Annabeth quickly became a well-loved character as I delved into the world of Percy Jackson, so the introduction of her polar opposite and the deterioration of some of her stubborn confidence was a great change. For me, Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth was more about Annabeth than any of the preceding books. And finding more out about such a unique, smart and strong young woman was thoroughly enjoyable.
One of my favourite characters in the Percy-verse is introduced at the very end of Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters. Finding out more about her in Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse was really enjoyable. Taking two children of the ‘Big Three’, and placing them within a competitive context was bound to have an interesting effect on their relationships. The fact that Riordan creates two characters that are opposite, yet eerily similar, helps to add to this entertainment.
I loved this continuation of Riordan’s journey into the world of Greek mythology. This time, he wrote a new spin on the tale of Polyphemus’ defeat. It is difficult to take a well-known tale and put a new spin to it. You know how it will end, but wanting to travel on the journey is the key to such a feat. And Riordan does this beautifully. The fact that Percy is actually following in his namesakes steps just helps to add to the potency of this story. Intertwined with this, the further explanation of Pan’s demise in today’s society carried both a strong message, and a great story.
Honestly, the movie Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief really irritated me. I thought that it was just too centred on America. Yay. Demigods in modern day. A retelling of the popular stories of Greek mythology. But then why was the centre of the Greek mythology based in the middle of New York? The storyline was interesting, and kind of cute. But to me, that was just disingenuous. After all, you’re talking about Greek mythology, not American. But, reading Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief actually helped to explain this.
Where Exile’s Honor dealt with coming to terms with a changed reality, Exile’s Valor shows us how it is possible to take strength from this adversity and embrace it. This is a story of coming to terms with oneself and using this to create a better future – not just for yourself, but for others. This story reminded me of the fact that even though change tends to rock me to my core and leaves me feeling unshakey and unsure at the best of times, it has always been a great agent for obtaining a better future. No matter whether the change is good or bad, desired or not, it can be used to make your future better… at least, that’s the way that I choose to see it.
I’ve read a lot of fantasy books that have a tough arms master to train the main character in self-defence. Regardless of the period of history or the weaponry used, they all seem to have the same things in common – they are tough, strict, unsmiling and incredibly efficient at killing, fighting and making sure their charges survive. So it was a real pleasure to read a tale that helped me to understand how a man could become an arms master.
I loved the character of Skif from Lackey’s The Heralds of Valdemar trilogy. So it was such a pleasure to read more about his adventures and Choosing. I really enjoy how Lackey’s books continue to expand upon the stories of well-loved characters. This prolonged exposure is instrumental in my (slightly ridiculous) attachment to her characters.
Ever get to that point in the series when you just know that it’s the book that you’ve been waiting for – the time when the hero (or heroine) is going to triumph, win their lover or finally make it home? THIS was that book for me. After reading (and falling in love with) The Selection and The Elite, I knew that The One was when all my dreams (and America’s) were going to come true. But, Cass managed to add in some great twists and turns so that you were still held in suspense.
The next step in The Selection series, The Elite follows the final six girls in the competition. Those that are left were the obvious choices, since they featured more predominately in the first novel. However, their journey is just amazing. Even though you’re sure that America has Maxon’s heart, that Celeste is positively evil and that Aspen is going to continue fighting for her, every single twist still pulls at your heart.
I loved The Selection on two entirely different levels. The first was just the beautiful imagery and story of this dystopian Cinderella story. The idea that a strong-willed and tough girl somehow accidentally ends up in a bid for the Prince’s hand and heart is such a Cinderella-rags-to-riches story. Even though you’re sure that she is going to develop feelings for the prince (what kind of romance would it be otherwise?), every step of the journey from The Selection to The Elite is beautiful, intricate and makes you fall in love again and again and again. Not only with the characters, but the setting, the dystopian future and Kiera Cass herself.