Series Starters: The Kane Chronicles

One of Rick Riordan’s lesser-known series is the Kane Chronicles. The first book in the Kane Chronicles, The Red Pyramid, takes place at the same time frame in the Rick Riordan universe as The Lost Hero, and there are subtle references to Long Island and the Percy Jackson universe throughout that are fun to pick up on.

Brother and sister Carter and Sadie Kane have grown up apart since their mother died. Carter has been traveling the world with their Egyptologist father while Sadie was forced to live with their grandparents in London. On a rare visit to London, Carter and Sadie’s father brings them with him on a research assignment to the British Museum where things go terribly wrong. The Egyptian god Set has been released, forcing the children to flee for their lives as their father is banished to the Underworld. The siblings discover that the gods and goddesses of Egypt are real, alive, and know that the Kanes exist. What happens next is a journey to discover their own family’s history and who they are in the grand scheme of things. Oh, and they also have to save the world from sure destruction.

Told in alternating chapters narrated by both Carter and Sadie, this trilogy is sure to get your heart racing and your blood pumping. The voices of Carter and Sadie are perfect, and the Egyptian culture is a nice change of pace. If you’re looking for your next adventure series, then look no further than the Kane Chronicles.

Series Starters: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard

The final book in the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard trilogy¬† by Rick Riordan was just released at the beginning of October. Sometimes it’s nice to start a series when you know the final book has already been published, so you don’t have to wait so long in between installments. But this is another one of Riordan’s series that I love so much and am recommending to you if you like action, mythology, humor, and adventure.

The first book, The Sword of Summer, begins with Magnus’s death on his sixteenth birthday. Strange events have always happened in Magnus’s life and were magnified two years ago, when strange wolves attacked his apartment, killing his mother. Magnus has been living on the streets of Boston ever since, when his estranged Uncle Randolph finds him and reveals that his father is actually a Norse god. Now Magnus must claim his birthright, a fabled sword that belonged to his father. After Magnus’s death, a whole world is unlocked to him and now he must figure out how to save it from Ragnarok.

The premise of Riordan’s series for younger people are all very much the same, and yet the adventures and characters are all diverse and distinct. They each stand out to me that makes me want to keep going back to these books to read more. Also, the cross-references to Riordan’s other works is always awesome to see; in this series, you’ll get a lot of references to the Greek gods because Magnus is first cousins with Annabeth Chase, from the Percy Jackson universe.

You can find physical copies of this series on the shelves throughout the Aurora Public Library District, or you can check them out digitally from the Indiana Digital Download Center.

Happy Reading!

Series Starters: The Trials of Apollo

If you’ve read any of my blogs before, you’ll already know that I am a giant fan of Rick Riordan and everything he writes. The newest series he’s working on, along with his Magnus Chase series, is The Trials of Apollo.

Apollo, the Greek god of music, healing, prophecy, and the sun, has angered his father Zeus enough to be exiled as a human to Earth. Without his powers, Apollo has been transformed into a weak, dorky human who must now figure out how to survive long enough to get back in his father’s good graces. Of course, Apollo — whose new name is Lester Papadopolous — has many mortal and immortal enemies who would love to get their hands on him, so a trip to Camp Half Blood is the only option. Some familiar faces from Riordan’s other series appear– like Percy Jackson and more (I can’t tell you because it will spoil it!), so fans will appreciate the appearances.

I was wary to read this series because I didn’t want the beloved voice of Percy Jackson to sound anything like the god Apollo, but I needn’t have worried because Riordan had it mastered. Apollo’s voice in the novels has been compared to Gilderoy Lockhart, which is perfect and hilarious. The second book in the series just came out on May 2nd with a third book to be released early next year.

Happy Reading!

Rick Riordan: The Ultimate Character/Universe Crossover Author

Have you ever loved a character so much that you wished he or she was real? You loved them so much that you devoured every short story or theory about your character on the Internet and got lost? No? Is that just me? Oh.

Well, Percy Jackson is my favorite character ever written by my favorite author Rick Riordan. Percy’s five-book series was never enough for me, so you can imagine how excited I was to read Riordan’s other series and find that Percy just kept popping up when you least expected him to. That’s part of the reason why I keep reading and re-reading Riordan’s various series, but the main reason is that of Riordan’s writing itself. Sure, the main theme of each series is the same — inexperienced demigods from various cultures are sent on quests to save the world from sure destruction — but I never can grow tired of his words, and I have never been bored for one minute.

If you want to read the various series in chronological order, definitely read the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series first. Percy is a young boy from New York City who finds out that his dad is actually a Greek god. Next, you’ll want to read The Kane Chronicles. Brother and sister, Carter and Sadie Kane, find out that they possess the power of the ancient Egyptian magicians. There are also three short stories involving Percy Jackson, Annabeth Chase, and Carter and Sadie Kane.

Next is The Heroes of Olympus series, which involves new characters descended from Roman gods as well as old characters from the Greek side. Each book is more intense than the last! Riordan’s newest series takes place simultaneously, but the first Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard — which is about the descendants of Old Norse gods — the book was released before the first The Trials of Apollo book — which revisits Greek and Roman myths — was. The final books for these two series will be released at the end of 2017 and at the beginning of 2018, respectively.

If you’re like me and just can’t let old characters go, then the books in Rick Riordan’s little universe are the ones for you. I might be biased, though, but I think these books are great for all ages. You can find the series in the Juvenile Fiction section of the library, or you can download every title from the Indiana Digital Download Center. You won’t regret it!

Happy Reading!

Author Biographies: Rick Riordan

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Rick Riordan was born in San Antonio, Texas on June 5, 1964. After graduating high school, Riordan first attended North Texas State for the music program because he wanted to pursue a music career, as he was the lead singer of a folk rock band. He then transferred to the University of Texas in Austin, studying English and History. He received his teaching certificate from the University of Texas in San Antonio. Riordan taught middle school English and Social Studies at Presidio Hill School in San Francisco for eight years. Riordan married his wife on June 5, 1985, as they shared the same birthday.

While he was still teaching, Riordan wrote an adult hard-boiled mystery series about Texan private eye Tres Navarre. However, the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series is what really put Riordan’s name on the map. The story began as a bedtime story Riordan told his youngest son, Haley, who was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia, just like Percy and the other heroes at Camp Half Blood. When he completed the first novel, Riordan had some of his students read it and give him feedback, offer suggestions, and help him come up with the title.

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Riordan has also gone on to collaborate with other authors to write the 39 Clues series. He has also turned some of the books from various series into graphic novels, as well as crossover short stories and tag along books to his different series that add more depth and background information to characters and myths.

Having been a history teacher, it is no wonder that Riordan’s children series are steeped in Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Norse myths. Each of his series allow children to learn about ancient cultures while they think they are reading just for fun. Each series includes believable and lovable characters, as well as crossover characters and references to other series. It really is interesting to see how the individual series work together and add more depth to Riordan’s writing. And in case you couldn’t tell, he’s my favorite author! Start with The Lightning Thief.