Friday, January 16, 2015

Percy Jackson & the Olympians and Heroes of the Olympus

Posted by A Drop of Romeo at 2:00 PM

Age: Middle Grade
Category: Fantasy; romance
Rating: 5 stars

Ali Thinks: Now that the last book of the Heroes of Olympus series is out, nine years after the first Percy Jackson book was published, I can finally talk about my favorite book series (while I mourn the loss of the next-book excitement). It all started off with Percy Jackson, an 11-year old boy who’s wrongly accused of stealing the Greek god of gods’ lightning bolt because apparently he’s not only half god himself, but the son of Poseidon.

On a quest to prove his innocence, he realizes there’s a lot more that meets the eye, and the Titans want to rise again. And, to his chagrin there he is right smack dab in the middle of some great prophecy to save or end the world on his sixteenth birthday. Fast-forward five years, and the world doesn’t end on Percy’s 16th, he thinks he’s got the rest of his life— the summer, at least— to hang out with his friends, his brother, and his girlfriend. What actually happens, however, is the start of Heroes of Olympus where Percy Jackson has gone missing, and three new characters are introduced, one of them knowing nothing but his name. It’s soon realized that the next Great Prophecy is already in motion and that seven half-bloods from a mix of Greek and Roman descent must (again) save the world from Mother Earth, Gaea.

Ten books is a lot to tell a story— even if it’s split over two series. It can be repetitive, lose it’s charm, and just get kind of dull. Percy Jackson & Heroes of Olympus isn’t immune from this, but overall Riordan manages to keep a fast-pace so that even boring bits don’t seem to drag on. I always found Percy Jackson to be interesting because it put Greek and Roman mythology into a more accessible, comprehensible context for children (who the series if primarily aimed at). More than that, though, it’s witty, it’s an adventure, and though it’s a children’s book, there’s still a definite draw for other demographics.

Honestly, the Percy Jackson/Heroes of Olympus series is one of my favorites. I started reading them about five or six years ago, and every year since I’ve been waiting for the next book to hit stores. While I’ll miss that dearly, It’s kind of nice to know how… most of the characters turn out.


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