Audiobook review: The Red Pyramid (Kane Chronicles book 1) by Rick Riordan

A little while back I had a subscription for Storytel, a service that allows you to listen unlimited to a wide variety of audiobooks. I really liked it, especially when I went on long hikes alone. Listening to music is fun, but to switch it up with books makes for a nice change.

One of the first books I listened too was The Red Pyramid, the first book in the children’s book series  The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan and all I can say is WOA! It is one of those stories that becomes way better when you’re listening to it, though reading the story wouldn’t be so bad either.

It’s a story that is filled with adventure, sibling rivalry, an epic quest, magic and the Egyptian pantheon.

The Story
The Red Pyramid introduces us to Carter and Sadie, brother and sister, who’ve lived apart since the mysterious death of their mother. Carter traveling the world with his father – Egyptologist Dr. Julius Kane – and Sadie living with their grandparents in England. They hardly see each other so they are virtual strangers. All that changes when their father brings them to the British Museum for an experiment that goes horribly wrong. Suddenly Carter and Sadie are thrust in a world full of magic and with the Egyptian gods running amok. One in particular has it in for the Kane family and it’s up to Carter and Sadie to stop him. If they don’t get killed first.

Set-up of the story
The story is alternately told from Carter and Sadie’s point of view in the style of a narration. They tell the story, but it’s definitely not a boring story. I liked how this was set-up. It gave to story that air of mystery, because Carter and Sadie are telling their story for a reason.

The Narration
The story is narrated by Jane Collingwood and Joseph May. They are the voice for Carter and Sadie. I for one am very happy that it wasn’t just the one narrator, because Carter and Sadie have an equal share in telling the story. The narrators do a splendid job in making the characters come to life and I was drawn immediately into the story. The narration gives that extra dimension to the story. They make the banter between Carter and Sadie feel real.

My opinion
When you listen to this story you have to keep in mind that the intended audience is young listers. The story is chuck full of fantastical elements and action and adventure. Compared to Percy jackson and the Lightning Thief this story is much longer. So I can imagine that some adult listeners will find the story a bit much. I for one really liked it. My much heard complaint in fantasy story – urban and otherwise – is the lack of actual use of magic or world that is just too normal. I have no such argument for the The Red Pyramid. The use of magic in battle, talking animals, gods and other elements just adds this air mystery and fantasy that is just right.

My only argument would be that Carter and Sadie act very grown-up for their age. If I didn’t know any better, they could easily pass for eighteen year-olds. Then again, considering what they are up again, they have to grow-up very fast.

All in all, this story – the book or the audiobook – is highly recommended.

The Red Pyramid Book Cover The Red Pyramid
The Kane Chronicles #1
Rick Riordan
Fantasy, children's fiction, urban fantasy, gods
Disney Hyperion
May 4, 2010

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.

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