(The Heroes of Olympus, Book One)
by Rick Riordan
'Jason has a problem. He doesn't remember anything before waking up on a school bus holding hands with a girl. Apparently she's his girlfriend Piper, his best friend is a kid named Leo, and they're all students in the Wilderness School, a boarding school for "bad kids." What he did to end up here, Jason has no idea-except that everything seems very wrong.
Piper has a secret. Her father has been missing for three days, and her vivid nightmares reveal that he's in terrible danger. Now her boyfriend doesn't recognize her, and when a freak storm and strange creatures attack during a school field trip, she, Jason, and Leo are whisked away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood. What is going on?
Leo has a way with tools. His new cabin at Camp Half-Blood is filled with them. Seriously, the place beats Wilderness School hands down, with its weapons training, monsters, and fine-looking girls. What's troubling is the curse everyone keeps talking about, and that a camper's gone missing. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist they are all-including Leo-related to a god.
Rick Riordan, the best-selling author of the Percy Jackson series, pumps up the action and suspense in The Lost Hero, the first book in The Heroes of Olympus series.'
*** MIGHT CONTAIN SPOILERS ***
I enjoyed the first Percy Jackson series enough that I dove right into this second series. I'm not sure if this is technically supposed to be referred to as a Percy Jackson series. He's not actually in this first book but he is mentioned a lot, and the camp and other characters from the first series are there. So I'm not sure if it's supposed to be like a spinoff series, or a continuation.
Anyway, I did enjoy this book but man, it's way 'busier' than the first series. I probably missed so much stuff because there were three different characters that the points of view bounced among, and there were so many so many little stories that we're just given hints and tidbits about until the end. I kinda gave up trying to keep it straight why Piper was keeping this secret, and Leo was keeping this secret, and Jason was keeping this secret. Even in the end I was a little confused but that's probably my own fault for giving up on trying to keep all the hints and clues straight.
This book introduces us to Jason, Piper, and Leo. They are three students at a school for troubled kids. Except, wait, Jason wakes up on a bus to a field trip with no memories of who he is or what he's doing there. We also meet Coach Hedge, a teacher at the school, but who is also . . . surprise! . . . a crazy satyr and protector of unknowing demigods, much like Grover in the first series. Only, where Grover was timid, Coach Hedge is ever-eager to scream "Die!" and attack whatever threat he perceives there to be.
So Jason wakes up on this bus with no memories, and of course there are dangerous shenanigans during this school field trip and our main characters are whisked away to Camp Half-Blood. Jason, even with no memories, is uneasy about being there. Something tells him it's dangerous for him to be there, which doesn't make sense if it's the safest place on earth for demigods. Even more strange, he finds out he's related to someone from Camp Half-Blood.
There is a prophecy and a quest and our three characters head off on a long adventure. The typical fare in these Percy Jackson books. They encounter various monsters and gods as they race to save a captured goddess in a location that is locked away in Jason's missing memories. And why does he keep referring to the gods and things by their Roman names? His friends are starting to wonder if he's more important than anyone realizes. Add into this, the side story of Piper trying to save her dad, and Leo trying to make sense of his horrible childhood, and things stay busy.
Jason is told if he survives his mission his memories will be restored. Someone has taken those memories to keep him safe. Seems counter-productive but hey, like I said, the story got confusing for me at times. When they managed to get back to the camp, Jason is told his memories will come back over time. At the end of this first book though, he does remember enough to pretty much shatter what everyone at Camp Half-Blood thought they knew about their lives. And he's pretty sure that Percy Jackson, who has gone missing, is in a world of trouble. *dun dun duuuunnnnnnn* Nice lead in for the second book, which is indeed about Percy Jackson.
I did enjoy this book, probably about as much as the other series, even though this one is quite long and quite 'busy.' There are some things about Jason's missing memories and his relationships with Piper and Leo that just make you want to skip ahead and find out the truth. While Piper was sure Jason was her boyfriend (he woke up holding her hand on the bus), and Leo was sure Jason's been his best friend for a long time, Coach Hedge says he'd never seen him before that day on the bus. It's explained to them that whoever planted Jason there and wiped his memory, also planted false memories into Piper and Leo. So along with all the adventure stuff, you just can't help but wonder . . . were Jason and Piper really a couple?
But anyway, a fun book if you can keep track of everything that's going. lol