Review : The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

After finishing the Percy Jackson series, Rick Riordan needed another novel to direct his energies and comic style into and the result is the first book of the Kane Chronicles, 'The Red Pyramid', which introduces Sadie and Carter Kane. Two siblings who have grown up as strangers, whose Egyptologist father accidentally unleashes ancient gods trapped for millennia and gets kidnapped by the evil god Set in the process. Now, the bickering pair have to undertake a global journey while acclimatizing to a whole new world of magic, fight gods and discovering their family's secrets from the time of the pharaohs to save their Dad and the world.

The biggest asset of Riordan's previous series, Percy Jackson and The Olympians, was the first person narration, the presence of which caused the books to become huge hits and whose absence caused it's film adaptation to sink. This time round as well, it's the 'voices' of our main two characters which became the most enjoyable part of the book. Narrated on the run,with hilarious chapter titles, the personal perspective of the protagonists seals the deal. Brother and sister, both the Kanes have vastly differing personalities, thanks to the nearly opposite lives they have lead, but the camaraderie they build up over the 500+ pages of the novel, as they are forced to team up due to basketball wielding chimpanzees, exclusively cotton-wearing magicians and demons from the underworld is the glue which holds the book together.

"Far, far below, red liquid bubbled. Blood? Lava? Evil ketchup? None of the possibilities were good." - Carter Kane , The Red Pyramid

Even with the quick pace he sets, Riordan manages to pack in information about Egyptian mythology, believable characters, fast fights and witty humor, while giving occasional nods to the coexisting Percy Jackson universe. However, if you have read that series, you will see similarities in the themes as well - heroes who already had doubts about their family, parents who don't keep in touch with their offspring, the wrong villain , grudging saviors. Even though the mythology is Egyptian this time and the connection with gods is altered, there is a 'read this' feeling that bugs you. The 'Gods and their kids in the 21st century' formula is repeated but it works well enough not to be a problem. Also, the climax felt slightly underwhelming to me, the final battle feels more like an amped up obstacle to the final quest, the execution could surely have been better.
The book is aimed at a younger audience, so devoid of  but I have no hesitation in recommending to adults as well, especially if this is your first time with a Riordan book. It's a brand new series about the oldest civilization in the world with hilarious, knowledgeable and sassy characters, adventuring their way through a (slightly) familiar plot, but sure to give you a fun time.