Review The Red Pyramid (Kane Chronicles #1)

Selasa, 20 Maret 2012






The Red Pyramid (Kane Chronicles #1)

by Rick Riordan, Aditya Hadi (Goodreads Author) (Translator), Tendy Yulianes (Editor)

Sang manusia api melambaikan sebelah tangannya. Lingkaran biru di kaki ayah menjadi gelap. Ayah berusaha meraih kotak peralatannya dengan susah payah, namun kotak itu tercecer di lantai. Dengan jentikan tangannya yang lain, manusia api itu menyulap sebuah peti mati bercahaya yang mengurung ayah kami. Ayah menatapku untuk terakhir kalinya, dan menggumamkan sebuah kata:

LARI!

Yang disaksikan Carter dan Sadie malam itu benar-benar mimpi buruk. Seorang manusia api mengurung ayah mereka di dalam sebuah peti mati dan menenggelamkan peti itu ke dalam bumi.
Kedua kakak beradik itu pun terjebak dalam sebuah petualangan menegangkan yang akan menguak rahasia keluarga mereka.

Sebelum menghilang, ayah mereka telah membangkitkan lima dewa Mesir kuno. Dan kini, salah satu dewa Mesir yang suka membuat onar, Set, mengincar nyawa Carter dan Sadie. Dengan hanya berbekal sedikit pengetahuan tentang kekuatan magis yang mereka miliki, mereka terus berjuang untuk menyelamatkan diri mereka dan mencari ayah mereka. Mengapa Set mengincar nyawa mereka? Mampukah mereka menemukan ayahnya?

*****
"...Penggabungan mitologi dan dunia modern dengan cara yang genius." --Susan Carpenter, Los Angeles Times

"...petualangan fantasi ini menceritakan hal-hal yang sangat disukai penggemar seri Percy Jackson and the Olympians..kejutan di akhir cerita membuat pembaca mulai mencari loker yang tepat di setiap sekolah.." --Carolyn Phelan, Booklist

Mizan Fantasi 2011

Fredrik: Satu kata buat buku ini: "Agh!" *dengan gaya babun* ... ... ... Maksudnya apa? Nah, berikut ini terjemahannya... xD

Ini merupakan serial mitologi kedua dari Rick Riordan.
Kali ini mengadaptasi mitologi Mesir dengan segala dewa-dewi-nya sampai ke keturunan-keturunan firaun dan para penyihir di Dewan Kehidupan.

Jujur aja, mitologi Mesir sebenarnya bukanlah hal baru buatku yang memang meminjam pula materi ini buat menulis sebagian dari setting di ceritaku sendiri. Jadi tentang nama-nama, tentang profesi, hakikat para dewa, artefak, semuanya sudah lumayan cukup akrab buatku. Dan apa yang dimasukkan Om Rick ke dalam buku pertama Kane Chronicles ini bisa dipastikan memang punya referensi yang mumpuni, kalau tak cukup sekedar dibilang benar.

Salut buat Om Rick yang sekali lagi dengan mantap dan lancar menggabungkan suatu ilmu kuno (sejarah dan mitologi) ke dalam setting dunia modern masa kini.

Alkisah dua bersaudara, Carter dan Sadie Kane yang punya sifat-sifat yang berbeda jauh, dibesarkan secara terpisah semenjak kematian ibu mereka yang misterius di depan sebuah monumen obelisk kecil di London.

Carter yang cupu tinggal bersama ayahnya yang seorang arkeolog, dan hidupnya dipenuhi dengan penjelajahan ke museum dan situs-situs arkeologi Mesir.

Sadie, di sisi lain, tumbuh menjadi remaja yang cukup gaul karena dia tinggal di London dalam kehidupan normal bersama kakek-nenek-nya.

Keduanya bertemu kembali pada satu kesempatan dan terpaksa menyatukan kekuatan setelah ayah mereka meledakkan Rosetta Stone yang disimpan di British Museum yang kemudian berakhir dengan terlepasnya lima dewa-dewi penting dari dalam kurungan mereka.

Kejadian ini, selain melenyapkan ayah mereka, juga diikuti dengan serangkaian peristiwa-peristiwa ajaib yang belum pernah mereka bayangkan sebelumnya. Mereka terpaksa berhadapan dengan monster-monster mitologis dan hewan-hewan khas gurun pasir. Mereka berjumpa, bekerjasama, dirasuki, dan bahkan bertempur langsung dengan dewa-dewi dari yang berkepala non-manusia sampai yang berkepala manusia normal dengan berwajah luar biasa sangat tampan sekali (halah!).

Semua petualangan dengan ciamiknya diakhiri di tempat di mana didirikannya piramida merah yang melambangkan kekacauan yang mengancam umat manusia dan dunia.

Buku ini lumayan berbeda dengan serial Percy Jackson (PJ).

Pertama-tama dari gaya penulisan Om Rick. Di PJ, Om Rick banyak melucu dan gaya narasinya gila-gilaan dan sangat longgar. Namun di buku ini, Om Rick kelihatannya mencoba untuk menulis sesuatu yang lebih serius, lebih kelam, dan lebih bermakna, meski gaya sarkastik dalam cara bernarasi di PJ tetap ada pula di buku ini, yakni pada giliran narasi dengan POV Sadie. Humor-humor-nya juga berasa segar dan tetap konyol.

Lalu secara materi, selain mitologi, perbedaan yang cukup nyata juga terlihat dari unsur sihir yang memenuhi keseluruhan buku ini. Kedua tokoh utama Red Pyramid menguasai sihir (sihir benaran!), dan banyak sekali pertempuran-pertempuran seru yang melibatkan kekuatan sihir. Ini jelas berbeda dengan PJ yang notabene lebih bermain dalam hal-hal fisik.
Narasi dalam buku ini juga disampaikan lewat dua POV (Carter dan Sadie) yang punya ciri khas masing-masing, yang bercerita secara berganti-gantian setiap 2 bab.

Secara keseluruhan, buku ini buatku sangat menarik, khususnya dari segi mitologinya. Kalaupun ada yang kurang rasanya adalah bagian endingnya yang berkesan kurang klimaks, nanggung, dan sedikit ketebak.

Soal nanggung, mungkin karena memang sengaja dibuat belum selesai mengingat sedari awal memang sudah direncanakan jadi berseri. Maka nanggung bisa jadi adalah trik juga sih supaya bikin pembaca penasaran sama lanjutannya. :)

Secara pesan, ada beberapa hal yang lumayan jelas, misalnya tentang pentingnya keluarga, lalu tentang konflik dalam persaudaraan yang terkadang bisa menyebalkan, namun lebih sering berakhir manis. ^^
Tapi aku sendiri sih lebih suka menganggap buku ini sebagai suatu upaya untuk menghargai pengetahuan, khususnya tentang sejarah yang sebagian besar selalu berulang, namun tidak selalu harus memiliki konsekuensi akhir yang sama. Manusia harus menghargai masa lalu karena dengannya kita bisa menguasai masa depan. Mungkin begitu.
Dan juga ada sedikit persembahan untuk para pustakawan dan pustakawati yang merupakan kawanan "penjaga pengetahuan" dalam dunia keperpustakaan mereka.

Oya, membaca buku ini juga bikin teringat sama game Age of Mythologies! Kenapa? Karena ada avatar, ada Sobek dan buaya-buaya bertanduknya, ada manusia berkepala jackal dan hewan-hewan Set, ada perahu Mesir, dan lain-lainnya. Pokoknya jadi bikin kepingin main lagi deh! >_<'

Catatan untuk edisi terjemahan, secara keseluruhan oke dan cukup baik mengingat aku pernah mencoba baca versi bahasa Inggris-nya dan cara narasi Carter (khususnya di bagian-bagian awal) agak-agak sedikit menjemukan, tapi akhirnya berhasil diterjemahkan dengan baik, dan lagi, lelucon-lelucon di sepanjang buku masih kena juga membuktikan hasil terjemahan Aditya cukup sukses (dan juga PASTINYA editing oleh Sil :D).

Namun masih ada beberapa istilah yang sebenarnya menurutku tidak perlu diterjemahkan, misalnya saja Magician's Apprentice, yang mungkin masih bisa dijelaskan dengan catatan kaki atau mungkin diberi penjelasan dalam tanda kurung. Halaman cover yang berbeda dari versi buku asli juga sedikit meleset dalam hal penggambaran karakter Carter yang notabene seharusnya memiliki rambut keriting gaya afro karena dia lebih mirip ayahnya (berbeda dengan Sadie yang lebih mirip ibunya).

Dan sebagai kesimpulan akhir, pemilihan mitologi Mesir untuk latar cerita memang bukanlah hal yang umum, khususnya untuk cerita fantasi. Ada Christian Jacq yang menulis dengan referensi gila-gilaan untuk tema Mesir dalam kisah-kisah fantasi historisnya, tapi kalau memang harus menyebut penulis lain lagi yang cukup sukses dengan latar ini, mau tidak mau harus lumayan berpikir keras juga.

Namun keputusan Om Rick ini menurutku adalah suatu keputusan yang strategis karena ternyata Red Pyramid berakhir sukses sehingga di masa mendatang, siapa pun penulis yang menyajikan latar yang sama dalam kisah fantasi-nya pastilah pembacanya akan dipaksa untuk teringat lagi pada kisah ini.

Berarti... sekarang kita tinggal tunggu saja serial mitologi selanjutnya dari Om Rick. Mitologi Norse (Viking) seharusnya.

Lalu mungkin bisa diikuti dengan mitologi India, Amerika Latin, Amerika Utara, atau bahkan China dan Jepang. :D

"Agh!" --> maksudnya: "Gak sabar!"
;)

PS.
Kepingin cari bantal penahan kepala dari gading yang berhias gambar singa dan hieroglif. Takutnya keasyikan, ba bisa melayang jauh entah ke mana. :P
Yaaa... semoga jangan sampai tersesat di dalam Duat aja. @_@

Marchel: Hanya satu kata buat buku ini.

"SIALAN"

Lho?

Terima buku ini dengan perasaan sebel, "gendeng, tebel juga. Gimana bisa kelar baca dalam waktu kurang dari seminggu dengan masih ada 2 buku lagi yang tebelnya ampir-ampir mirip -___-".

Dibaca langsung malamnya, cuma kelar 34 halaman. Langsung tertidur dengan sukses, capee boo.... Dan... 2 malam berikutnya tertidur dengan sukses tanpa baca sama sekali. >.<

Dengan memaksa diri buat bangun jam 12 malam, baca diselingin tertidur tiap 1 jam sekali hahahaha, pagi ini akhirnya kelar.

Eh itu belum menjelaskan arti kata di awal review ini ^^ Habis baca, dengan bloonnya baru sadar ini buku masih bersambung T__T Jadi 'SIALAN", kapan sambungannya (baca: terjemahannya)terbit ?

Dini: Riordan takes the readers on a fun, mythology-filled adventure as always, but I think I'm just not as interested in Egyptian mythology as I am in Greek/Roman. Also, the book is told from the points of view of two siblings, and the more I read the more the sister's wisecracks annoy me. Just gonna stick to the Camp Half Blood kids, I guess.

Adhe: kereeeen sih cm krn msh asing sm dewa2 dr Mesir ditambah lg kl pas baca bawaannya ngantuk trus (emang doyan tidur) jd bacanya kepotong2 trus ;)

Mitchel: Update: I've recently degraded this to a one star from a two when I realized how much of a disappointment it was. This review is, as a result, a lot more nicer than I'd like it to be. If you'd like, just add a lot more unnecessary cursing and asides about that idiotic taco-sauce showdown. *Sigh* Now I can't stop thinking about that goddamn battle anymore. Damn it.

If you're thinking "Oh it's just Percy Jackson with Egyptian Gods", you'd be correct. But, in it's own weird way, it's a bit more. At one point there's a little bit of Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments , some Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott, and even a tad bit of Harry Potter thrown in. And, if you get though the first 200-300 pages you may enjoy yourself.

Now is it worth having to get through that to find the good stuff? I'm not entirely sure.

The set up is promising, as the two narrators (and protagonists) relay their plan to take an entire record of their adventure and then hide it in a locker and some school for the right person to find. If you read the opening chapter of The Lightning Thief and loved its warning, you'll thoroughly enjoy this. But it quickly became gimmicky to me, as Carter and Sadie take turns telling the tale, they also interrupt each other to crack awfully corny jokes and spout "witty" one liners. I think it would have been better to leave that narrative device to the opening and closing. Otherwise it distracts you from what is going on in the plot, which is quit more important than Sadie telling Carter how hilarious he was when a bird pooped on his face.

And on the note of the characters, I'm all for alternating chapters between character perspectives, I've always loved it and find it highly effective as a way to open up the plot. But here, well, the characters speak a tad to similarly. I mean very early on Sadie uses her British accent heavily, but later in the book its almost completely gone, to the point where i had to check the top of the page to make sure i was reading a Sadie chapter. It wouldn't happen too often, but when it did i always felt a tinge of frustration. And it was always 2 Carter chapters, then 2 Sadie chapters. It seemed like an odd way to set everything up, why not just do 1:1?

The only other thing that bothered me was the length. It took way too long to do what The Lightning Thief did in under 400 pages. Don't get me wrong, they do have fun battles, with a pretty cool magic system. But i found the battles went by too fast (one God they literally best by stuffing it with salsa so it turns into a cow. The most work Carter does is open huge vats of the hot Mexican sauce).

On the positive side, Sadie and Carter do grow to respect one another and become pretty likable in the end. I still refuse to believe their age, 12 and 14? It just didn't fit their personalities to me, but i guess they're mature for their age.

And on the reference above to all the other books, I'm not saying he copied from them, i simply meant there were similarities in story, characters and plot locations. Like the old church that Clary and her paranormal friends stay at in City of Bones is quite similar to the "First Nome" in this book. The twins from the Nicholas Flamel books have a similar relationship that Carter and Sadie have (albeit far more mature). And the magic system felt inspired by J.K. Rowling's famous teen magician, with similar uses of wands, the need to speak spells, and generally same types of spells (fire, wind, ice, light, etc).

I guess the big question is will i read the sequels? And again, i'm forced to say I'm not entirely sure. There is a great twist in the end, and i'd love to see how it plays out and what happens. I most likely will, i just really hope they don't get progressively bigger. Unless it's stuffed with cool and lengthy battles, and a lot less stupid pre-teen distractions, i'm out.

Jenn: *headdesk*

MAY 4TH? HOLY CRAP, SCREW RICK RIORDAN AND DISNEY HYPERION! I CANNOT WAIT THAT LONG!!
*breathes hard* Sorry about that. Okay, I am totally spazzing out. I thought it was going to release in March! (Either that, or I got this book and Fang: A Maximum Ride Novel mixed up... XD) Well, anyway, I'm really excited to read this... Now, time for the during book review. (Dun dun DUN! Just kidding, overzealous people.)

Anyways... In this book, I keep noticing the recurring ideas/themes that are in the Percy Jackson books. The thing is, I can only read one series from an author or else this happens. -.- (Just saying, SPOILERS AHEAD. Read at your own risk. Uh, something something something don't sue me something something. *grin*)

1.) The kinda dorky kid who ends up being a hero, blah blah blah: Percy/Carter 2.) The one who's known about everything since a young age: Annabeth/Zia
3.) The character that doesn't know much but ends up being a (grudging) hero: Nico/Sadie 4.) Having to save a parent: Saving Sally (TLT)/Saving their dad
5.) Leroy. Is it just me, or does Rick Riordan really like the name Leroy?

Okay. I'm done. (Yay! Twas pretty beastly. :D)
An expansion on the recurring themes/ideas:
6.) Reebok. Sesriously, Rick Riordayn LOVES Reebok. Hermes wears winged Reeboks, Percy wears Reeboks, my friend Nina wears Reebok- wait, what? ._. He just really likes Rebook. I don't blame him, though. *looks down at shorts from Reebok* 7.) The parent that disappears (kind of) appearing again- they're still able to keep in contact. 8.) The wrong villain thing: Hades/Set, Apophis/Kronos.

So anyways. It's not like it made the book worse; I love those plotlines. Really. It's not that old the second time. :)

Okay! *claps hands obnoxiously* I think that I should probably start talking about the crap- if you'd call it 'crap', but I call it stuff, or ideas- in the book.

Point one! *points to red flag in the middle of field* Run a mile. Seriously. *coughs* Sorry. *cough cough cough*
1.) Zia, the shabti or however you spell that: Okay, this part confused me a little bit- only on when she got turned into the shabti. Was this after Carter and Zia had talked a little or what? When had they learned that she was a godling? But still, it really surprised me, but I wasn't like, gaping, like "HOLY CRAP WTF". Because Zia couldn't die; Carter liked her too much. And Rick Riordan's not that writer/reader that's like, "Screw happy endings." That's me. Not him.

HEY, BUT THAT'S NOT THE POINT HERE! *coughs* Anyways.

And more on the Zia thing: in the First Nome, I actually felt really sorry when she couldn't remember about her past family, considering that was the real Zia. You could tell that one of her worst fears was not being able to remember, and that's exactly what happened to her. Tough.

Oh crap. My dear mother is making me go do something productive. More on this later. :P

Hey, I'm back from being productive... three hours later. Because while I was ever so patiently finishing Shiver (which, by the way, my review for it is found um... somewhere. Because I have no idea how to find it. o_o But seriously, just go on my profile and read it.), my dearest mother was talking. But enough of that; I should really get back to the book review.

2.) Bast and Apophis: This, I have to say, was actually a good add to the plotline. The fact that she left her post from Cleopatra's Needle was really, a good add. (But I keep thinking that their mom is alive. Alive. When it states that she's dead. It's all because of Avatar. Screw you, Fire Lord Ozai. Stop confusing me. -.-) It's like one of those things when you look at it in the long run, it's really this one person that started it all; you have to go to the root of the source. In this case, Bast was the one who kind of started the spark in this inferno by leaving her post. *furious nodding*

3.) Sadie and Carter: Do I like Sadie or not? Personally, I'm undecided. She's kind of annoying, but the British-ness kinda makes up for it, not to be racist or anything. (Did you guys read her narration with a British accent? I did. :3) But Carter: Oh my godsh, he reminds me of Percy SO much. It's not even funny. The awkwardness and all. And the insecurity. But I think that goes into awkwardness.

4.) The House of Life: Like Sadie, I'm still trying to decide whether I like them or not. The people that are neither good nor are they bad never really stood out to me in the books. These people are trying to stop the gods, but they're not really on the bad side, but it's not like their on Carter and Sadie's side. But they really are a strong group of magicians, and even though they're fictional, I respect that. I'm predicting that in the next books, they'll kinda split in half, some going to Carter and Sadie's side and some becoming minions of Apophis.

5.) Set and Amos: Jeez, that was kinda frustrating. It was horrible to see that Set was controlling Amos, and the final thing at the end and all that crap. That's all I have to say on that subject.

6.) Their mom and dad (at the end): That's a little sad, trying to save your parents, then you have to give them up. The braveness of those people, though, really touches my heart (actually, no, but I wanted to test the corniness level of that).

AND I THINK THAT'S IT! Spoilers over
Anyways, this is a really good book, and those who are fans of mythology would really enjoy it. I really recommend this to all Rick Riordan fans. :)

Cathy: I liked it a lot. It's very Dan Brown for kids, bouncing around between real historical sites, but always with an imaginative twist. The author really weaves the mythology and history into the modern story in a fun and exciting, sometimes breathtaking, way. The Egyptian gods as described by Riordan are very different from the Greek or Celtic gods I'm more used to reading about, and the heritage of magic from the Egyptian culture adds a very interesting twist to the story.

I like the idea the author uses that just because we see the world a certain way doesn't mean that alternate realities aren't just as true. Or, to quote, "Have you learned nothing of Egypt? Conflicting stories can be equally true." It's a cool concept that allows the story, and imagination in general, to flourish.

As an Urban Fantasy fan, it was interesting to see a few familiar elements used here and connected to Egyptian history or mythology. For example, the concept of words having power is very common, and names and their specific pronunciation, but I didn't know that was also an Egyptian mythological theme.

I didn't love the first person narration, or the little snipping comments back and forth between the kids as the voices alternated between chapters, but I bet kids will like it. I also bet it would make it really fun as an audiobook, especially since the story is supposedly a recording dictated by the kids (that's why it's first person); I checked and the audio version has 2 narrators, so hearing Carter and Sadie's voices (and even Sadie's English accent?) would probably make it seem very real and exciting, perfect for a long drive during summer vacation perhaps.

To address what I'm sure will be a common complaint, yes, the story has some basic similarity to The 39 Clues series. It is about a brother and sister who set off on a dangerous adventure, previously unaware of their family's connection to a mysterious and dangerous hidden secret. And there are a lot of historical facts and stories used to further the adventure. And Bast does take on a few aspects that reminded me of the au pair (not nanny!) in The 39 Clues. But really, this story is very different. And every kid's fantasy book has the same basic premise: kids against the world; adults out of touch, evil or helpless; a mysterious magical heritage to uncover; and evil to be conquered. The trick is to write a fun and original story within that framework, and Riordan succeeds. And no, it's not quite as amazing, at least to me, as the Percy Jackson books, at least not yet. But it was still very good and I recommend it.