Since their mother’s death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.The Red Pyramid was a pleasant surprise. I got into the book with pretty low expectations because I adored the the Percy Jackson series so much and didn't think Riordan could follow it up with something (anything!) just as good. And was it just as good? Not really. Maybe it paralleled Percy a little bit too much to be OMG. THAT WAS AMAZING!!!!!, but, I enjoyed the Kane series debut nonetheless and eagerly await the second installment.
One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a "research experiment" at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.
Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them--Set--has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe--a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family, and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.
Carter and Sadie Kane, the two leads, were just okay for me. Unfortunately, when held against the Percy Jackson standard, okay isn't as interesting as the Camp Half-Blood kids were. I liked Carter well enough but found Sadie a bit grating on my nerves. I didn't really connect with either character but The Red Pyramid is the first book in the Kane Chronicles and my feelings for the two could be subject to change. The book is written in the first person POV with every two chapters alternately "recorded" by the Kanes. Unlike some other folks, I thought the two had distinct voices and personalities which helped me differentiate who was "speaking" - obviously I enjoyed Carter's chapters more since I find sassy 12 year old girls rude and annoying.
The Red Pyramid starts out a bit slow; Its plot is more complex than the PJ books and my lack of knowledge in the Egyptian Mythology department didn't help when assorted Gods and monsters sprung about. Riordan dumps all sorts of information from the get-go which kept me from getting into the story immediately; a little bit like Stephenie Meyer's The Host, but, unlike The Host, the depth of information given is written in a way that drew me in slowly as opposed to losing interest altogether. It gets plenty better though; Riordan does an excellent job meshing Egyptian Mythology with the 21st century (no surprise there) and, for those paying attention, even vaguely references the gods from his Percy Jackson books. I love, love, love it when authors do that and love it even more when it's done well. As mentioned earlier, the parallels between Percy and the Kanes keep it from being an amazing original; Riordan doesn't stray far from the formula that's made him successful: ancient mythology (albeit Egyptian this time), teenagers, birthright/chosen one/etc plots, however, he is talented enough to keep the two series from being identical (thus far).
The verdict? Very Good - even a keeper - but, alas, not as good as his other more popular series. That said, I eagerly await the next book in the Kane Chronicles as well as his Heroes Of Olympus Chronicles. At this point, I'd read anything this man writes.