Percy Jackson is my hero. Literally. In fact, if I could have any garment reading “Percy Jackson is my Homeboy,” I would be wearing it this very instant.
If you haven’t yet heard of Rick Riordan’s stunning five-book series in which Greek gods come to life and live on top of the Empire State Building, you’ve obviously been stuck in Hades. (Tip: Cerberus LOVES bouncy balls.)
The Percy Jackson & the Olympians series, which recently came to a close with the fifth book, “The Last Olympian,” was a delight to read and very, very informative.
Riordan adeptly blends traditional facts about Greek gods while vibrantly bringing them to life in 2000s New York City. For example, Hermes, the God of travel and medicine, brings messages in a track suit, while Poseidon, god of the sea, wears Hawaiian shirts and sits in a fishing boat chair on Mount Olympus.
I’ve always been a fan of mythology, Greek in particular, but I have learned, and retained, so much more about the stories, Gods, relationships, weapons and monsters than I ever did in my college-level class.
As for Percy himself, he is brave, compassionate and hilarious – his inner dialogue had me cracking up and his journey from misfit screw-up to respected half-god kept me reading to the end.
Narration in “The Lightning Thief”:
“Hades raised an eyebrow. When he sat forward in his throne, shadowy faces appeared in the folds of his black robes, faces of torment, as if the garment was stitched of trapped souls from the Fields of Punishment, trying to get out. The ADHD part of me wondered, off-task, whether the rest of his clothes were made the same way. What horrible things would you have to do in your life to get woven into Hades’ underwear?”
Something else that made me laugh out loud? Chapter titles. Here’s Chapter One from TLT: “I Accidentally Vaporize My Pre-Algebra Teacher.”
Like any tween and teenager, however, Percy has his moments of stupidity, which his best friend and right-hand woman Annabeth, daughter of Athena, is quick to correct, dubbing him, quite rightly, “Seaweed Brain.”
Speaking of Annabeth, she is without a doubt one of my favorite characters in the Percy universe. Smart, wise, crafty, loyal and true, Annabeth also kicks butt, quite literally. I applaud Riordan for creating a character female readers of all ages can look up to, cheer for and admire.
While some reviewers have felt the Percy Jackson series follows a formula in each novel, it doesn’t detract from the story. Riordan does switch it up a bit in the later novels, much like J.K. Rowling, who also followed a formulaic approach in her earlier novels.
Check out percyjacksonbooks.com for more information about the series.