The Red Pyramid (Kane Chronicles #1) *****
by Rick Riordan
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.
The Kane Chronicles are a new series by the author of the Percy Jackson books. And by new, I mean different - this book is a couple of years old now, but the series is not connected to the Percy books (at least to my knowledge). Where the Olympians series focuses on figures from Greek mythology, the Kane titles feature the Egyptian gods. One of my favorite parts of this book was how Riordan made history interesting.
Riordan did an excellent job of creating a world that was exciting and fun. It really lends itself to the audio format, as the main characters switch back and forth with the narration as though they're making a recording for future listeners (that, and Kevin R. Price and Katherine Kellgren did an amazing job voicing the narration). The reader/listener is drawn in by the adventure and mystery, but the story is also kept light by the teasing asides between Sadie and Carter as they're narrating. I like how Riordan kept this good-versus-evil, save-the-world tale more fun than scary. The reader also gets drawn into the story as though they may be one of the children with the "blood of the pharaohs."
A great read for the prescribed age-group of grades 4-9, but I got a real kick out of it, too!