Tag Archives: Percy Jackson and the Olympians

Percy Jackson: The Ultimate Guide by Rick Riordan

Overview
Image result for percy jackson the ultimate guide book cover

Title: Percy Jackson: The Ultimate Guide
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: Percy Jackson & the Olympians Companion
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Greek mythology, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 5th – 14th June 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Collection
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: The symbol of Hades is a helmet which helped him to stay invisible.

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Synopsis

It’s the handbook no half-blood should be without: a fully illustrated, in-depth guide to gods, monsters, and all things Percy. This novelty companion to the best-selling series comes complete with trading cards, full-color diagrams, and maps, all packaged in a handy, “manual-size” POB with a crisp, magnetic flap enclosure.

Thoughts

This is a quick, easy read. A great little companion to the rest of the Percy Jackson series, but not one that I’m likely to want to pick up again and again. It was just a cute little overview of Greek mythology. And since I’ve read many other books on the Greek pathos, this was a little too PG for my tastes.

The pictures and fun little cards at the beginning of the book helped to completely immerse yourself in the world that Riordan wanted to take me to. I used to love books that acted as a how-to guides, ones that helped you think the storyline was real. That it was completely plausible and possible that these gods, beasts and creatures walk among us every day.

Although I really enjoyed reading this book, there really isn’t much to say about it. It’s one of those experiences that makes you smile, but you won’t remember forever. Which is good, because in years to come, I can pick this up again and enjoy the experience all over again.

 <- The Demigods of Olympus ReviewThe Lightning Thief Review ->
Image source: Amazon

The Demigod Diaries by Rick Riordan

Overview

The Demigod DiariesTitle: The Demigod Diaries
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians Companion
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Mythology, Urban Fantasy
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Penguin
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: What happened exactly one month ago?

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Synopsis

IN THIS ACTION-PACKED SHORT-STORY COLLECTION, RUNAWAY DEMIGODS LUKE AND THALIA FACE UNTOLD DANGERS ON THEIR WAY TO CAMP HALF-BLOOD.

Percy Jackson and Annabeth must rescue stolen goods from a fire-breathing giant who doesn’t take kindly to intruders.

And Leo, Piper and Jason have to dodge a band of party-loving maenads and stave off an explosion – in one hour or less…

Discover these three never-before-seen short stories starring the Heroes of Olympus and Percy Jackson – PLUS interviews, puzzles and much more.

Thoughts

This was a fun little collection of short stories in the Percy Jackson universe. The three stories help to build on the adventures throughout both series, and the smatterings of interviews and games in between are kind of fun. Honestly, I kind of wish that I had discovered this when I was a bit younger… it would have been incredibly enjoyable!

The typical modern day spin on Greek and Roman myths that I have come to expect from Riordan is littered throughout these stories. But, that doesn’t mean that there is any form of predictableness in the storylines. After all, it’s a modern take, and there is constantly something unforeseeable and unexpected happening. Personally, I loved the short story about Percy and Annabeth best. Not just because it was typically surprising (if that is even a thing), but also because it features my favourite couple throughout the series.

I think the thing that I loved the most about this book was that it was just fun and easy. The Percy Jackson series and Heroes of Olympus series are both high stakes. Filled with destiny, journeys and epic danger. These stories are just easier, but with the same fun and humour that is threaded through all of Riordan’s work.

<- The Demigod Files Review The Demigods of Olympus Review ->
Image source: Amazon UK

Percy Jackson and the Greek Heroes by Rick Riordan

Overview

The Greek HeroesTitle: Percy Jackson and the Greek Heroes
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians Companion
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Mythology, Urban Fantasy
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Puffin Books
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: ‘Yes,’ the eldest sister agreed, thinking, A much older, smellier husband.

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Synopsis

IF YOU LIKE MUTILATIONS, MURDERS AND FLESH-EATING FARMYARD ANIMALS, KEEP READING…

My name is Percy Jackson. I’m a modern-day demigod – the son of Poseidon. I’ve had some bad experiences in my time, but the heroes I’m going to tell you about were the original old-school hard-luck cases.

So get your flaming spear. Put on your lion-skin cape. Polish your shield and make sure you’ve got arrows in your quiver. We’re going back about four thousand years to decapitate monsters, shoot a few gods in the butt, raid the Underworld and steal loot from evil people.

Then, for dessert, we’ll die painful, tragic deaths.

Ready? Sweet. Let’s do this.

Thoughts

I’m fascinated by ancient mythology. And, as one of the most prevalent and well-known mythologies of the modern world, Greek mythology is normally at the top of my list. Which sometimes makes it a little difficult for me to read modern adaptations of the stories of Greek heroes. Especially in children’s books, as they have to be kind of PG, and I really like the originally, incredibly sleazy versions of the tales…

Having said that, I thought that Riordan did a great job of retelling twelve of the Greek myths. It’s a fine line between making it suitable for children and just twisting it out of all recognisable shape and form. Luckily for my enjoyment, and continued love of Riordan’s work, he toed this line perfectly. The stories were still PG, but tales like Hercules actually started with him going mad and killing his family. Unlike the Disney version which has him as an innocent child, forced to take on the mantle of hero. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Disney movie, but when you’re aware that this is probably a child’s first foray into the world of Greek Mythology… maybe sugar coating everything isn’t the way.

I loved the humour with which these tales are told. They’re Greek tragedies, not really any happy endings and generally pretty epic ways to die. So, being told by Percy’s persona throughout with such a healthy dose of humour made it a lot more enjoyable. And, somehow, a little less tragic.

<- The Greek Gods Review The Demigod Files Review ->
Image source: Penguin Books Australia

The Demigods of Olympus: An Interactive Guide by Rick Riordan

Overview
The Demigods of Olympus - An Interactive Guide

Title: The Demigods of Olympus: An Interactive Guide
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians Companion
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Easy readingMythologyUrban Fantasy
Pace: Medium
Format: Choose-Your-Own-Adventure
Publisher: Puffin Books
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: ‘The little paper cups flew everywhere.

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Synopsis

You are the demigod, and your quest begins! Use your skills in this interactive and customizable e-book. Combining four short stories, “The Two-Headed Guidance Counselor,” “The Library of Deadly Weapons,” “My Demon Satyr Tea Party,” and “My Personal Zombie Apocalypse,” your choices will have consequences in this demigod adventure.

Thoughts

I love choose-your-own-adventure stories. I can remember reading a lot of them when I was younger, there is something nice about being able to read a story that you have control of. And the fact that this choose-your-own-adventure was placed within a fantasy world that I love just made it all the more enjoyable!

Although I can’t wait to go on another journey with Zane, every choice that I was able to make led me to a slightly different outcome. This choose-your-own-adventure fits beautifully into the world of Percy Jackson, but it was also different enough that it was difficult to predict where the storyline would go.

<- The Demigod Diaries ReviewThe Ultimate Guide Review ->
Image source: YA Interrobang

The Demigod Files by Rick Riordan

Overview

the-demigod-files

Title: The Demigod Files
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians Companion
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Mythology, Urban Fantasy
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Puffin Books
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: ‘Uh-huh,’ said another Athena guy, clearly unimpressed.

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Synopsis

IF YOU’RE READING THIS BOOK, YOUR LIFE IS ABOUT TO GET A LOT MORE DANGEROUS.

In these top-secret files, Rick Riordan, Camp Half-Blood’s senior scribe, gives you an inside look at the world of demigods that NO regular human child is allowed to see.

These highly classified archives include three of Percy Jackson’s most perilous adventures, a Spotter’s Guide to Monsters, a Who’s Who in Greek mythology, Percy’s Summer Camp report and much more.

SO IF YOU’RE ARMED WITH THIS BOOK, YOU’LL HAVE EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW TO KEEP YOU ALIVE IN YOUR TRAINING. YOU OWN ADVENTURES HAVE JUST BEGUN…

Thoughts

This is a really nice companion book to the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. It is a little quirky and different in its layout, but it really brings the world of Camp Half-blood to life. Interviews, short stories and profiles all morph together to create this short and lively book that are well worth reading if you have become as obsessed with the writings of Rick Riordan as I have.

Although this book was written between The Battle of the Labyrinth and The Last Olympian, it isn’t strictly necessary to read it then. However, if you want to understand who Bob is and what happened to him in The Heroes of Olympus series, then it is definitely worth reading one of the shorts within this collection.

<- The Greek Heroes Review The Demigod Diaries Review ->
Image source: Puffin Books Australia

The Greek Gods by Rick Riordan

Overview

Percy Jackson and the Greek Gods

Title: Percy Jackson and the Greek Gods
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians Companion
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Mythology, Urban Fantasy
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Penguin
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: The Titan Prometheus, who had made those little dudes out of clay, really felt sorry for them.

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Synopsis

IF YOU LIKE HORROR SHOWS, BLOODBATHS, LYING, STEALING, BACKSTABBING AND CANNIBALISM, THEN READ ON…

Who could tell the stories of the gods of Olympus better than a modern-day demigod?

In this action-packed tour of Greek mythology, Percy gives his hilarious personal views on the feuds, fights and love affairs of the Olympians.

Want to know how Zeus came to be top god? How many times Kronos ate one of his kids? How Athena literally burst out of another god’s head? It’s all here in black and white…

Thoughts

As with the rest of the books in the Percy Jackson Verse, Percy Jackson and the Greek Gods is a great adaptation of the Greek myths. Using a modern voice that makes them approachable to the today’s generation is not only a great way to retell ancient myths, but it also is a truly unique retelling that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Having said that, this is also the cleanest and most PG retelling of the Greek myths that I have ever had the pleasure of reading. The versions of the myths that I read involved a lot of rape, pillaging and incest. And although Riordan does mention that many of the Olympians are brother and sister, husband and wife, this eeew factor is glossed over and better explained. Which is probably a good thing considering that this is a book aimed at a young adult / teenage audience.

Reading this book was really pleasurable and easy. It had a quick, fast pace that gave you a brief overview of each of the twelve major Olympians and moved on. It provided a great glimpse into some of the really fascinating mythos of the Greek persuasion without getting bogged down in the details. Each chapter is a whole new story and this structure worked beautifully well – I finished the book in no time, not even realising that I had spent hours reading.

<- The Dark Prophecy Review The Greek Heroes Review ->
Image source: Joys of Bookworm

The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

Overview

Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian

Title: Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians #5Camp Half-Blood Chronicles #5
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Mythology, Urban Fantasy
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Penguin
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: They are honorary council members.

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Synopsis

MOST PEOPLE GET PRESENTS ON THEIR SIXTEENTH BIRTHDAY. I GET A PROPHECY THAT COULD SAVE OR DESTROY THE WORLD.

That’s how it is when you’re the son of Poseidon, God of the Sea. According to an ancient prophecy, bad things will happen when I turn sixteen – because I’m the one who gets to decide the fate of the entire world. But no pressure.

This is the one where Kronos, Lord of the Titans, is beginning his attack on New York City, where Mount Olympus stands virtually unguarded. Oh, and the dreaded (and not to mention enormous) monster Typhon is also heading our way. So it’s me and forty of my demigod friends versus untold evil…

CAN PERCY STOP THE RAMPAGE OF THE TITANS, TO SAVE OLYMPUS – AND HIMSELF?

Thoughts

All through the Percy Jackson and the Olympians books, I was waiting with baited breath to see if Percy was, in fact, the child of the prophecy. Alright, I was fairly certain he was (after all, he is the hero of the series), but first there as Thalia, and then Nico. So you couldn’t be sure. Then I started reading Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian, and the final battle begins. And what an epic final battle it was!

The slow build up throughout the series and, even the book itself just placed everyone in place for their parts for the battle against the Titans (and Cronus). I really enjoyed (and was saddened by the fact) that, in spite of my expectations, there was a heavy death-toll taken in those final scenes. Like the Harry Potter series, it didn’t glorify the process of war, but rather showed the loss and damage that it can cause. Although, none of my favourite characters were lost, so I didn’t want to hurl the book away in depression (like I did with both the sixth and seventh Harry Potter books).

The entire Percy Jackson and the Olympians series tested Percy’s courage. But it was this final story that really put it to the test. I mean, he went up against the father of the gods for crying out loud! It also highlighted how his hubris could mean his downfall. Putting one’s loved ones before all else is, in theory, an honourable and desirable trait in someone. But when that has the potential to end the world… well, it is an interesting thought. It also made me wonder what my hubris would be.

Not to give anything away, but the final scene when Percy either triumphs or fails is wonderful. All along, you believe that you understand how the story will play out. Percy will fight Kronos, Percy will win, everyone is saved and happy. But, it doesn’t turn out like this. And I loved this! It is so much more fun when a book holds the power to shock and astound you.

<- The Battle of the Labyrinth Review The Son of Sobek Review ->
Image source: Wikia

The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

Overview

Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth

Title: Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians #4Camp Half-Blood Chronicles #4
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Mythology, Urban Fantasy
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Penguin
Year: 2008
5th sentence, 74th page: He handed me a little silver tube.

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Synopsis

HONESTLY, BLOWING UP ANOTHER SCHOOL WAS THE LAST THING I WANTED TO DO.

As the son of a Greek god, I’ve had my share of near-death disaster. This summer, I didn’t choose to battle the cheerleading squad, but when two hissing she-devils with fangs are heading straight for you, what’s a half-blood meant to do?

That was just the beginning. This is the one where my arch-enemy, Luke, is looking for a way to invade our camp via an ancient labyrinth. If he succeeds, thousands of bloodthirsty monsters will attack. So it’s goodbye sunshine, hello darkness as four of us descend into the terrifying underground and beyond…

CAN PERCY NAVIGATE HIS WAY OUT OF TROUBLE – BEFORE LUKE’S ARMY BRING MASS DESTRUCTION TO CAMP HALF-BLOOD?

Thoughts

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.

Rachel Dare, as Annabeth’s polar opposite helped to create friction in the developing relationship between Percy and Annabeth. This, combined with the fact that she is Annabeth’s polar opposite, makes her a very engaging and interesting character. Her slightly quirky character helped to further pull me towards her as a player within the unfolding journey of Percy and Annabeth.

The Minotaur, as a well-known Greek villain, was present within the first Percy Jackson tale. But this time, we were able to delve into the story of his creation and his imprisonment – the Labyrinth. When I first read the title of the book, I was confused as to how Riordan would create a modern version of such an archaic structure – a giant, underground maze in which people were ritually trapped and killed. His use of the streets and sewers of America was kind of a terrifying idea. And it worked brilliantly. Overlaying the two worlds onto one another is an amazing talent of Riordan’s, and there is only one other author that I truly appreciated for this ability.

The final discovery of Pan and the death of nature himself provided a powerful ecological message – we must take it within ourselves to care for nature and the world around us. Not only for its beauty, but also for its necessity within our own survival and health.

<- The Titan’s Curse Review The Last Olympian Review ->
Image source: Penguin

The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan

Overview

Percy Jackson and the Titan's Curse

Title: Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians #3Camp Half-Blood Chronicles #3
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Mythology, Urban Fantasy
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Penguin
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: Maybe he could give me some advice, but something held me back.

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Synopsis

IT’S NOT EVERY DAY YOU FIND YOURSELF IN HAND-TO-CLAW COMBAT WITH A HALF-LION, HALF-HUMAN.

But when you’re the son of a Greek god, these things happen. All I was trying to do was bring two new demigods back to camp. But the arrival of the manticore changed everything. Now my friend Annabeth is missing, a goddess is in chains and the general of the Titans wants to unleash a tribe of skeleton warriors on the world.

This is the one where only five of us heroes can join the dangerous quest to defeat the doomsday monster – and our camp’s Oracle has predicted that not all of the chosen five will survive…

CAN PERCY SAVE ANNABETH – AND THE REST OF THE WORLD – BEFORE THE CURSE DESTROYS HIM FOREVER?

Thoughts

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.

The other set of characters that are introduced in Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse are The Hunters. Whilst I would never (and would never have) wanted to join this incredibly feminist group, the idea that being without a man and being without the necessity of their influence in their lives is a very cool idea. Spending life in part of a fully-functioning, and amicable girl group is also a great foreign idea. There are so many books and tales that emphasise the bitchiness and competitiveness between women, so having one that emphasises the camaraderie and friendship between such a group is refreshing.

Romantic relationships are almost always a plot line within stories, at the very least, they act as an engaging subplot. Probably because we all want to feel loved by someone else, and it’s nice reading about it. Having a group that actively declines this was refreshing, but as an interesting counterpoint, Annabeth and Percy’s growing relationship has subtle undertones of potential future romance. What I loved most about this relationship is that it is entirely natural. As the reader, you can tell that both feel an attraction to each other, but as they are young, this is a little confusing for them and sometimes leads to some interesting arguments.

<- The Sea of Monsters Review The Battle of the Labyrinth Review ->
Image source: Penguin

The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

Overview

Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters

Title: Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians #2Camp Half-Blood Chronicles #2
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Mythology, Urban Fantasy
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Penguin
Year: 2006
5th sentence, 74th page: ‘To your mark!’

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Synopsis

YOU CAN’T TELL BY LOOKING AT ME THAT MY DAD IS POSEIDON. GOD OF THE SEA.

It’s not easy being a half-blood these days. You mortals can’t even see the monsters we have to fight all the time. So when a game of dodgeball turned into a death match against an ugly gang of cannibal giants, I couldn’t exactly ask my gym teacher for help.

And that was just for starters. This is the one where Camp Half-Blood is under attack, and unless I get my hands on the Golden Fleece, the whole camp will be invaded by monsters. Big ones.

CAN PERCY SURVIVE THE TREACHEROUS SEA OF MONSTERS AND RESTORE ORDER TO HALF-BLOOD HILL?

Thoughts

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.

Pan is the very personification of nature in Greek mythology – he literally is the natural world. And his disappearance is alluded to in Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. But, Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters gives us far more insight into how our own actions and the modernisation of the world has damaged nature himself. His total disappearance from the world and the confusion that the Satyrs feel at this reverberates through my own life. The necessity of conservation and ecological management is such a powerful message and this idea resonates throughout my very soul.

Throughout the Percy Jackson and the Olympians books, the idea of fate and destiny are integral to the storyline. Primarily in the shape of The Oracle of Delphi’s prophecies. I’m always fascinated by this concept. It’s often shown to be inescapable, but whether it is through our actions, or the attempts at avoiding a predicted fate. The use of prophecies highlights this, but it also helps to show that there can be multiple meanings in our fates and multiple destinations. This is shown throughout Clarisse’s journey as she fights against the terrifying future which faces her, and finds an entirely different outcome than expected.

I loved getting to know Clarisse a bit better throughout the journey. It not only helped to create layers to her character, but also illustrated that the actions undertaken by an individual can have multiple sources. The feeling of sympathy that you felt just by reading her journey is echoed by Percy’s sudden understanding of her brash and bullying behaviour.

<- The Lightning Thief Review The Titan’s Curse Review ->
Image source: Fantasy Book Review