The rise of ancient Egypt's gods

PUBLISHED : Monday, 24 January, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 24 January, 2011, 12:00am

The Red Pyramid
Rick Riordan
Published by Puffin
ISBN 9780141384948

The ancient gods just can't leave the modern world alone. In Rick Riordan's popular Percy Jackson series, it is the Greek gods that emerge from the past to create problems for poor Percy in New York. Now it's the turn of ancient Egyptian gods to show up in London and New York, causing headaches for new heroes Carter and Sadie Kane.

Fans of Percy Jackson will love The Red Pyramid, the first book in Riordan's new series: different gods, different characters, same set-up. Carter and Sadie are brother and sister, but don't really know each other. Since their mother's mysterious death near an ancient Egyptian monument in London, Carter has travelled the world with his father, the brilliant Egyptologist Dr Julius Kane. Sadie has lived a quicker life with her grandparents in London. When the two siblings meet for Christmas, things become explosive. Literally.

While touring the British Museum, a famous Egyptian relic explodes in front of them and their father vanishes. Their uncle in New York reveals to the children that they come from a line of powerful Egyptian magicians. The explosion in London, he adds, released five Egyptian gods who pose a terrible threat to the Kane family. Their globetrotting adventure begins.

Riordan lets Carter and Sadie, who have opposing personalities, tell the tale in alternating chapters.

At more than 500 pages, The Red Pyramid is a long book. But the chapters are short and the pace is fast. The book is a worthy, thrill-a-minute series-starter.