definitely worth the read, no matter which version you procure.
Support Your Local Library: 36; YA Reading Challenge: 32; Audiobook Challenge: 4/6; POC Reading Challenge: 21