Posts filed under ‘Adventure’
The Lost Hero picks up several months after the events of Percy Jackson and the Olympians and introduces three new characters: Jason, an amnesiac who happens to be the son of Zeus; Piper, Jason’s “girlfriend” and a daughter of Aphrodite; and Leo, Jason’s best friend and a son of Hephaestus. While undertaking a dangerous quest to rescue Hera, the Queen of the Gods, the trio battle sinister new monsters and cross swords with some of the most notorious humans in Greek mythology, all while trying to rediscover Jason’s lost past.
I personally found this book a welcome change from the first-person perspective of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, as this story is told from the third-person viewpoints of the three protagonists instead. More of Greek mythology’s monsters, heroes and villains have been intricately woven into 21st century society, which was both amusing and interesting. A must read if you are a fan of Greek Mythology.
Addendum by Lu Wen Hao (2I3):
This book is another one of Rick Riordan’s classic thrillers, packed with wit, action and heart, full of the usual wry humor and nonstop action that never fails to disappoint. The book is crammed with plot devices and subplots, such as the gods who drift back and forth between their Greek and Roman personas. Riordan has proven that his storytelling is as polished as ever with The Lost Hero, by bringing Roman gods into the mix as well, and giving them slightly different personalities. In a way, this serves to make the plot more complicated and interesting by letting the readers to stretch their imaginations.
Long story short, this is a book that readers of the fantasy genre would love, and I strongly recommend it to avid supporters of fantasy and thoughtful readers who reflect on their personal favorite stories.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Reviewed by Yau Chun Shin (3H1)
If you had to kill twenty-three people, one of whom loves you deeply, to survive, would you do it? That is the quandary that sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen faces in the young-adult science fiction novel The Hunger Games.
The book is set in a dystopian world ruthlessly dictated by the government, known as the Capitol. As punishment for a failed uprising, it has instituted an event, where two tributes from twelve districts will be selected and pitted against each other in a fight to the death. When Katniss’s sister is chosen, she volunteers herself.
The Hunger Games is written in the present tense, through the eyes of Katniss. This creates a sense of immediacy, making it all the more engrossing. Detailed, vivid descriptions of Collins’ futuristic world immediately immerses the reader in Katniss’ life-and-death struggle. The plot is exciting and well-paced, focusing as much on Katniss’s reactions and emotions as on the action in the arena.
A pity, then, that the novel does not exploit its rich allegorical potential. It sacrifices the possible parallels with real-life situations for its engaging plot and fast pace. Given the very nature of the subject at hand, this is probably the more sensible thing to do, but the novel would be altogether more complete if it were able to draw parallels between the Capitol and current authoritarian governments. The author probably did not want to infuse her political leanings into an eminently readable adolescent novel.
Overall, though, The Hunger Games is a well-rounded book. What it lacks in allegorical content, it more than makes up for in its excellent plot and vivid descriptions. The development of characters within the book is also satisfying, exploring the effects of the violence on minor characters as well as Katniss. A great read.
Crocodile Tears by Anthony Horowitz
Reviewed by Yeo Jun Hui (3A3)
This is Anthony Horowitz’s eighth and last book in the Alex Rider series. The plot involves 14 year-old spy, Alex Rider, who works for the British spy agency. In the story, he meets his rival, Desmond McCain, the “generous and powerful” chief of international charity, at a card game in a Scottish castle on New Year’s Eve. After beating McCain at Texas Hold ‘Em, Rider is almost assassinated when his car, driven by his friend’s parents, plunges into a nearby lake. Was it because of the card game that McCain wanted him eradicated, or was his friend’s father the architect of the accident?
This thriller has been likened to Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels. Horowitz’s style is direct and fast-flowing. This has an appeal to readers like me who are impatient and expect to access the action immediately. Furthermore, I really enjoyed the action when the climactic point is at its peak: when Rider is chased by his enemy while trying to detonate a bomb on a dam in Kenya. However, I was disappointed when the spy tools given to Rider were not as futuristic as the ones in the other books.
This novel would translate well onto the big screen. Hopefully someone will produce an Alex Rider film that might one day even rival the popularity of Harry Potter’s box-office success.