This exclusive image of Rick Riordan’s new cover comes from up on high, tossed down from a nimbus straight into our website like one of Zeus’ jagged thunderbolts.

OK, fine, it was emailed to us by Disney, but it’s still cool, all the same. The Lost Hero is the first book in Riordan’s spin-off series, The Heroes of Olympus. The cover shows three kids flying a fire-snorting mechanical dragon over the walls of what appears to me to be the Chateau Frontenac in Quebec. I guess that’s one way to get past Canadian customs. The book will hit stores later this year, but you don’t have to wait that long to get a taste. Just go to this website, enter in the secret password newhero, and you’ll be able to read the first two chapters of The Lost Hero. And remember, I told you that password in confidence, so don’t go spreading it around. It’ll just be between you and me, Internet.

Fans of Riordan’s Olympian adventures, excited for the new series? What do you think of the first two chapters?