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Review: The Red Pyramid: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Kane Chronicles, The, Book One: Red Pyramid: The Graphic NovelThe Kane Chronicles, The, Book One: Red Pyramid: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was definitely a graphic novel, it's very wordy. I'm not sure it converted very well to the action format, it just required too many words to get the story across. Or maybe the author just wasn't willing or able to edit it enough to fit the graphic novel format, because it's really a very true telling of the story in the original novel. But there were some cool visuals, like the great room in the New York nome. And having Carter's comments in blue and Sadie's in yellow was a good touch that tried to convey the back and forth narration style of the book. But I don't think it managed to get the point across sufficiently that Carter and Sadie were telling this story, it's a really important foundation of the books and only becomes completely clear at the end of this graphic novel that they were telling this story.

Plus the humor and banter that was in the book, and was conveyed best of all in the audiobook format, just didn't end up in this format at all. Even though some of Sadie and Carter's inner monologues were included, none of the banter and wit ended up in this book. It was just so serious. There was very little to show how Carter and Sadie were becoming friends and people who could count on each other. There were lots (and lots) of words for the historical and mythological aspects of the story but the relationships were neglected. In an attempt to make sure that every step of the plot in the original book was included and explained fully, the spirit of what made the book special seems to have been left out. What makes Riordan's YA books work so well is the balance of exciting adventure, emotional depth and humor. I got a bit of the emotions with the kids' feelings about their parents and about Bast. But somehow the adventure on this one was often dry, and the humor got left out.

I often find graphic novels to be a great way for reluctant readers to get introduced to wonderful books that they might not read otherwise. And maybe when they're adaptations of novels then they might get intrigued enough to dive into a text series that they never would have tried as well. But I'm not sure that this one is the going to do that job, it's just too text-heavy and too much like a novel. I'm sad to say that I think that if I was a kid reading this for the first time, don't think I'd be excited about this series. I still recommend the audiobooks for this series, they're by far the best format to best convey the humor and adventure in these books.

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