Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Lost Hero

[Regularly scheduled posts to resume after lengthy, emotional rant.]

I am months late to this party. No, seriously, the book came out October 12, 2010 ahhh it's 2011 now, how weird is that?. I finally finished the book on Monday, so I've had a few days to mull it over and solidify my opinion. I held off on my reaction post on purpose so that it wouldn't look like a whole lot of senseless capslocking, flailing, and HULKSMASH. Well. I mean, there's still going to be a lot of that, but it'll be comprehensible, hopefully. But no guarantees.

The Heroes of Olympus!!1!1!!!!11

So yadda yadda yadda, this is not a review, and you should probably LOOK AWAY if you haven't read The Lost Hero and ever intend to in your life. Because everything from here on out is spoilery spoilery. Don't say I didn't warn you. 

My feelings about TLH are complicated. I didn't love it, which is saying a lot, because I practically worship the PJO series. I think the first series is delightfully conceived and near-perfectly paced with some of the most engaging and likeable characters to ever appear on a page. TLH is not even close to that caliber of storytelling. No way. What was fresh in the first series is now vaguely formulaic and repetitive and wow, I could drive a truck each and every one of the plot holes. So yeah, there are a lot of issues. But the one thing I think is the single largest problem in TLH is the hardcore lack of Percy Jackson. I don't even think this statement is biased based on the fact that I have an enduring love affair with him. Giving us zero Percy page time was easily the biggest mistake.

You don't just casually mention, OH BTW, Percy has been missing for days, and then build a plot that does not involve looking for him. Oh, there are people looking for him (aka all of the old crew and the people we care about), but unfortunately, we the readers have to follow some other dumbshit plot about rescuing Hera, and GOD, Rsquared, I could really not give a flying fuck about Hera. The plot involving the old characters looking for him, seemed infinitely more interesting than bonding with Jason, Leo, and Piper. I am sitting there, frothing in rage, being like wtf, why are there not BATTLE SQUADRONS of demigods being sent out to find Percy? 

Sidenote, I was super irritated that every time anyone brought up Percy's name, some new character would chime in, OH YOU MEAN THAT KID ANNABETH IS LOOKING FOR? I literally wanted to punch the wall. YEAH THAT KID. NO CLUE. I MEAN, I HEARD HE SAVED THE WORLD THREE MONTHS AGO. WHAT A HAS-BEEN.

There are two ways RR could've solved this problem. He could've written a book that was set more into the future so the old characters wouldn't figure into the plot. They'd be safely out of the way, IDK, having lots of sex and babies or whatever, and the readers could then concentrate on what was happening in front of them. Or, he could've incorporated the old characters into the main plot. But no. He took the third way, which was, create an entirely separate subplot for the old characters, have it happen simultaneously to the main plot, but not show us any of it. So the two plots are linked, but we don't get that until the end of the book. 

Basically, I did not care for the plot until about 300 pages in, which is pretty bad. There was a lot of infodump going on, but since we readers already went through the whole WELCOME TO CAMP HALF-BLOOD part in The Lightning Thief, it was not particularly interesting.

Can I take a moment, also, to RAEG about Jason and Piper? This pretty much sums up how I feel about them and their relationship:

The number of times Piper talked about how omghawt Jason was bordered on how often Bella talks about how *perfect* Edward is. That is Not Okay. I honestly cannot tell you why Jason and Piper like each other. I could give you 100 reasons why Percy likes Annabeth and vice versa. Because they have personalities outside of their relationships. Because we watched them fall in love, we were not TOLD they were in love. Jason/Piper violates the cardinal principle of show, don't tell. We are constantly being told they have feelings for each other, but we don't see it happen.

I didn't like the 3 POVs (too many) and third person (too distant). I still don't feel like I really connect with the main characters. The slang was super forced. The pop culture references ran rampant. Just very inorganic-sounding.

Okay, so that was all very negative. I did like the plot once it picked up, way too much later than I would've liked. I think the Roman aspect is something RR can run with for five books and come up with lots of interesting twists. Leo came into his own as a character, much more than Piper and Jason did. I loved returning to the world of Camp Half-Blood. The new antagonists were awesome. Medea and Midas? You know my heart, Rick, you do. Loved Annabeth's cameo. Love Thalia. The backstory was cool and I think I kind of love Hephaestus? I always liked him, though. The Roman camp is going to give me the opportunity for endless lulz, because I feel like the Romans perceive themselves as Hot Shits, when really, they just got the Greeks' sloppy seconds during the Titan War. 

Son of Neptune (coming October 2011!) is the book I really want to read. I am going to assume, DO NOT BE MISLEADING ME HERE, RSQUARED, that it's about Percy at Roman Camp. No, for srs, RR, if you are jerking with my emotions, I will not be pleased.

So that's me. 3 out of 5 stars, even though I spent a majority of this post bitching.


  1. Um, SPOILERS to follow!!!

    Okay, totally agree with you on the lack of Percy thing. I mean, WTF, I LOVE Percy! My sister was going crazy that there was no Percy. I mean, I get that he's trying to show us that this new series isn't going to focus on the old gang, but yeah, why tease us so?! Why?!

    I liked it a lot more than it sounds like you did though. I think I got into the plot earlier than you did because I did find the mystery surrounding Jason quite intriguing. I LOVE the whole Roman thing and how that makes a difference, and I think it's a smart and creative way of expanding the story-verse. On the other hand, I also don't care about Hera (she's not exactly Ms. Popular) AND yeah, plot holes. I mean, some I was willing to suspend my disbelief for, given during the first series, he probably didn't know if there would be a second - but some of the stuff and how it links up or doesn't bugs me (um, Thalia and Jason thing? I really can't believe she just NEVER TOLD ANYONE. Ever.).

    Also, why does it sound like all these new kids are way more powerful than any of the old ones we've encountered (Percy aside)? Like powers-wise?

    Piper's whole thing with Jason was pretty annoying, but I liked how each kid had their own mysteries/problems. I also like that they're all older. I don't think I could have taken another series starting as young as Percy's series did. (I found the humor of the first two books a little too juvenile for me.)

    I did like the 3rd person POVs. Definitely a smart choice, given the 3 POVs. Plus, I just don't think RR could pull off 3 different POVs in 1st person that actually sounded different. One of the things I was afraid of was that these new kids would come off sounding just like Percy, and at points, especially in the beginning, they sort of did. The bit of distance given in 3rd helped. Plus, my sister read a bit of Red Pyramid, which has 2 POVs in 1st person and she didn't like it. Said they weren't distinct enough and some of the "voice" for one of the POVs sounded forced.

    I'm just not a fan of 1st person that much, especially with multiple POV shifts. It's just jarring.

    And this comment is getting super long, so I'm just going to say, DITTO. SON OF NEPTUNE is the book I want to read!!!

  2. Okay, just up front I'm not reading all your spoilery because I actually do want to read the book. But I had to mention how funny the image is of a diminutive Xixi screaming out HULKSMASH. That just cracked me up. :)

  3. Krispy - RIGHT? I can't believe Thalia never told anyone. Well, I can because clearly RR never planned for her to have a brother until now, but he isn't covering his tracks very well. And yes, the new demigods suddenly have way cooler powers than they should. Charmspeak? I somehow feel like the Aphrodite kids would've been taken much more seriously if they had that power in the last series. What I meant with the 3 POVs thing, is that I wish he had picked one main character and stuck to it, because his POV shifts are jarring to me except under certain circumstances. But overall, it was an enjoyable read. It's not like I regret reading it or anything. It's definitely not bad enough to make me quit the series.

    Eric - Big, scary things come in small packages. :P


    This entry just sums it all up. dnw Piper/Jason, dnw ~special~ new crew, dnw 75 pages of re-introduction to camp...

    But DO WANT Percy.

    /crossing fingers for October 2011

  5. oneoffour111 - YAY Son of Neptune, also, I totally read your reaction post after I finished the book. /creeper.

  6. (I only skimmed the post, so I wasn't too spoiled, which is fine.)

    Ah, I was sort of afraid of that, after reading that sample chapter offered a few months back. Hmm, not as enthused as I was before. Still gonna give it a shot, though, since you think the new series has potential, and the next book might have more Percy. And also because you call Rick Riordan R-square, which is beyond awesome.