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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Having explored the trouble caused by Titans and Greek gods, Riordan has apparently turned his attention to a new pantheon -- Egyptian gods. "The Red Pyramid" is overlong in places, but Riordan's first Kane Chronicles novel is a rollicking adventure/fantasy filled with ancient deities (in modern forms), fireballs, hostile magicians, and a basketball-playing baboon.

Ever since their mother died, the Kane kids have hardly seen one another. Carter travels the world with his Egyptologist father, while Sadie lives with their maternal grandparents in London. But when their father attempts a magic spell and is captured by the god Set, Carter and Sadie are temporarily whisked away by their uncle Amos -- and then found by a mysterious magical cabal called the House of Life.

Unfortunately, the kids soon learn two things -- Set is planning to destroy the world in just a few days, and the House has decided that they must be killed. So they're on the run with the cat goddess Bast (formerly Sadie's cat Muffin), trying to find a way to stop an ancient god of chaos from killing their father and plunging the world into horror.They'll have to venture into ancient, unspeakable dangers, and discover a side of themselves that they never knew of... but even that might not restore Ma'at.

On the surface, "The Red Pyramid" sounds a lot like Riordan's Percy Jackson series -- you've got disaffected teenagers trying to save the world from evil gods, and finding out they have some magic powers themselves. But it actually is a rather different story (there's no safe haven for these kids!), and the interwoven Egyptian myths and magic give it a very distinct flavor of its own.

The one problem is that the plot feels a bit stretched out, with lots of action interspersed with long stretches of inaction. But the plot is also very complex and carefully laid out, with lots of miniquests woven into the main storyline, plenty of humor ("How to tame the five essential elements of the universe--earth, air, water, fire, and cheese!"), and lots of flashy glowy magic (floating hieroglyphics, halls filled with memories, axe-headed demons, shooting fireballs, clay shabti, et cetera).

And his characters are well-drawn to start with, and are carefully fleshed out as the story goes on -- Carter is a likable, earnest young man who obviously wishes he had a bit of normalcy, while Sadie is a snarky, sassy girl with a fragile heart. Bast is also a wonderfully quirky, catlike character ("That's the spirit! Now, let's have a picnic"), while the gloomy Anubis and mad scientist Thoth make great supporting cast.

"The Red Pyramid" rambles on at times, but Rick Riordan's latest is still a fantastical, magical journey that paves the way for a whole new series. Can't wait to see what's next.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
TOP 50 REVIEWERon September 2, 2010
I adored Rick Riordan's series based on Greek mythology, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, so when I learned he had a new series going, based on Egyptian mythology, I was predisposed to adore it too. The Red Pyramid is the first book in The Kane Chronicles, and it introduces us to our main characters, Carter and Sadie Kane. Following their mother's untimely death six years earlier, 14-year-old Carter has been traveling the world with his archeologist father, being home-schooled and desperately wishing he could have a normal life, school, friends....Meantime, 12-year-old Sadie has been in the keeping of their maternal grandparents in London, with all the stability that Carter longs for; not surprisingly, she wishes she had his freedom, and his close connection with their father, whom Sadie only sees twice a year. On one of these semi-annual visits, Julius Kane, their formidable parent, takes them to the British Museum, where he intends to conduct a ritual involving the Rosetta Stone. But it goes horribly awry, and Julius is captured by one of the ancient Egyptian gods, the evil Set, whose mission is to cause chaos and destruction throughout the world. It is left to Carter and Sadie, with a little help from the cat goddess Bast and the magicians Zia and Amos, Julius's brother, to try to stop Set and save the world. But they have very little time....As is likely true of most readers of this novel, I am less familiar with Egyptian mythology than I am with Greek, but I'm assuming that Riordan is as accurate with this set of deities as he was with the Greeks; once again, he provides an action-packed storyline that is saved from sheer breathlessness by the excellent rendition of many, even minor, characters, who forward the plot and provide entertainment as well. Riordan has also not lost his sense of humour; the way in which murderous Sekhmet is transformed into mild, bovine Hathor is alone proof of that fact. I enjoyed this book, and am looking forward to the further adventures of Carter and Sadie as they fulfill their pharaonic destinies....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 28, 2012
My students challenged me to read this book; I couldn't put it down! I had already started the Percy Jackson series but I think I like this one even more! Very well done, Mr. Riordan! One of my grade 3 students polished off this book in about three days; she was reading every spare minute! She and I were fighting over who was going to get to the second book first!
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Carter and Sadie Kane have their world turned upside down in one night. They are siblings raised apart. Carter was raised while travelling the world with their father, an Egyptologist. Sadie was raised with their maternal grandparents in London England. On one of the two days a year they are allowed to spend together, instantly their lives are changed forever. On that fateful night the Egyptian God, Set, and his siblings are released from their long entrapment. Set traps their father and they must find a way to free him.

Exploring a slew of Egyptian myths and legends, the story is a history lesson wrapped in a thrilling adventure that spans time and continents. In a world where Egyptian magic still exists, and all the old legends have more truth than just myths, it is superbly written and intensely addictive; this story is amazing and leaves you desperate for book two.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 3, 2010
Purchesed for my 15 year old Grandson, who thought it was an awesome book and can't wait for the second one to come out in October. Has also totally peaked his interest in Mythology and can hardly wait to take course in school to learn more.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon January 7, 2015
This is probably an adequate YA book, but for adult reading it seems boring. There appears to be a lot of action but there is a never ending array of Egyptian Gods/Royalty/Near Gods who appear as themselves/human hosts/ and different human hosts. Then you get the factor of time involved and who and what they ( the Gods) did and who they were inhabiting at the time. All in all, it passes the time but its not the type of book I eagerly look forward to picking up after a break.
Dont get me wrong. The author knows how to write and does a superb job in that regard. To me, its just the story itself that ebbs and ebbs and ebbs and occasionally flows.
3 of 5 stars
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Being a fan of the Percy Jackson series, we couldn't wait to dive into this one. I got the audio book, and it was different in that there were two narrators and while it took a few chapters to get used to, it was well done. Funny dialog between siblings, clever mysteries to solve, almost non-stop action and adventure - what a fun ride! Made my daily commutes pass by quickly, and at times I found myself driving slower so I'd have more time to listen. Who knew learning about history could be so much fun!
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on April 21, 2011
This book is blossoms with imagination and creativity in story line, character development and in the the clarity that this author is able to muster. The written words are like a gateway to your mind and to actually visualizing as you read the scenery, characters and the conflicts. This book in my mind is unique because the writing is clear, crisp as the cold in a winter day, which allow the reader to venture into the author's world. Enjoy!
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon November 22, 2010
This is great, Rick Riordan has done an excellent job. I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm an adult and I have read this and the Percy Jackson series. Not everything's just for kids =P and I doubt very much that I'd grow out of reading these. I can't wait for May 2011, I'm sure he'll do just as great a job as the first!
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on January 1, 2013
This is the first book in the Kane Chronicles trilogy. I loved his Percy Jackson seres, so I decided to give this set a try. I loved it! Very entertaining, funny, and full of educational facts about ancient Egypt.
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