THE RED PYRAMID by Rick Riordan

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Though brother and sister, Carter and Sadie Kane did not grow up in the same house.  Once their mother died, Sadie went to live with her grandparents in England, while Carter lived out of a suitcase–traveling around the world with his archaeologist father.  But everything changes when Carter, Sadie, and their father take a trip to the British museum during their semi-annual visitation.  Their father performs some sort of secret and illegal ritual which causes the Rosetta Stone to explode and five Egyptian gods to be released from the spiritual realm of the Duat into the real world.  Worse still, one of the gods, a fiery evil god who they later learn is named Set, traps their father in a sarcophagus and seems determined to destroy Carter and Sadie as well.  They only barely escape with their Uncle Amos.  Amos takes them to Brooklyn where Carter and Sadie learn of their Egyptian heritage, the secrets of their parents’ work and magical abilities, and the need for them to complete a quest together in order to prevent Set from rising to his full power–and hopefully to rescue their father in the process.  Unfortunately, the House of Life–the hierarchy of Egyptian magicians–may not be on their side.  To complete their quest, Carter and Sadie will have to harness the power of the gods.

This is a fast-paced action/adventure story.  Riordan creates a vivid world out of mythology and a plot with plenty of twists, turns, and suspicious characters to keep you guessing.  I am a huge fan of the Percy Jackson books, and I must admit that I think the Kane Chronicles falls a bit short of the mark.  I think I missed Camp Half-Blood, the complex network of young characters, forming allegiances that relate back to the complicated mythology, studying and practicing together–all of the growing up from the underdog to the hero and building friendships stuff.  Still, The Red Pyramid was a fun story with some interesting characters and a good dose of the action scenes and snarky humor that Riordan is so good at creating.

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