The Lost Hero: The Heroes of Olympus, Book 1

Book review by
Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media
The Lost Hero: The Heroes of Olympus, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Percy Jackson series spin-off is almost as delightful.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 101 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Mythological creatures abound in the Percy Jackson series and in this spin-off series as well. More heroes emerge with family ties to the gods, and more about the Titans, giants, and other ancient creatures emerges. There are also references to mortals from ancient history like King Midas, Helen of Troy, and Medea. It's fun to take out a map and see where the heroes' travels take them; the author usually includes some facts about each North American location.

Positive Messages

Friendship, loyalty, and trust are big themes, and as the series progresses, characters with different backgrounds and talents will need to work together to fight a common evil and save the world (of course). Believing in yourself, facing your greatest fears, and rising to meet extreme challenges are also important -- this is a series about heroes, after all.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The three teen heroes -- Jason, Piper, and Leo -- are great examples of loyal friends, risking their lives many times for one another. They all come out more confident in their abilities and more sure of the importance of their friendship. When Piper is burdened with a fear that she will have to betray her friends in order to save her father, she makes the tough choice to confide in her friends, who are determined to help her anyway.

Violence

Violence falls into two camps here: First, there are multiple attacks by mythological gods and monsters that include swordplay, spears, and some bloodshed; the three main heroes almost die multiple times in these battles, while the creatures they kill just turn to dust and reform. Then there's the emotional stuff: Leo replays the death of his mother in a fire as his fault, and Piper is frantic over her father's kidnapping and worries that she'll have to choose between her father's life and her friends' safety.

Sex

Piper and Jason talk a lot in their own heads about their interest in the other, but there's no kiss just yet. Leo flirts very unsuccessfully.

Language
Consumerism

Peppered with pop culture references and a few product mentions, but nothing except Wheel of Fortune is mentioned more than once.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this Percy Jackson spin-off has the same mix of fast-paced battles, scary monsters, and humor. The three new heroes -- Jason, Piper, and Leo -- are in mortal danger multiple times and risk their lives for one another. These heroes are already in their mid-teens, so there's romance in the air between Jason and Piper, though nothing happens just yet. Just like the Percy Jackson series, The Lost Hero will get kids immersed in the details of Greek mythology ... and hopefully clamoring to learn more.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bykaitlinb January 11, 2015
I read this when I was like 14 and I got bored with it. However, I do remember a lot of life and death type stuff, more so than the Percy Jackson Series. My nin... Continue reading
Parent of a 12 year old Written byThe Snorks February 27, 2011

A Perfect Book

Great book! My kids loved it. There is nothing to worry about when handing this book over to the kiddos!
Kid, 11 years old March 15, 2011

Incredible Book- Iffy for 9 yr olds, but perfect for 10+

I heart this book!! I bought this one, and I cannot wait for the next one in the series to come out. I miss Percy, and go crazy just thinking what might happen,... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old May 10, 2011

BEST BOOK EVER

Rick riordan is amazing... as a writer i am jealous =)

What's the story?

Jason is pretty confused when he wakes upon a school bus on a trip to the Grand Canyon with no idea who he is or how he got there. Earnest Piper acts like Jason's girlfriend, and goofy Leo thinks he's Jason's best friend, but Jason can't remember either of them. Before he can ask many questions, all three are attacked by storm spirits and rescued by a Camp Half-Blood chariot. The newly revealed heroes have barely broken in their cabin bunks when they're called on a quest to rescue Hera (who knows who Jason really is) from dark forces stirring in the Earth -- giants and much more. Riding off in a metal dragon expertly fixed by Leo (Hephaestus' son, of course), the three seek out the nearly-as-dangerous wind gods to help find Hera. But Piper has another secret quest: Her father has been kidnapped by another giant who wants to trade her friends' lives for her father's freedom -- a horrible choice to make.

Is it any good?

The story set-up isn't terribly smooth, and this is a denser read than the first few Percy Jackson books, but once the action heats up, that's easily forgotten.

It definitely helps to read the Percy Jackson series first. This spin-off uses the same camp that trains heroes and churns out three more intriguing demigods. Whether they're as likable as Annabeth and Percy is still up in the air, but it's a promising start.

Always a draw with Riordan's books is his sense of humor and ingenious mix of myth and modern. Aeolus makes a compelling argument for why meteorologists are wrong so often, and Medea makes for a divine charmspeaking saleswoman (ready to talk you into buying a wide variety of poisonous potions, right this way). This sense of fun and adventure makes every one of Riordan's books a quest worth undertaking.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about this series vs. Percy Jackson. Were kids as excited about this new series if they loved Percy Jackson? How is Jason different from Percy? How is he the same?

  • Talk about the mix of myth and modern. How does the author make it work so well? Did you learn anything about mythology that you didn't know before? Are there other myths that you're interested in exploring?

Book details

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