- The Red Pyramid
Carter and Sadie Kane, siblings who have been raised apart since the death of their mother in mysterious circumstances six years ago, only meet semiannually. Their latest reunion is particularly notable since their father, archaeologist Julius Kane, takes them on a prearranged private tour of the British Museum, where he magically blows up the Rosetta Stone, unleashes ancient Egyptian mayhem, and is encased in a sarcophagus by the god Set and sunk deep into another level of creation. Of course, you see where this is going—Carter and Sadie have to save their father and save the world. Julius' brother Amos whisks them away to his half-visible mansion atop a Brooklyn warehouse, but it isn't long before Amos disappears as well, the house is destroyed, and the siblings are off on a breakneck adventure in which they discover themselves to be: 1. part of a pharaonic bloodline; 2. hosts, respectively, to Horus and Isis; 3. dependent on the aid of a terse baboon, the cat goddess Bast, hot magician-in-training Zia, and equally hot guardian of the Underworld Anubis. Thwarted at every turn by Set and his minions, they have five days to destroy his base of power in a pyramid under construction in New Mexico. Riordan is fully aware of the silliness of this whole venture, and he interjects plenty of humor not only into the kibitzing tone of the siblings' dual narration but also into the preposterous episodes themselves—taking out a bloodthirsty goddess with vats of spicy salsa and attacking evil magicians with a reanimated Elvis jumpsuit. A bittersweet ending lays a solid foundation for subsequent titles in the Kane Chronicles, and a cleverly integrated invitation to readers to join the adventure via a secret package in a locker should make 13-32-33 the most coveted locker number at school this fall.