The Lost Hero
By Rick Riordan
Random House/Listening Library, 2010. 14 CDs. Young Adult
When Jason Grace wakes up on a school bus on a field trip, he has no idea who he is or where he is. Although Piper and Leo claim to be his girlfriend and best friend, respectively, he doesn't have any memories of them--or any memories at all. Soon, they find out they are all demigods and are taken to Camp Half Blood, where Annabeth is anxious to find Percy Jackson, who has gone missing. Jason, Piper, and Leo set out on a quest to save Hera, while at the same time wondering if it's all a trick since Hera isn't known for caring about the demigods. As Jason tries to figure out who he is, Piper is trying to figure out if they really have--or could have--a relationship, and Leo is trying to fight the memories horrible events in his past.
This book introduces three new heroes, all of whom are likable and have interesting back stories. They are a little bit older than Percy was in the Lightning Thief, so this series can keep the readers who have grown up with Percy. With action, adventure, and a hint of romance, there's a lot here that can appeal to a variety of readers. It sets the stage for a great conflict to come in future books, and I'm looking forward to the next installment in the series.
I listened to the audio version of this book, a little apprehensively since I recently attended a conference where the presenter said she really disliked the narrator and had to switch to the print version instead. Well, I stuck it out for the whole book, and I have to say, for the main characters (Jason, Piper, and Leo), the narrator was tolerable, but for the voices of a lot of secondary characters, I was rolling my eyes. However, the book is well-written, with good characters and adventures, so if you start the audiobook and can't stomach it, don't give up on the book entirely--just switch to the print version.