The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
The Skinny: When Carter and Sadie Kane’s father, Julius, is involved in an incident at the British Museum involving an the Rosetta Stone, an explosion, and five Egyptian gods, they quickly discover that they are descendants of ancient Egyptian pharaohs, possessing magical gifts of the magicians. Their father was captured by the god Set and they must save him.
There’s really way too much to summarize. Basically… their dad is kidnapped, they must save him, some crazy shizz happens along the way, and they do magic.
BFF?: I was kind of meh about Carter. I just never really felt like I connected with him, got a sense of him being more than a generic 14 year old. He was okay, but I never felt that there was much to him. I couldn’t sympathize with him, couldn’t really find it in me to care much about him. Sadie, on the other hand, lord I loved her! She was spunky and full of fire, sarcastic and bratty. But beneath all of that she was still a young girl, still impressionable and in need of guidance.
Listenability: The book starts out by explaining that both Carter and Sadie are making a recording of their adventures, so there are dual narrators on the audiobook. I honestly love this because it tends to give the characters so much more personality than if it’s just one person reading both parts. I wasn’t overly impressed by listening to Carter – the narrator was almost as dry as the character. But Sadie’s narrator was fantastic! She managed to nail a cockney, British 12 year old girl’s accent, while still impersonating all the other colorful characters as Sadie, with her British accent, might have.
Crush Level: 3
There’s not really any hot characters to fall for… but there is sort of a bit, minor character that Sadie falls for – except he’s older so it’s not as creepy. Oh, and he’s a god. Anubis, god of the… yeah, I’m not really sure. But he wasn’t The Rock, so that gave him some bonus crush level points.
As part of my mythology challenge, I made a sub-challenge to check out some different forms of mythology. One of these is Egyptian. To be honest, I know very little about it and haven’t learned much about Egypt since I was in 6th grade. I knew it was darker than Greek mythology, but wowzer… I’d forgotten how different it was! There’s something completely magical about Egyptian mythology – and I’m not talking about hocus pocus fairy magical. It’s creepy and earthy, spiritual… Old Testament… real wrath of God type stuff. Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling! Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes… Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!
The siblings end up in Memphis and visit the University of Memphis, where one of the Egyptian gods is moonlighting as a teacher, and Graceland… home of Elvis Presley. I loved how they both pointed out the hospitality they felt while in Memphis; made me a little proud!
I remember the first time I saw an interracial couple. They lived across the street from us when I was about four or five and had a kid who was maybe 2 (he was super cute, too). I loved that the Kane family was interracial and, while it wasn’t a main plot point, that it affected both of the Kane kids in completely different ways.
There’s a good deal mentioned about barbeque (or BBQ) while the Kanes are in Memphis. If you haven’t had good old Southern BBQ you’re in for a real treat! Although I think my daddy could give them a run for their money, word on the street is that Memphis makes the best ribs you’ve ever tasted! Y’all come on down and getcha bite!
Commencement Speech: As a huge fan of the Percy Jackson series and the Heroes of Olympus series, I was pretty amped to read the Kane Chronicles series. It was interesting learning about another mythology and the different myths that went along with it, but I dunno… it just lacked something that the other two series seemed to have. Maybe because I’m not as familiar with Egyptian mythology. Maybe because it was so completely different than what I was used to. I just didn’t feel a huge connection to the characters like I did Percy and the other slew of characters in the other series.
The one thing I love about Rick Riordan’s series is that he manages to make the characters real. His characters all have some sort of characteristic that makes them “different.” By different I mean characteristics that more and more children are beginning to have. The Kane siblings, although from the same parents, share no similar traits. Carter is black like his dad while Sadie is white like her mom. This often affects their family negatively and both the kids mention that they’re constantly doubted when they explain they’re related. Although there’s no way I can relate to this (my family is white as white can be), I think it’s awesome that this situation is used in the book because as the number interracial marriages is rising, more and more kids are being faced with similar problems to the Kanes. I have to give mad props to Rick Riordan for including in his books these and other issues kids face every day.
Yearbook Quote: “I tried to think of something to say. Excuse me? Hello? Marry me? Anything would have done.”
(Gurrllll… I feel ya)
Superlatives – Most likely to make you want to bust out your “Walk like an Egyptian” moves
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