Heroes of Olympus: The Lost Hero is an engrossing start that improves upon what came before. Though I liked the Percy Jackson series, it feels like an early work in comparison to this.
Everything that made the first series fun remains. The mix of mythology and the everyday world is still entertaining and done in a creative way. The stakes feel dire and appropriately grand. The characters’ interactions are believable and make them feel vulnerable, even if they are demi-gods. But this series has already taken these staples further.
Don’t spoil the book by reading about the new mythological exploration. The first series was hinting at the way the world grows and it leaves so much room for plots and ideas. The stakes are uppity from the get-go. We get to see how powerful the new enemies are and it makes way for the coming together of heroes. The characters are each given story arcs, whereas the first series focused more one character. Percy was a good lead, but he did not grow as much as he might have. Here the narrative is shared by three different protagonists, all of whom have issues to work through alongside the plot. Dynamic and layered is one way to describe it. It keeps things fresh since every viewpoint helps us relate to the characters.
The overall plot and writing is on par with the last in The Percy Jackson series. The plot is well-paced but follows the structure we’ve come to expect without risking deviation. The story is appropriately funny, witty or serious, but much of the narrative suffers from exposition dumps in the convenient packaging of dreams. If you can handle the unvarying structure of the author’s work and wish for more mythological variety this is a great read.