The Lost Hero: Book one, Heroes of Olympus
Disney Hyperion Books, 2010
So, here’s the story – teenager Jason wakes up on a bus full of kids with absolutely no memory of who he is or what he is doing there. There’s a kid who claims to be his best friend (Leo) and a girl who claims to be his girlfriend (Piper). Add to that a weird dud named Coach Hedge and he is thoroughly confused. And, by the 2nd chapter Jason finds himself being attacked by a wind spirit named Dylan and then ultimately rescued by 2 demi-gods in chariots pulled by pegasi. They land at Camp Half-Blood, find out they’re all demi-gods and begin a quest that is actually the start of the bigger quest – one that will eventually involve 7 demi-gods and fighting the most powerful enemy they have ever faced, one who seeks to destroy the gods and all of civilization. This story unfolds over 6 books and I am sure each one will be as good as this one.
- Jason Grace, son of Zeus, and knows he shouldn’t be where he is – Camp Half-Blood, especially because he knows the gods by their Roman names, is more comfortable in a purple t-shirt than an orange one and has a strange tattoo on his forearm – SPQR. He finds out Hera/Juno has taken away his memories and the only way he can get them back is to rescue her.
- Piper McLean, daughter of Aphrodite, goddess of love and Tristan McLean, famous movie star, is torn between her friends and her father – her father is being held captive and in order to free him she must betray her friends, Jason and Leo
- Leo Valdez, son of Hephaestus, has the gift of fire – meaning he can summon fire in the palms of his hands, but he keeps that gift a secret because not only is that gift given only rarely, it is also dangerous because it is too easy to burn anything and everything up
- Percy Jackson, son on Poseidon, hero from the previous books, starts out as missing in this book, so we really don’t know what is going on with him until the next book (Son of Neptune)
- Annabeth Chase, daughter of Athena, Percy’s girlfriend and very worried that she can’t find him and no one seems to know where he is; she eventually goes on a quest to find him
- Chiron & others from Camp Half-Blood, centaur and other demi-gods – in charge of Camp Half-Blood since Dionysius was recalled by Zeus; his first words to Jason were “You should be dead” which really freaked Jason out.
- Thalia & the Hunters of Artemis, daughter of Zeus and brother to Jason, meets up with Jason about 3/4s of the way through the book, saves his life and that of his friends, and goes off to find Hera while his group goes to save Piper’s father
- All the Greek/Roman gods: Zeus/Jupiter; Hera/Juno; Aphrodite/Venus; Hephaestus/Vulcan; Poseidon/Neptune; Athena/
NEW CHARACTERS, (monsters, humans and such):
- Coach Hedge, satyr, comic relief, coach at the Wilderness School, sent to protect Leo, Piper and suddenly, Jason
- Festus , bronze automaton dragon who Leo finds in the forest around Camp Half-Blood, repairs and attaches its missing wings, gives its mechanical life to save the demi-gods, with a promise to return in a different way in the future
- Lupa, giant wolf , the Roman demi-god’s counterpart to Chiron who trains them and who haunts Jason’s dreams, giving him clues about who he is and where he was born but he is unable to discern the meaning of the clues
- Boreas/Aquilon, god of north wind, a little cold happy, threatens to kill the demi-gods when they come asking for his help
- Khione, goddess of snow, she really wants to add to Jason to her frozen sculpture garden
- Medea, former human, dead for thousands of years, finds herself alive and owner of a department store in Chicago; she has a cage with a frozen Coach Hedge inside; she tries to entice Jason and Leo into killing each other
- King Midas, also former human, also dead for thousands of years, but was risen from the dead and is busy about making gold – lots of gold as his patron needs it
- Aeolus, god of the winds, a bit of a fruitcake, seems to want to help the demi-gods – Zeus even tells him to help them, but at the last minute he gets some instructions to kill the demi-gods so he does; they escape with the help of a love-struck aura named Mellie (she’s in love with the now unfrozen Coach Hedge)
- Lycaon, king of the wolves, the original werewolf, hates Zeus and his group, tries to kill Jason and his group, and would have if it weren’t for Thalia and her group – of Hunters; this is where Jason and Thalia finally meet after many years apart
- Enceladus – one of the giants of the earth, holds Tristan McLean captive and tries to kill Jason, is ultimately squashed into the earth by Jason and Zeus/Jupiter
- Gaea, mother earth, one of the original gods, who together with Ouranos, god of the sky, first created the Cyclopes, then the 12 Titans, one of whom, Kronos, killed Ouranos (then the Titans made the gods, who ultimately usurped the world from the Titans)
Rating: 5 out of 5 paws for pure awesomeness. The first time I read it I gave it 4 paws out of 5, but that was because I was thrown off by the fact that there was no Percy Jackson, and that it had been more than a year since I had read the previous series. While this book can stand on its own – in a way – it is the beginning of a series – to get the full enjoyment, you must have read the previous Percy Jackson series. Some monsters are the same, some are new. the gods I grew to love as Greeks I now get to learn about their Roman aspects. A little confusing but nonetheless entertaining. Read this book. Get your kids to read this book. It is worth the time! Non-stop excitement from the beginning all the way to the end. Simply wonderful – in this reviewer’s humble opinion.
Up Next! Percy Jackson returns!!