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 children born to mortals — the demi-gods — who are brought at ... Read More
Rick RiordanRick 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.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians — (2005-2009) 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 by Rick Riordan
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 trouble. Constantly expelled from school for... Read More
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, learning about the powers he possesses, making friends with Grover an... Read More
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 backtrack to The Lightning Thief and S... Read More
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 Annabeth has been acting a little strangely...
After rejoining his friends at Camp Ha... Read More
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 the previous book reincorporated himself in th... Read More
The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
So I finally come to it, the fifth and final book in the PERCY JACKSON series and the culmination of his coming-of-age story. At the age of twelve our hero found out that his father was the god Poseidon, making him a demi-god with a place waiting for him at Camp Half-Blood, the summer camp designed to teach and train the children of the gods. As Percy quickly realizes, it's a dangerous world if you're a half-blood, particularly since he attracts monsters like a magnet.
Under the guidance of the centaur Charon and his best friend Grover the satyr, Percy thrives in his new environment and has already proven his worth by having undertaken several quests over the course of the past four books, alongside his friend Annabeth (the daughter of Athena) and various other camp members: the children of Hermes, Ares, Aphrodite, Hephasteus and other gods of the Greek pantheon.
... Read More
The Heroes of Olympus — (2010-2012) 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.
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 that he has no memory of who they are, how he got there, or who he is.... Read More
The Kane Chronicles — (2010-2012) 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.
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 (admittedly sometimes too much so); the dialogue mostly smacks of real pre-te... Read More