I read the entire Percy Jackson and the Olympians series quite a while ago, but with the upcoming film release of the second book (and my ecstatic enthusiasm for the series) I thought I’d review them here on the blog. Hopefully, I can encourage a few to pick up these wonderful books.
Book one, The Lightning Thief, introduces readers to the world of Percy Jackson just as his life is turned upside down. Percy is just your average kid. He’s got severe ADD and some misinterpreted behavioral problems that have him bouncing from boarding school to boarding school in NYC. Labeled as a bad seed, many of his teachers treat him as an outcast and so do his peers…except for Grover, his loyal best friend who needs crutches to walk. Chaos quickly ensues as Percy finds out that his deadbeat father who never came around is actually the Greek God, Poseidon and Percy himself is a demigod! Cue a whirlwind adventure as Percy and his gang of misfits set out to discover who stole Zeus’s lightning bolt... and to clear Percy’s name.
The Percy Jackson books are simply put, pure magic. Really, all of Riordan’s books are magical. He has this crazy ability to take an educational topic, like Greek Mythology, and transform it into a story that will grab the attention of you, your 30 year old brother and your 10 year old cousin. There are so many reasons that I love these books, but I’ve narrowed them down to a couple of the absolute best.
Creativity. Transforming your ideas about the Greeks, Riordan animates Ares into a motorcycle riding bully, Hermes into a spandex wearing messenger and portrays Poseidon as a Hawaiian shirt wearing beach man. He pulls out the most interesting qualities or characteristics from all of the Gods and spins them with a modern twist.
Characters. In the first installment of the series, Percy really discovers himself. For the first time, he’s not a troublemaker with dyslexia. He’s antsy because he’s built for battle and sitting still for that long makes him jumpy. He can’t read as well as others because his brain is hardwired for Greek and so words tend to get jumbled up. Annabeth has a chip on her shoulder the size of the Grand Canyon but she’s smart, she’s sassy and not afraid of adventure. Think Hermoine Granger but way more into battling monsters from the underworld.
Riordan’s World. This has to be my favorite part of these books and book one only gives us a taste. In the world of the Greeks, their Gods move with civilization. So now Mt. Olympus is above the Empire State building, an entrance to Hades is at a record label in L.A. and the world is constantly a battle ground for demigods and monsters. I love thinking that down the street, it’s not really a car accident but a demigod driving ran into a Minotaur. J.K. Rowling did this with Harry Potter and it’s great to see that someone besides Rowling herself has a talent for melding our world so seamlessly with fantasy.
If you haven’t read these books yet, get on it. While the first movie wasn’t my absolute favorite, The Sea of Monsters promises to be a better take on the books. I’m excited to see what they do with this movie and especially excited to meet all the new characters in person!
10 out of 10
Happy Reading ;)