March 22, 2011

Tween Tuesday: Audio Review THE RED PYRAMID

Tween Tuesday was started at GreenBeanTeenQueen. In it we highlight books that are awesome for the tween set.  Today I have an audio review.

The Red Pyramid (Kane Chronicles #1)
Author: Rick Riordan

From Goodreads
Since their mother's death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.

One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a "research experiment" at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.

Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them —Set— has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe - a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.
My Review
After hearing some mixed reviews about this book I went into a bit cautious.  My daughter really liked it, and she was excited at the thought of listening to it, so with that we popped the cd's in and started to listen. I'm glad we did! The Red Pyramid really works wells as an audio book because the two main characters, Sadie and Carter, are suppose to be speaking into a recorder telling the story. Yes that means that they switch off telling the story.  Usually I'm not thrilled with books like that, but they each brought a unique perspective, so it was cool to have both of them tell the story.

The Characters:  I loved Carter.  He was smart in so many ways, but not is so many others.  He had traveled the world with their father, so he knew so many facts and "book" learning, but when it came to some other more common sense things he wasn't always sure.  He was also a well defined character because he wasn't predictable.  When you thought he would know something we wouldn't or vice versa.  You'd think that after traveling the world he wouldn't be scared by much but he very much was! Many times he would be afraid to act, so Sadie would step in and take over.  Throughout the book it was fun to watch his confidence grow.

Sadie - at first I didn't really care for her much.  She was kind of abrasive and rude.  Listening to her chapters was hard for me at the beginning because I just wanted to step into "mom" mode and tell her to knock it off! Thankfully she grew just as much as Carter did and by the end she was the one who was planning the next step, seeing what might hurt and upset people, and stepping up into a strong role.  What was rude at the beginning settled into a great spunkiness that knew when to push and when to back off.

The Plot:  It was great but long.  As I think back over it though I can't think of any part that could've been left out.  It all needed to be there in order to create a full story.  While listening the plot stayed at a great pace.  Lots of action followed by some down time to regroup.  The action was overly described allowing it to pull the reader along instead of making them want to skip over it.  Only once did I tell my daughter that I would be skipping ahead right there! There were so many pieces that needed to come together, and sometimes when that happens the details start to be lost because there are too many to track.  I didn't find that happening.  I was able to follow and remember everything that needed to be. 

The Humor:  There is some great humor in the book.  Many times we'd all be laughing at what was happening.  Sadie and Carter were typical brother and sisters - joking back and forth and putting each other down.  And the minor characters were always good for a laugh especially Dough Boy.  Watch for the Element of Cheese reference several times.  It still cracks us all up!

The readers:  The two readers did an amazing job bringing all the characters alive.  We were in awe of their ability to do so many different voices.  I don't normally like female narrators, but this one was great.

Final Thoughts:
Me: Fun+action+great characters=great book
My Daughter: Very funny!
My Son: What they talked about was amazingly cool!
My 3 year old: I liked it.  It was long :)
Best stick with you image: When Carter realizes there is a god in his head.
Best for readers who: Like action and other Rick Riordan books
Best for ages: 10+ reading and any age listening
Similar authors: Brandon Mull



  1. I was reading this and felt it hard to distinguish Sadie and Carter, but I can see how this easily become irrelevant in Audiobooks :) And I thought the plot dragged (way) too long too, I mean the first Percy Jackson was 200 or so pages... and Riordan chucks a 400+(ish?) one for this series? i think i wouldn't be able to focus for so long if I were listening to this.
    Anyways, love the review! I should really try audiobooks! =D

  2. I really enjoyed The Red Pyramid! It fits perfectly in with my 6th grade curriculum, and I was thrilled to finally have a novel about ancient Egypt to use with my kiddos.

    But... I definitely agree that it was LONG. Hopefully the next in the series will be a bit more manageable!

  3. I really didn't like this book and I really didn't like the audio. It was just too much for me.

    But I'm glad that you liked it.

  4. I tried to read this one but just couldn't get into it. I keep meaning to get it on CD-Katherine Kellgren narrates Sadie and I love her! I might like it better on audio.

  5. I liked this book, but didn't love it. It was a tad too long. But I might have liked it more as an audio book. But I really enjoyed The Lost Hero. Thanks for the review.

  6. I came from Cym Lowell's Book Review Party Wednesday.

    That's the thing about audiobooks. The narrator plays a vital role in the listener's experience with the story, on top of the author's story telling ability. On how well he/she spins the tale. Which makes reviewing audiobooks a bit more complicated than paperbacks... I need to pick this book up though... :)

    Cherry Mischievous
    chericenter-warrior2 [at] yahoo [dot] com

  7. Stopping by from Cym Lowell's Book Review Party.

    Good review...Love your blog design and header.

    Stop by my blog for a giveaway of LINEN QUEEN courtesy of Sarah from Hachette is ending this evening, March 23.

  8. This sounds like a fun one! I'm glad you enjoyed the audiobok format! :)