I’ve had my eyes set on the Red Pyramid for quite some time now, but I never got around to actually buying it. So, when I finally found all three books on the library I was more than thrilled! More Rick Riordan? Sign me the fuck up.
So our story follows Carter and Sadie, siblings that were separated after their mother’s death: Sadie lives with their grandparents in England and Carter travels the world with their world-famous Egyptologist dad. Everything is pretty much normal until their father blows up the British Museum and unleashes a few Egyptian Gods. Oops. Their father disappears, and the two kids are forced to forget everything they thought they knew and come to terms with a new impossible reality: the gods of Egypt are real and walking among humans. That, and that they only have a few days to save the world.
The Red Pyramid follows a pattern pretty similar to that of Riordan’s previous series (and of course I am referring to my all-time favourite Percy Jackson): kids find out gods are real and world destruction is coming; and they’re the key to everything. And while some aspects of the series may be similar, I think that it’s obvious that the Kane Chronicles was written after the Percy Jackson series. The characters are a bit more mature, without Percy’s continuous jokes and puns. The world is a bit more complicated, as is the path our heroes must follow. Even the writing style has changed, in what I believe is a conscious attempt to separate Sadie and Carter’s voices of Percy’s and create a different tone.
I really enjoyed the fact that, while Carter and Sadie are siblings, they practically started off as strangers. They didn’t know much about one another, and there was so much bad blood and anger lurking beneath them that it made me worry about the stability of their relationship and their ability to bond, as well as the outcome of their mission. They found each other along their quest, and getting to see how much they truly loved and cared for each other by the end of the book was absolutely heartbreaking.
Something I really loved about The Red Pyramid is how well Rick handled their race. While they are both mix-raced, Sadie is white-passing, which means that she experiences the world in a different way from Carter. Carter, who has much darker skin than his sister’s, always got told by his father that he needed to be extra careful: in the way he dressed, in the way he spoke, in the way he behaved. He also gets especially careful around cops; he knows that they are suspicious of him, that they think him a thug or a thief. And I just loved seeing that, especially in a book meant for a younger audience. I will never be able to thank Rick enough for all the wonderful representation in his books.
Overall, The Red Pyramid was a pretty solid start: great world and character building, action packed and with enough things unresolved for future books. I can’t get my hands on The Throne of Fire soon enough.