The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan Book Review

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.


I spent my childhood going to museums and my favorite exhibits were always the ones about Egypt. When I found out one of my favorite authors was writing a series about Egyptian mythology I was ecstatic! I couldn’t wait to see how Rick Riordan would weave his story.


Here are a couple of things i enjoyed about The Red Pyramid(very minor to minimal spoilers ahead):

  • The world building was phenomenal! I loved how Riordan blends his stories with realism and mythology.
  • The character building. The way the author writes his characters and makes you become attached despite your best attempts to not become attached because let’s be honest here, Mr. Riordan is not the kindest when it comes to characters. He can enjoy seeing them suffer.
  • The fact that incest is actually addressed.  There is a lot of incest in Ancient Egyptian history.  It actually makes learning more about the culture of the pharaohs a little difficult. The way Mr. Riordan handles it is graceful and leaves no doubt in your mind that there is no incest in his books.
  • I have always enjoyed how the love story is not a big deal in Riordan’s books.  It helps us keep in mind that the character are in their young teens.  No young teenager needs to worry about being in love and finding the love of their life. There is plenty of time to do that when they are older.
  • In Chapter 9 she says ‘My dear, i’m a cat everything i see is mine’.  I have always loved cats i have 3 of them. They are simply the most precious and sassy animals in the world.
  • Not many authors are comfortable about addressing race in their books but something Riordan has always done well is talk about the realities of being one race or having a specific belief.  In The Red Pyramid the relationship between PoC(in particular African American men) and the Police. He is very open and honest and states things exactly how they are. He does not gently blow this topic off(which would be difficult since one of the main characters is a PoC)
  • One of the final things I appreciated in this book is the fact that Riordan makes little references to his other books. In particular he references the Percy Jackson Series. If you have not read the Percy Jackson books you won’t understand the reference but if you do you will immediately be saying to yourself ‘I see what you did there’.

This book is perfect for anyone who wants a story that has an adventure but isn’t all consumed in romance. I feel like most adventure books are more absorbed in the romance and use that as a point to move the plot along but in my opinion none of Riordan’s books do that.  This book is technically middle grade so it is also very easy to read.

Overall I give this story 4.5 Bards!

Top Ten Tuesday


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted for us book blogger types by the Broke and the Bookish.  They provide a topic, and all of us participants post our answers on our blogs and we hop around checking out one another’s answers!  This week’s topic is:

Top Ten Books You Would Classify As ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS from the PAST 5 YEARS

fang1.  The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach:  One of my favorite novels of all time.  AMAZING characters that you will fall in love with.

2.  The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson:  A unique and quirky book about a family of performance artists. Really fun.

3.  Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn:  Just a crazy good book.  Psychotic characters.  One of my favorite thrillers.

4.  A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard:  An intense memoir.  Her story of being kidnapped and being held captive for over 18 years is heartbreaking.

5.  The Help by Kathryn Stockett:  Beautiful novel. “You is kind.  You is smart.  You is important.”

6.  One Day by David Nicholls:  Just a classic good love story.  The relationship is on-again/0ff-again so it makes it interesting.

7.  The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling):  Fun murder mystery.  And I love J.K. Rowling.

8.  This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper:  Humorous look inside a dysfunctional family.    bed

9.  The Bedwetter by Sarah Silverman:  I found it to be a very funny memoir.  Warning:  She talks a lot about farts.

10.  Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James:  I mean…come on.  I had to.

 *These were chosen from books that were published from 2009-2014

Release Day Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard


To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of
those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?

Release Date: TODAY

When I first heard about this book, I had a distinct feeling that it would be a big deal.  Granted, I also thought it was going to have something to do with Alice in Wonderland, but that was just wishful thinking.  Either way, I can’t imagine how Red Queen cannot be hugely popular.  Not only did Aveyard sign a three book deal and the movie rights were purchased by Universal before the book has even been released, but the narrative is filled with all the aspects that are super popular in young adult literature right now: futuristic, paranormal, and filled with social injustice. So yes, Red Queen is going to be a big deal.

redqueentweetAveyard has created an excellent story world that pits blood against blood: Silver and powerful versus the Red and weak.  It is set up very much like the standard ideal of the bourgeoisie and proletariat, just like this quote from Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto, “Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two great classes directly facing each other — bourgeoisie and proletariat.” I admire that the narrative reflects such adept use of political theory in this notion, whether it was intentional or not.

I also really liked Aveyard’s stress on how important the family unit is throughout this narrative, and how Mare, no matter what, was constantly thinking about those she cared about at home and what she could do to help.  Whether it was thievery or sacrificing her identity to provide for her family and bring her brothers home from war.  Again, the way that Aveyard has the Red blood’s society set up is that children are either apprenticed and in training to make money and a livelihood by serving the Silvers or they are forced to serve in the army, which also serves the Silvers.  I love it because this too can be interpreted using Marxist literary theory, “The bourgeoisie has torn away from the family its sentimental veil, and has reduced the family relation to a mere money relation.” Reds are forced to work to provide for Silvers and their families = money relation. So many kudos to Aveyard for this.

redqueenprisonOverall the story building in Red Queen was phenomenal. Aveyard set up enough of the background to make the story-world feel complete, but that there is still a lot of information that the readers don’t know yet.  There is a love story, but it most definitely takes a back seat to the political, familial, and court intrigue aspects of this novel, which is a breath of fresh air. Also, I kept imagining Mare looking a bit like the Red Queen from Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, mostly because they shared a similar rags to riches story, and let’s face it, Emma Rigby is gorgeous.  I cannot express to you how much I enjoyed this novel and how excited I am to see where this story goes in the subsequent installments.

I leave you with this quote by Karl Marx:

“Let the ruling classes (silvers)  tremble at a […] revolution. The proletarians (reds) have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.”

5 Bards.



Book Review: Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst

Eve has a new home, a new face, and a new name—but no memories of her past. She’s been told that she’s in a witness protection program. That she escaped a dangerous magic-wielding serial killer who still hunts her. The only thing she knows for sure is that there is something horrifying in her memories the people hiding her want to access—and there is nothing they won’t say—or do—to her to get her to remember.

At night she dreams of a tattered carnival tent and buttons being sewn into her skin. But during the day, she shelves books at the local library, trying to not let anyone know that she can do things—things like change the color of her eyes or walk through walls. When she does use her strange powers, she blacks out and is drawn into terrifying visions, returning to find that days or weeks have passed—and she’s lost all short-term memories. Eve must find out who and what she really is before the killer finds her—but the truth may be more dangerous than anyone could have ever imagined.

Unfortunately it took me a lot longer to read this book than I hoped, but it really was at no fault of the author or of the story as a whole…I was just incredibly busy.  However, I think that the time I spent away from the novel really was detrimental to my enjoyment.  Why?  Well, there were a lot of very small details that I did not pick up on the first read through, and it took me a second read through to totally understand every part of the very intricate plot.

The structure of this novel is a bit different.  While a lot of novels use the idea of a frame story to reveal tidbits of a character’s past, Durst really has something unique here since her main character and 3rd person limited narrator has no memory of where she has come from or anything from her past.  In fact, the only way she does have flashes of memory is upon a blackout that could last for days or even weeks.

In a young adult world inundated with paranormal stories, Durst managed to construct a story that was utterly surprising.  Not only does the novel involve the face-paced criminal mystery aspect, but it has other realms, magic, and true love.  Wonderful.  I won’t spoil anything else for fear of ruining your discovery of Eve’s secret along with the character.

Do yourself a favor and pick it up.  The only downside is that sometimes the flashbacks can be a little confusing and hard to understand at the beginning.  But believe me, pay close attention to the little details in them and they will only enrich the story.

4 Bards.


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