The Red Pyramid
Brother and sister Carter and Sadie Kane scarcely know each other. Carter lives with their Egyptologist father, based in America, whilst Sadie lives in London with their maternal grandparents. Sadie envies Carter’s exciting life travelling with their father; Carter, who feels he lives out of a suitcase, envies Sadie’s stable home and friends. Then, on a rare visit to the British Museum with his children, Dr Kane inadvertently blows up the Rosetta Stone in a dangerous experiment and unleashes the evil Set, the Ancient Egyptian god of chaos. Set imprisons Dr Kane, and Carter and Sadie run for their lives.
Once, Set’s evil power was kept under control by his fellow gods: Isis, Osiris, Horus and Nephthys. Now free, he begins to unleash the forces of evil and sets out to destroy the world. What follows is an action-packed, roller-coaster of a story as Carter and Sadie try to rescue their father and restore order in the cosmos before Set takes over the world. And time is running out …
I enjoyed this. It’s certainly page-turning but, for my taste, the pace is just too relentlessly frenetic. The quest element, where the hero has things to learn, is largely missing from the action. Carter and Sadie rarely stop to think; they seem to overcome the various obstacles with a half hour lesson in magic and by the seat of their pants. Having said that, I like the way their relationship gradually changes from barely-concealed resentment to guarded affection.
This book centres on ancient Egyptian myths, their belief systems, their artefacts etc, and Rick Riordan certainly knows his stuff. One thing is clear, any child who has read this book will get a lot more enjoyment out of a visit to the British Museum. For confident readers of 10 plus.