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Rick Riordan

rick riordan fantasy authorRick Riordan is an award-winning writer. He lives in San Antonio, Texas, with his wife and two sons. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief was the overall winner of the Red House Children’s Book Award in 2006, and made into a blockbuster film in 2010. The series has gone on to become a chart-topping success. Listen to the author read the first chapters at Rick Riordan’s website or the Percy Jackson website.

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Percy Jackson and the Olympians

Percy Jackson and the Olympians — (2005-2014) Ages 9-12. Publisher: Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse — Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends — one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena — Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

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Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Highly recommended children’s fantasy

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PERCY JACKSON AND THE OLYMPIANS by Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan’s five-book series takes the world of Greek mythology, complete with gods, monsters, titans, Mt. Olympus, heroes, etc. and weaves it into the modern world under the premise that as the gods are manifestations of Western culture and move as the culture moves. And so when Athens was the pinnacle, Mt. Olympus was in Greece, but now that the seat of Western power has moved to America, Mr. Olympus is on the 600th floor of the Empire State Building. We all move through a sea of mythical creatures but we don’t see any of them thanks to the cloak of the Mist, a strange phenomenon that either hides them completely or makes mere mortals see the creatures and their actions as somewhat explainable (if sometimes odd) events that we can understand.


The series focuses less on the gods than on their childr... Read More

The Lightning Thief: Surprisingly complex

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The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

I had been hearing good things about Rick Riordan's young adult fantasy series, but it wasn't until a half-price sale at the bookstore and the release of the movie (which I still haven't seen) that I finally decided to catch up with the bandwagon. I knew that it followed the basic premise of the typical coming-of-age drama in a fantasy setting, in which a troubled youngster discovers that he has innate power and a lot of trouble to go with it. To harness his power, achieve his goals, and discover his place in his newly discovered world is Percy Jackson's ongoing character arc. Though it is clearly inspired by the success of Harry Potter (right down to the format of the titles: variations of "Hero's Name and the Intriguing Noun"), it's never openly derivative.

Percy Jackson is a twelve-year-old boy who finds it difficult to stay out of ... Read More

The Sea of Monsters: Better than The Lightning Thief

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The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

Truth be told, I wasn't hugely impressed with the first Percy Jackson book, The Lightning Thief. It was entertaining, yes, but somewhat convoluted, derivative and predictable. Well, with Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters, I take it all back. With a more rewarding plot, stronger characterization, and smoother pacing, the second book in the five-part series is an improvement in every respect.

Percy Jackson has recently discovered that his missing father is none other than the sea god Poseidon, and as a demigod he is constantly under threat from various Greek monsters that still roam the earth. Enrolled at a summer camp for training half-bloods, Percy's last adventure involved (among many other things) coming to terms with his parentage... Read More

The Titan’s Curse: The humor is the real selling point

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The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan

To briefly bring you up to date: the five-part Percy Jackson series revolves around updated versions of the Greek gods and their half-blood children. With Olympus currently situated in New York, many of the gods' children (who often don't know who their godly parent is, having been raised by their mortal one) attend Camp Half-Blood where they can learn to control their abilities and fend off the monsters that they attract like magnets. Percy's coming-of-age story involves him undertaking number of dangerous quests to defeat the growing power of Kronos, an ancient Titan who wants to overthrow Olympus.

Percy is now fourteen years old, and about to embark on his next big adventure. If you haven't read the two previous Percy Jackson books, then there's no use starting here, you'll need to backt... Read More

The Battle of the Labyrinth: Filled with monsters, traps, secrets and danger

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The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

Just as every Harry Potter book began with the requisite tormenting of the Dursley family, every Percy Jackson book begins with the destruction of a school, a trend that continues in the fourth book starring the young demi-god son of Poseidon. Unless you're familiar with the three previous books, you'll probably find yourself lost with what's going on here. About to celebrate his fifteenth birthday party, Percy is still up to his neck in problems, ranging from his mother's new boyfriend to the Greek monsters that keep trying to kill him. Luckily he has his friends to help him out: the satyr Grover, who is on a quest for the missing god Pan, his half-brother Tyson, a Cyclops, and Annabeth, the daughter of Athena — except lately Ann... Read More

The Last Olympian: This final installment is all pay-off

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The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

The Last Olympian is Rick Riordan’s conclusion to the well-received Percy Jackson series which involves the attempt by Kronos, the titan displaced ages ago by Zeus and the other Olympians, to rally his fellow titans, as well as assorted monsters, demigods, and disgruntled minor gods, to take down the Olympians and their allies, especially the Olympians’ children — the demigods of Camp Half-Blood led by Percy Jackson (son of Poseidon), Annabeth (daughter of Athena), and Grover (a satyr).

As one might expect of the concluding book, the action reaches its peak and Kronos is as close as he will ever be to achieving his aims. The Last Olympian opens with a bang, as Percy is on a mission to blow up an ocean liner filled with Kronos (who in... Read More

The Heroes of Olympus

The Heroes of Olympus — (2010-2014) Ages 9-12. Sequel to Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Publisher: After saving Olympus from the evil Titan lord, Kronos, Percy and friends have rebuilt their beloved Camp Half-Blood, where the next generation of demigods must now prepare for a chilling prophecy of their own: Seven half-bloods shall answer the call, To storm or fire the world must fall. An oath to keep with a final breath, And foes bear arms to the Doors of Death. Now, in a brand-new series from blockbuster best-selling author Rick Riordan, fans return to the world of Camp Half-Blood. Here, a new group of heroes will inherit a quest. But to survive the journey, they’ll need the help of some familiar demigods.

Rick Riordan The Heroes of Olympus 1. The Lost HeroesRick Riordan The Heroes of Olympus 1. The Lost Heroes 2. The Son of NeptuneRick Riordan The Heroes of Olympus 1. The Lost Heroes 2. The Son of Neptune 3. The Mark of Athenafantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

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The Lost Hero: A fresh new adventure from the world of Percy Jackson

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The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan’s The Lost Hero picks up shortly after his Percy Jackson & The Olympians series ended and continues onward in the same universe with both new and familiar characters. Actually, I should say “mostly” the same universe, as Riordan has broadened his Greek mythology premise to include the Roman gods as well (or as is often the case, the familiar Greek gods in their less-familiar Roman aspects).

Percy literally isn’t around for this one (don’t worry — he appears to play a major role in the next); he’s gone missing and nobody knows what happened to him. Instead, The Lost Hero begins with Jason, a young boy who finds himself on a school bus with his two “friends” Leo and Piper, save... Read More

The Son of Neptune: The second instalment of a series steadily cranking into gear…

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The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

Warning: Contains some mild spoilers for the previous book, The Lost Hero.

First, a brief reminder of where this book stands among Rick Riordan's collection of YA novels: it is the second book in the HEROES OF OLYMPUS five-part series, which itself is the sequel series to the original PERCY JACKSON books. Suffice to say, if you're unfamiliar with the stories published before this one, you're likely to be hopelessly lost in understanding what's happening here. Head back to Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief and work your way up.

For those who are all up-to-date, you'll be pleased to know The Son of Neptune doesn't waste any ti... Read More

The Mark of Athena: A bit of middle book syndrome, but still action-packed

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Heroes of Olympus: The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

This is the third book in the five-part HEROES OF OLYMPUS series by Rick Riordan, and as the title would imply, it focuses on Annabeth Chase: daughter of Athena. Though it suffers a little from middle book syndrome, with nothing started and nothing finished, Riordan makes sure that Annabeth's quest remains the key focus of the book, letting it drive the course of the otherwise sprawling narrative.

The seven heroes of the prophecy have been assembled: Percy, Annabeth, Leo, Hazel, Frank, Piper and Jason; all of whom have a vital part to play in the defeat of the goddess Gaea, who has been awakening both giants and the dead in her bid to destroy the Olympian gods.

As it happens, the Roman gods are also at risk thank... Read More

The Kane Chronicles

The Kane Chronicles — (2010-2013) Ages 9-12. Publisher: Since their mother’s death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane. One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a “research experiment” at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives. Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them — Set — has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe — a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family, and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.

Rick Riordan The Kane Chronicles One: The Red PyramidRick Riordan The Kane Chronicles One: The Red Pyramid 2. The Throne of FireRick Riordan The Kane Chronicles One: The Red Pyramid 2. The Throne of Fire 3. The Serpent's Shadow

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The Red Pyramid: Why mess with a good thing?

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The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

The Red Pyramid, by Rick Riordan, starts readers off on a new series intermingling ancient mythology, today’s world, and snappy young teens. In this case, though, the mythology is Egyptian, not Greek as in his Percy Jackson series (or Roman, as in the newest addition to that series) and the young teens aren’t the sons and daughters of gods but are instead possessed by them (if that doesn’t seem like much of a difference, it’s because it really isn’t as the story plays out). This may seem overly familiar, but “why mess with a good thing?” is probably Riordan’s thinking, and my guess is his fans’ as well.

And truth be told, there’s a lot to like in Riordan’s writing, especially for a young audience. The books are fast-paced (admit... Read More

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard — (2015- ) Middle grade. Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers. One day, he’s tracked down by an uncle he barely knows-a man his mother claimed was dangerous. Uncle Randolph tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god. The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years. When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision. Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die…

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsMagnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book 3: The Ship of the Dead Kindle Edition by Rick Riordan

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The Sword of Summer: Rick Riordan goes Norse

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Reposting to include Jana's new review.

The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan, who has enthralled millions of readers with exciting tales of teenagers and their interactions with Greek, Roman and Egyptian gods and goddesses, turns to Norse mythology in his latest book, The Sword of Summer, published October 6, 2015.

Magnus Chase is sixteen years old and has been homeless for two years, since his mother died. Magnus remembers the door of their apartment splintering and wolves with glowing blue eyes bursting in as his mother shooed him out the fire escape. His mother had always told him to avoid his uncles, especially Uncle Randolph ― but Magnus runs into Randolph, who somehow convinces him to accompany him to retrieve an ancient sword from the waters below Longfellow Bridge in Boston. Magnus magically calls the... Read More

The Hammer of Thor: It’s Hammer Time in the Nine Worlds

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The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan

The god Thor has lost his hammer again, but this time it’s even worse: the giant Thrym has gotten hold of it and has hidden it away where no one else can reach it. If the hammer isn’t returned to Thor quickly, enemies of Asgard will take advantage of their weakness and attack, triggering Ragnarok, the battle at the end of the world, and bringing massive death and destruction in the Nine Worlds.

Loki the trickster, who has been chained up by the other gods as punishment for his misdeeds, visits Magnus Chase in a dream (Loki gets around pretty well in dreamland). He tells Magnus that he’s worked out a deal to get Thor’s hammer back: all Magnus has to do is bring Thrym a certain bride for a wedding in five days, along with the bride-price, and Thrym will give back the hammer as his wedding gift.

There are just a few problems with thi... Read More