1. Significance of the title: The book begins with Jason, one of the main characters, waking up in a school bus with no clue as to who he is. As the book progresses Jason joins a camp for demigods (offspring of a god and a mortal) and is chosen to lead a quest which makes him a hero.
2. Genre: Greek and Roman Mythology, Fantasy
3. Date of original publication: 10/12/10 4. Author: Rick Riordan
5. Setting The book takes place in the 21st century. The main setting of the book is in modern USA. The story sets in Grand Canyon, Long Island, Quebec, Detroit, Chicago, Nebraska and California. The main characters travel to all these places in their search for Hera, queen of gods.
6. Importance of this setting
In the beginning the main characters were in the Grand Canyon for a field trip. The vast, empty expanse of the Grand Canyon symbolizes the characters’ lack of awareness of the battles the demigods had against the monsters. Only once they came to Long Island, New York did the cold reality of the danger they were in sunk.
The story starts when Jason wakes up in the back of a school bus with no memory of where he is or who he is. He meets Piper McClean, who claims to be his girlfriend, and Leo Valdez, who claims to be his best friend. He finds out that they are on a field trip to Grand Canyon as students of Wilderness School – a school for problematic kids. When they were on the walkway above the Grand Canyon, they were attacked by a couple of evil storm spirits. Coach Hedge reveals that he is a satyr, half goat, and joins the fight to protect the students. Jason finds a coin in his pocket and when he flips it, the coin transforms into a sword. He joins the coach in battle.
But Piper is thrown over the railing and Jason jumps over to save her. When he and Piper remain suspending in the air, Jason figures out that he can manipulate the winds. By the time they make it back onto the bridge, the storm spirits have left with Coach Hedge. A chariot arrives with Annabeth Chase on it. She is looking for her boyfriend, Percy Jackson and when she doesn’t see him, she takes Jason, Piper and Leo to Camp Half-Blood. They learn there that they are demigods, children of Greek gods and mortals. Jason is the son of Zeus, Piper is the daughter of Aphrodite, and Leo is the son of Hephaestus. They also have powers. Jason can control the wind and wield lightning.
Piper can charmspeak anyone to do something she says. Leo can control flame. After various prophesies, the three demigods find themselves on a quest to rescue Hera, the queen of gods. Leo fixes a bronze dragon named Festus and they are on their way to Quebec. After meeting the god of winds, they go to Chicago and Detroit. They fight against various creatures and evil gods including Khione, King Midas, Medea and wolves. They rescue Coach Hedge and Festus crashes near Colorado. After several clues and dreams, the heroes find out that Gaea, mother earth, is awakening plans to use Hera to wake the giant Porphyrion up. Piper confesses that her dad is in the clutches of another giant.
The crew goes to rescue Piper’s dad and they kill the giant Enceladus. After saving Tristan McClean and leaving him with Coach, they go to the Wolf House to stop Gaea from rising. Once they reach the House, they are ambushed by wolves, evil air spirits, and Khione, the goddess of snow. They manage to defeat all of them but Porphyrion escapes. They free Hera and return to Camp Half-Blood. Leo works on building a flying ship with Festus’ head to take them on their adventure. During the trip they found out that Jason was from the Roman camp and Hera switched Jason’s and Percy’s places to join the enemy camps.
8. Point of view
The story is told from the viewpoints of all three of the main characters. Each chapter is said from a different viewpoint and shows the reader a glimpse of the characters’ mind. Even the way they tell the story is different. When it is from Leo’s perspective a bit of humor is incorporated. When Piper is the narrator, her own insecurities like her Native American heritage, her inability to fight, and her fear of Jason not liking her is expressed through her words. Jason on the other hand constantly tries to grasp any memories that he might have had before he got amnesia. His frustration over the amnesia and his loyalty to his friends can be seen when he narrates.
a) Riordan’s diction could be described as informal and simplistic. b) The book was easy to read due to Riordan’s simplistic diction and uncomplicated themes. One thing I liked about Riordan’s writing is that he kept me hanging onto every word. Even though the book was more than 500 pages, I was captivated by the story all the way to the end. His descriptions are not too long that the reader loses interest. He has a way of keeping his audiences attention with right amount of humor and adventure.
Jason Grace – Jason is a 16 year-old demigod with blond hair and blue eyes. Since he is the son of Zeus (Jupiter), he can use lightning bolts as a weapon. At the end of the book it is revealed that he was a member of the Roman camp of demigods. Throughout the book you can see Jason struggling with his amnesia. He constantly tries to remember his past but always faces a wall. He is also a brave and loyal friend who goes to great lengths to protect Piper and Leo. Piper McClean – Piper is a Cherokee 16 year-old girl with multi-colored eyes and brown hair. Her mother is Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of beauty and love.
She can charmspeak anyone into doing something she says. Her father, Tristan McClean is a famous movie star who is kidnapped later on in the book by one of Gaea’s giants. In the beginning of the book you can see that she was heartbroken over the fact that Jason does not remember her. When she later finds out it was all an illusion made by Hera, she sets out to make him like her again. Her relationship with her father is strained due to his fame. She finally makes up with him after they rescue him from the giant. Piper is also very insecure about her heritage, powers and relationships but overcomes them to help her friends. Leo Valdez – Leo is a Hispanic 16 year-old boy with brown hair and brown eyes. He is the son of Hephaestus, god of blacksmiths and machinery. It is said earlier on in the book that he has ADHD and as a result he cannot keep his hands still. He is constantly trying to fix or invent something. His powers include wielding fire.
Leo was responsible for capturing Festus, the bronze dragon roaming around in Camp Half-Blood, and fixing it to aid the characters in transportation. He can be described as a carefree, humorous boy who can crack jokes at the most dire situations. But Leo also has a darker side caused by the death of his mother at the hands of Gaea. Coach Hedge – Coach Hedge is a satyr, half goat and half mortal. He was the chauffer for the field trip to Grand Canyon. Once the demigods are sent to Camp Half-Blood they realize that Coach Hedge was sent to their school to protect them.
He is frozen when he engages in a fight with Dylan, the evil storm spirit, over the Grand Canyon. When the demigods save him, he accompanies them to the battle against Enceladus, Gaea’s giant. Coach Hedge is an overconfident and slightly crazy satyr. Gaea – Gaea is the mother of the Titans and the goddess of earth. During the demigods’ quest they find out that Mother Earth is rising from her sleep that keeps her power in check. If she is fully awakened the world will be destroyed by her creatures and power. Throughout the quest Gaea places obstacles for the demigods to defeat in order to go on.
11. Three symbols or allusions
a) Medea’s department store was a mall where Medea, an evil sorceress brought back from the dead by Gaea, used to lure demigods to their deaths by charmspeaking them into killing themselves. The mall is an example of the proverb ‘all that glitter is not gold’. The mall along with Medea’s ability to charmspeak lured the demigods into her lair. Jason and Leo was so entranced with the mall and Medea, they did not see it for what it was until Piper broke the spell.
b) King Midas’ ability to turn anything he touches into gold is an important symbol in the book. Midas was a greedy Greek king who was brought back to life by Gaea. When the demigods engaged in a fight with Midas’ son, they used his power to turn his son into gold. Without anyone to defend himself, Midas was killed by the demigods. Eventually Midas’ own greed for gold was the cause of his downfall. Midas’ touch of gold symbolizes the consequences of greed.
c) Hera’s cage was also a symbol. The giant Porphyrion kidnapped the queen of gods and placed her in a spire of rock and root tendrils. The cage weakened the goddess until she could not escape on her own. The cage also symbolizes how the pasts of the three demigods keeps them in a cage of their own. Leo is haunted by his mother’s death while Jason is struggling to regain his memories. Piper continuously worries about her strained relationship with her father and holds onto her past memories of Jason that he does not remember.
12. Theme The Lost Hero is a story of family, friendship and courage. Each of the demigods had to face their past and accept it to move on. Piper mended the relationship with her father as well as her mother. Leo began to accept that he was not the reason his mother died in the fire. Jason accepted that his memories will return with time and planned to spend time with his sister, Thalia and his friends. Not only did they escape the clutches of their pasts, but they also shared feelings of kinship with each other. The quest brought them together and created an unbreakable bond between the three demigods. This book conveys that every person has to follow their own quest and fight their own monsters to achieve their goals. Along the way you will find friends and enemies. But you should never let one of the monsters defeat you. Keep fighting for what you want and eventually you will have it.
13. Did you like the book? Why or why not? What will remain with you about this book? Yes, I did like The Lost Hero. The book was full of adventure, anticipation and humor. It kept me on the edge of my seat. The battles were described so vividly and I loved how Riordan kept his characters interesting. The ending will probably remain with me. I kept wondering what Percy Jackson was going through in the Roman camp.