Monday, June 13, 2011

The Lost Hero - audiobook review

Riordan, Rick. The Heroes of Olympus: Book One: The Lost Hero. Read by Joshua Swanson.  Listening Library.

A co-worker mentioned that this audiobook has "a slightly campy feel."  That sums this one up perfectly.  Not that campy is a bad thing. (How else can you portray Aeolus, God of Wind, who is insane, living in a palace offering a one-man, 24/7 Olympian version of the Weather Channel?!)

The point is, readers and listeners will likely have different experiences with The Lost Hero.  Text offers much more room for interpretation than does audio.  The sheer number of characters - gods, goddesses, demi-gods, oracles, satyrs, wind spirits, centaurs, cyclopes, kings, wolves and more (!) make it an extremely difficult book for one reader, especially with a length of sixteen and a half hours.  That being said, however, Joshua Swanson does an admirable job, though the voice of Leo Valdez (a new arrival to Camp Half-Blood and a main character) did remind me a bit of Cheech Marin.

I'll skip a summary of the book, but here's a quick run-down:  Percy Jackson is missing, Annabeth is searching for him, three new demi-god campers (Jason, Piper and Leo) arrive at Camp Half Blood under peculiar circumstances and are sent immediately on a vague and dangerous quest, there is definitely more to come in future books. Chapters alternate between the perspectives of the three demi-gods.

I was sufficiently intrigued.  I'll probably see this one through 'til the end.

Listen to an excerpt here.
Another review @ Dog Ear


  1. Thanks for sharing this, we have a small, small audio collection that I would like to grow. We might be joining a larger system which would give us access to a bigger collection online, but in the meantime...we buy them!

  2. I prefer the digital downloads because if you rip the CDs onto a mp3 player they have so many parts. Whatever your library decides, I hope it works out for you. I’m sure there are plusses and minuses either way!

  3. The narrator of Lost Hero simply does not compare to that of the previous Percy Jackson series. This narrator sounds like a robot and is too distracting from the actual text. It is also sad that he does not know how to pronounce the goddess Hera's name (no, it is not "He-Ra").

    I would also absolutely agree with reviewer's comment that the voice of the Leo, described in the book as a "Latino" boy of about 12 years old does sound like Cheech Marin. Very sad, considering that the author lives in San Antonio and likely knows how a young Latino boy actually sounds.

    My vote--skip this audio and stick with the paper.


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