In this fast-paced adventure story there is never a dull moment as Rick Riordan describes a world so similar to ours yet contrasting in some aspects. The two main protagonists in the book are 14 year old Carter Kane and his 12 year old sister Sadie. Since his mother's mysterious death six years ago, Carter Kane has been living out of a suitcase, traveling the world with his father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane. Sadie Kane has lived with her grandparents in London and has exactly what Carter wants – friends and a “normal” life. Carter, however, has just what Sadie longs for – time with their father.
The book starts off with a signature Rick Riordan move: the disappearance of a parent. When Julius and Carter Kane show up in England on Christmas Eve for one of their scheduled two days a year with Sadie, things are naturally bound to go wrong the instant that Julius decides to bring the pair to the British Museum, promising that he's going to "make things right." Things don’t go according to plan when Julius accidentally summons 5 Egyptian gods and causes a fiery explosion, as well as his own disappearance.
After their uncle Amos whisks Carter and Sadie to a mansion in Brooklyn, they discover that the gods of Ancient Egypt are real, and Set, the worst of them, has a frightening scheme. Soon they are thrown into the world of Ancient Egyptian magic, talking baboons, mysterious magicians and evil gods. As they hurtle from one exotic location to another using various magical forms of transportation, Sadie and Carter Kane notice how much 6 years apart has separated them. Notwithstanding their misgivings, when they embark on their dangerous quest to discover what has happened to their father and defeat Set, they are brought ever closer to each other and the truth about their family, as well as its links to the House of Life – a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.
Rick Riordan has done a fantastic job writing in well-researched facts about Ancient Egypt and uniting them with an exciting story that has the reader hooked from the very first sentence. I think that this series does not get enough credit and is hidden by the popularity of the Percy Jackson series, however it is just as good in my opinion. Once you start reading, you will not be disappointed.