What’s wrong with this passage from ‘The Lost Hero’ by Rick Riordan?

This morning I was reading The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan out loud to my 7 year old daughter.


Like her sister before her, she is obsessed with Riordan’s series. I, too, am a huge fan. The pacing is perfect. The characters are smart, funny, and brave. The writing is great. But I’ve got a an issue with the books. As I always blog on Reel Girl, if the pattern in The Lost Hero were in just one book, or even half the books, it would not be a problem for me, or for my kids, or for kids in general. My problem is the repetition of the same old, same old in narrative after narrative after narrative. Read this passage and see if you can tell me what my objection to Riordan is:

“There’s four of us,” Hedge whispered urgently. “And only one of him.”

“Did you miss the fact that he’s thirty feet tall?” Leo asked.

“Okay,” Hedge said. “So, you, me and Jason distract him. Piper sneaks around and frees her dad.”

They all looked at Jason.

“What?” Jason said. “I’m not the leader.”

“Yes,” Piper said. “You are.”

They’d never really talked about it but no one disagreed, not even Hedge. Coming this far had been a team effort, but when it came to a life-and-death decision, Leo knew Jason was the one to ask. Even if he had no memory, Jason had a kind of balance to him. You could just tell he’d been in battles before, and he knew how to keep his cool.  Leo wasn’t exactly the trusting type but he trusted Jason with his life.


10 thoughts on “What’s wrong with this passage from ‘The Lost Hero’ by Rick Riordan?

  1. I really feel like Riordan has gotten better with gender equality as the “Heroes of Olympus” series has gone along. In the third book (The Mark of Athena), Annabeth is the quest leader. Also she faces a very difficult solo quest that shows off her bravery, strength, and smarts. And Reyna and Hazel are fantastic characters…

    • You know what, who cares the books are amazing no more then amazing. I love Rick’s books. I cant see a thing wrong with them. I’ve read them thousands of times. (Yes that is an exgeration, but still.) Grow up people a guy is more likely to write about another guy and a girl is more likly to write about another girl. Girls you should be grateful gettingto image a devios sea god son in your head doesn’t happen everyday. Look at me ranting and I just wanted to see some first person point of view action. Plus this is probably to old for me to bother replying. (Spelling errors are highly possible and I have been very comma happy lately.)

  2. Hi Margot
    I recently discovered a series of adventure books for girls called “The Sisters 8” I saw the first one and automatically thought of you. Its the story of you guessed it octuplets whose parents disappear on new years and soon find a letter in their house from what could be the kidnapper telling them they all have gifts, they just have to find them.
    Also their Mother was an inventor for once its not the dad!! Another note its co-written with the writer’s 8 year old daughter. Plus the illustrations are great too.

  3. Blegh. Might be my mood today with the Hobby Lobby thing, but I’ve certainly had enough of this, too. Are all Riordan’s novels normal-guy-unlikely-hero fantasies? We already have Harry Potter, dude. Try something new.
    Besides, never in my life have I seen this fantasy scenario play out. A leader leads, and doesn’t need to be TOLD they are the leader… that’s a basic contradiction!

    • Stephen,

      YES! You got it.

      Riordan puts strong females in his stories and creates “teams,” yet there is always a male who is the actual leader/ protag/ hero. Imagine a gender reversal in this scene: 4 females, including a female villain and one male Minority Feisty who tells the female she is the leader. Not done, while this gender ratio is standard.


      • So, I get that you’re saying about the unequality here… But you have to realize the context. Jason is better than everyone else because he HAS been in battle before, as is revealed in the next book. piper agrees to rescue her dad because he’s well… her dad.
        Aslo it doesn’t mention piper’s oppinion because the book is narrated by each of the characters in order, and this chapter is from Leo’s POV.

  4. I know what you mean intellectually by ‘gender equalty’, but to me,’gender balance’ may be a more effective term. Not everything can be exactly measured, but gender balance seems to provides more physicial and psychic possibilities for harmony. Just a thought. Love your reading to the girls! XO

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