You know whats really hard to do? Write a review about an in-between book in a series after binge-reading the series. I officially boycott. Well, maybe. We’ll see.
So now, I’m into series recaps! I figure the Percy Jackson series is a good place to start.
I don’t remember when I first heard of the Percy Jackson books, but I know the kids reading them were younger than I was, so the books were just a teeny blip on my radar. Then I was a camp counselor last year. It was quite a trial to get the kids to settle down for “turtle time” (the name for reading time.. don’t ask, I have no idea why) some days. UNLESS they got to read the Percy Jackson books. I swear, they transported worlds. So 21 year-old me became curious, and then book blogging led me to finally read them!
For all of you who are gasping in surprise that it took me this long, hush. You know you have some secretly unread series in your skeleton closet!
^^Bonus points if you can name the show!^^
I’ve also been reluctant to write this post because I know it’s going to be a million years long. BEAR WITH ME FOLKS. Unless you haven’t read these books, and then 1. There will be tons of spoilers and 2. You will have no idea what I’m talking about. You have been warned.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians
By Rick Riordan
Published 2005-2009 by Disney Hyperion
Series Rating: 4/5
MY THOUGHTS ON..
Book one: The Lightning Thief! We meet Percy. He’s a sweet little boy with a tough life. Said life gets significantly more complicated when he learns he’s a demigod, is blamed for stealing Zeus’ lightning bolt, and has to save the world. Oh, did I mention he’s 12?
The Lightning Thief was cute. A little young for me, but absolutely fantastic middle grade literature. I love that Riordan made Greek mythology accessible for younger readers. Actually, he made it accessible for readers in general, who reads Greek myths these days?
After book one, I was nervous I might just be too old to be a big Percy Jackson fan. I felt like a lot of the detours on Percy, Annabeth, and Grover’s quest were completely unrelated to the development of the story, and it was kind of irritating because it didn’t move the plot along. I actually found that trend continuing in the series until The Titan’s Curse, when the plot majorly thickened. I did enjoy that the detours gave us chances to meet lesser known gods, many of which I’d never heard of.
But if I’m being honest, which of course I always am, I didn’t start to really enjoy the books until The Battle of the Labrynth. It got real. There were of course moments in all of the other books that I loved, but the final two books just took the story to a whole new level. Seriously, Riordan was like a spider weaving me into this web of a plot and I didn’t even see it coming.
Sidenote: I want to write about ALL of them, but it would take a novel, so I’m narrowing it to 10. AH
I absolutely, whole-heartedly, 100% LOVED Percy. He just had such a good heart. He wasn’t perfect, sometimes I was like WOW you have a thick skull (while commiserating with Annabeth and Rachel), but he was unfailingly loyal and sassy and just aw. I adored everything about him. That’s all I have to say on that subject.
Annabeth was basically everything a heroine should be. She’s smart and stubborn and independent, and there aren’t enough female characters like her! And you know what else? She and Percy’s relationship was real. It was sweet and believable and strong because it developed out of a true friendship. None of that insta-love for Riordan. However, the whole thing with Luke irritated the hell out of me. Most of the time, I was on her side when she called Percy out for being a slow-poke of a move maker. But every time she freaked out on him about Luke I beefed with her. Especially because in the end, she told him she’d never been in love with him. I don’t know if this is just me, but I just couldn’t get on board with the whole scene. And yes, I know that was kind of what saved the entire world in the end… but I just wasn’t a fan, okay? Percabeth!
Grover was definitely comic relief. I loved the cyclops who wanted to marry him. So ridiculous. He was kind of annoying at times.. although this may partially have been because the narrator used an irritating voice for his character… So Grover’s job is to find and protect half-bloods… and then he forms an empathy link when he is potentially about to die with the most important of all the half-bloods. WHAT. Why on earth would he form an empathy link with his best friend who is destined to potentially save the world?! Foolish. He did have awesome character development though; I loved when his story got all deep and he took on the spirit of Pan and rallied the nature spirits. Bad ass.
NICO DI ANGELO
Nico. Nico Nico Nico. When we first meet Nico, he is unbelievably annoying. Then he’s a brat. Which I get, I mean what was up with Bianca just abandoning him? Then she died, and he’s a little kid and wanted to blame someone. I get it. Not that I’ve experienced anything quite like that……. But then he does a complete 180° and becomes this badass punk kid with crazy powers. I actually really liked his character once we got past the whole hating Percy because he broke a promise he never really made thing. I’m not going to lie, I got a little bit nervous that he was going to somehow be the child of the prophecy like Riordan would let that happen. I was quite proud of him for being able to stand up to Hades because holy poop that would be scary. So go Nico for commanding the dead and all. You go Nico.
Okay I actually hated Thalia until the end of The Titan’s Curse. She was a brat too! So many bratty characters. Of course she gets awesome, and how crazy was it when she came out of the tree? (This was another moment where Percy was quite slow on the get-go) I did NOT see that coming. I did think it was a bit hypocritical of her to be such a hater of the Hunters and then become one.. but it was her rightful place. I LOVED when she rejected Luke. Sure, she had been angry at Zeus and the gods, but she wasn’t actually going to try and take them down you silly boy. She’s too cool for that.
I’m going to be honest, not a huge fan. I think it would be a good idea to tell your child he is a demigod and may be attacked by monsters before his teacher tries to kill him. Admittedly, it would be difficult to explain that particular situation to a child. I imagine it would go something like this:
Sally: So, Percy, about your father…
Percy: What about him?
Sally: Well, I know I told you he was a sea captain, but it’s actually a bit more complicated than that.
Percy: What do you mean, Mom?
Sally: He is a sea captain… kind of… he’s more the captain of the sea….
Percy: *Blank stare*
Sally: He’s a god. I hooked up with a god, then he left me because I’m mortal, and you are a demigod. Oh, and there are probably monsters searching for you right now so they can kill you. *mic drop*
Hahaha I have no idea why I felt the need to write that out. But you catch my drift.
Chiron! My man. Such a fantastic teacher. Much better than Firenze. I was so upset when he was forced to leave Camp Half-Blood. I’m curious how he became so much more wise and human than all of the other centaurs (party ponies). Anyone know?
Tyson very well may be my favorite character. His simplicity allowed him to be so kind and trusting and selfless. All he wanted was to protect Percy and help his daddy. And play with Rainbow. And Briares. And when he yelled at Polyphemus for being a bad cyclops? Hell yes, Tyson. And how cool was the watch shield he made for Percy?! Ah, he’s just my fave. Just want to give him a big bear hug. But unfortunately, I’m human and can’t see through the mist.
Okay, I’m cheating. But the gods were SO FRUSTRATING. I can’t write about all of them because there were too many, but here are my shortened thoughts on some of them::
- Poseidon: Probably the best god father. (Hahahahahaha) Other than, surprisingly, Dionysus.
- Athena: Love the wisdom, love the protectiveness over her daughter’s heart.
- Artemis: The little girl thing kind of creeped me out, but I was very grateful she was on team demigod.
- Apollo: He was so funny, because his Haikus were bad, much like this one is.
- Calypso: Does she count as a god? I don’t think so, but I loved her. She deserves a mention. Such a cruel punishment!
- Ares & Aphrodite: What? Is their relationship an actual thing? How??? Love + War = Bad News
- Hephaestus: One of my favorites. So down-to-earth and under appreciated.
- Hestia: Hands-down best god.The last Olympian is the home and hearth?! LOVE it.
RACHEL ELIZABETH DARE
I loved Rachel Elizabeth Dare. I also loved how Percy always referred to her as Rachel Elizabeth Dare. It was a really creative plot twist for Riordan to keep hinting at the Oracle of Delphi being important and integrating that story in by making all of the Percabeth fans insane. Such tactics make me happy. I also liked her contrast to Annabeth’s extreme closed-offness. She was open with Percy when no one else was, and I think he needed that.
Favorite Moments (so you all can reminisce):
Percy’s pen turns into a sword and he vanquishes his teacher. Plus, we meet riptide!
Percy soaks Clarisse in toilet water.
Annabeth plays fetch with the dog guarding the underworld.
The Gray Sisters drive with one eye.
Percy tells Tyson to go find some doughnuts in the middle of the woods. Tyson comes back with doughnuts.
Percy is turned into a guinea pig.
Annabeth wants to hear the sirens and find her fatal flaw, Percy saves her. (Crushes are developing!!)
We find out Zoe’s back story with Hercules and riptide. (I love Zoe too, btw)
Percy catches the Old Man of the Sea
Annabeth and Percy develop matching white streaks from holding up the sky. (AWWW)
Annabeth is terrified by the spider Hephaestus created to lead them to his forges
Calypso is wonderful.
Rachel takes out Kronos/Luke with a hairbrush.
Paul meets Poseidon. “Like, the sea god?” “Something like that” Teeheehee
Beckendorf teases Percy about Rachel & Annabeth. Bro moment.
Paul meets Mrs. O’Leary and realizes his life just got real crazy.
Percy enters the River Styx and Annabeth tethers him to life. (Again, AWWW)
The entire battle of New York and Olympus.
Percy gives Hope to Hestia, returning it to the hearth.
Ethan Nakamura returns to the good side.
Percy turns down the gods offer to make him a god. WHAT. TRUE LOVE.
Wow, there were way more of those than I expected. Whoops :)
Overall, I loved this series. If you can’t tell, that’s due in large part to the characters. I would say I highly recommend it, but I’m pretty sure I’m the last book blogger to read it! I will thoroughly miss Percy and his crew.
So now, should I read The Heroes of Olympus? Are they as good?? Let me know!
I’ll write again soon! Until then, keep reading!