Tag Archives: Rick Riordan

The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

Overview
The Sword of Summer

Title: Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #1
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, MythologyUrban fantasy
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Puffin
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: He nodded and smiled.

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Synopsis

MY NAME IS MAGNUS CHASE. I’M ORPHANED AND LIVING ROUGH ON THE STREETS OF BOSTON. AND THINGS ARE ABOUT TO GET MUCH WORSE.

My day started out normally enough. I was sleeping under a bridge when some guy kicked me awake and said, ‘They’re after you.’ Next thing I know, I’m reunited with my obnoxious uncle, who casually informs me that my long-lost father is a Norse god.

Nothing normal about that. And it turns out the gods of Asgard are preparing ofr war. Apparently, if I can’t find the sword my father lost two thousand years ago, there will be doom. Doomsday, to be precise.

A fire giant atatcking the city?
Immortal warriors hacking each other to pieces?
Unkillable wolves with glowing eyes?
It’s all coming up.

But first I’m going to die.
This is the story of how my life goes downhill from there…

Thoughts

I keep meaning to read this (which is kind of the story of my life), but I just haven’t found the time to pick it up as of yet. Until I needed to complete it for a reading challenge, and this gave me a beautiful excuse to drown myself, yet again in the world and writing of Magnus Chase. You would have thought that the name Chase would have clued me in on the relationship to Annabeth and Percy. But it took Annabeth’s actual appearance to make me understand… and then finally start grinning with joy.

I love how Magnus is a homeless child, with a bad two years and a mother that he has fond memories of. He has a completely different background to anyone else I’ve met so far in Riordan’s worlds and I found that this, once again, outsider was a great insight into the difficulties of a rough past. As the novel unfolds, you find out more and more of Magnus’ life on the streets, and his pre-street life with his mother. The slow unfolding and release of memories throughout help to really build his character and give a great structure to the battles that he not only faces in this book, but those I’m sure he is about to face in future stories.

I am vaguely familiar with the Norse Pantheon, enough so that I know the names of the major gods. So I was completely expecting Magnus to be the son of Odin or Thor, two of the most famous Norse Gods. He isn’t. And his father was completely unexpected, but so much more exciting in the discovery. I can’t wait to see how the son of a Norse God will develop further. Although I might have to dig out some of my books on mythology to find the tales behind this modern adaptation.

<- 9 from the Nine WorldsThe Hammer of Thor ->

Image source: Amazon UK

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 House of Hades by Rick Riordan

Overview

The House of Hades

Title: The House of Hades
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: The Heroes of Olympus #4Camp Half-Blood Chronicles #12
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Mythology, Urban Fantasy
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Penguin
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: This one began leaping around the deck, stuffing things into a burlap bag – Piper’s dagger, Leo’s Wii controllers.

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Synopsis

A THOUSAND DEADLY MONSTERS. THREE BATTLING DEMIGODS. ONE FATAL DECISION.

Hazel looked behind Hecate at the middle gateway. She saw Percy and Annabeth sprawled helplessly before those black-and-silver doors. A massive dark shape, vaguely humanoid, now loomed over them, its foot raised as if to crush Percy.

‘What about them?’ Hazel asked, her voice ragged.
‘Percy and Annabeth?’
Hecate shrugged. ‘West, east or south… they die.’
‘Not an option,’ Hazel said.
‘Then you have only one path – and that’s the most dangerous of all…’

Thoughts

Riordan tried a new tack in this story – in that he split the storyline into two stories, running parallel in time. It effectively split the story into the well-known characters of Percy and Annabeth, and the new arrivals in the Percy-verse. This gave the story such a variety and flavour that it was hard not to continue to flip the pages late into the night.

Nico was so easy to relate to in the first books – at least for me. So having him take such a predominant place within The House of Hades was really exciting. It also made me feel like he finally had the potential to stop his wandering ways and find a home amongst the other Demigods. The feeling of Nico’s final acceptance is expanded when he finally reveals what has made him so removed from the others. It was a plot twist that I didn’t see coming – it took me completely by surprise. But, once I read the great reveal, I looked back on all of Nico’s past actions in a new light with a new understanding.

Although I love Annabeth and Percy’s journey, and thoroughly enjoy the fact that Nico seems to finally be finding his place amongst the others, it’s Frank’s journey that really pulls me in. His discomfort throughout the story at his identity as Ares’ / Mars’ son is tangible. His inability to understand how to take charge and fight throughout makes me think of a cuddly teddy bear. And this idea is reflected in the others’ views of him. But, his ability to harness his abilities and use his brain to fight the good fight were admirable. It is Frank that reminds me that brawn can be brains too. That the child of war can show the honourable side of such a battle.

<- The Mark of Athena Review The Blood of Olympus Review ->
Image source: Hypable

The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

Overview

The Mark of Athena

Title: The Mark of Athena
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: The Heroes of Olympus #3Camp Half-Blood Chronicles #11
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: Let’s go see what that means.

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Synopsis

ONE FATAL PROPHECY. SEVEN BRAVE DEMIGODS. A QUEST TO FIND – AND CLOSE – THE DOORS OF DEATH.

Annabeth and her friends Piper, Jason and Leo have landed at Camp Jupiter with one mission in mind. The time has come for Roman and Greek demigods to unite. With Percy Jackson, hazel and Frank by their side, they must combine forces to find – and close – the Doors of Death.

But Annabeth is hiding a secret – a command from her mother, the goddess of war and wisdom: ‘Follow the Mark of Athena. Avenge me.‘ Annabeth is already risking her life… What more does Athena want her daughter to do?

Now the seven demigods must begin their quest across land and sea to Rome, but what will they have to sacrifice this time – and what unspeakable horrors await?

Thoughts

For me, The Mark of Athena was Annabeth’s story. She first had to test her pride and courage in Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth, but it was this journey that really tested all that she was. Not only was she forced to strike out on her own and rely completely on her own skills, but Annabeth had a huge choice to make. Honour her mother’s wishes or save the others (and in the meantime, the world).

Not only is Annabeth faced with difficult decision after difficult decision, but, she is also forced to face her greatest fears and toughest challenges. If I hadn’t guessed it from the previous books, Annabeth is an incredibly strong and powerful young woman. And I think that it is this journey that forges her in fire. She comes out much stronger and more confident in her own abilities than before. Annabeth’s character and plight are a great way to remind us all that wisdom is sometimes the most powerful weapon of all. At least, that has always been my belief (or hope).

The parting between Percy and Annabeth after their recent reunion was particularly painful. It was wonderful to see the childhood crush of the previous series bloom into love at the beginning of The Heroes of Olympus series. the way that Percy plans for their future together was maybe one of the sweeter and more realistic aspects of a relationship that I have read. His inability to tell her about it because he was scared – well, that was far more realistic than anything else in the series. It is this love and reluctance to be separated again that gives us the strongest cliff hanger in the series. Well, I was certainly holding my breath and longing for the next book!

<- The Son of Neptune Review The House of Hades Review ->
Image source: Penguin

The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

Overview

The Son of Neptune

Title: The Son of Neptune
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: The Heroes of Olympus #2Camp Half-Blood Chronicles #10
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Mythology, Urban Fantasy
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Penguin
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: She didn’t really believe in charms or fortune telling or ghosts.

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Synopsis

ONE CURSED DEMIGOD. TWO NEW HEROES. A QUEST TO UNLEASH THE GOD OF DEATH…

Percy Jackson, son of Poseidon, God of the Sea, has woken from a very deep sleep and come face to face with two snake-haired ladies who refuse to die.

But they’re the least of his problems. Because Percy finds himself at a camp for half-bloods, which doesn’t ring any bells for him. There’s just one name he remembers from his past. Annabeth.

Only one thing is certain – Percy’s questing days aren’t over. He and fellow demigods Frank and hazel must face the most important quest of all: the Prophecy of Seven. If they fail, it’s not just their camp at risk. Percy’s old life, the gods and the entire world might be destroyed…

Thoughts

The Son of Neptune reintroduces yet another one of my favourite characters from the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. Nico completely plucked at my heartstrings throughout his story and his inability to fit in (even with children who tend to be misfits) made me feel some kind of kinship with him. He is still very dark and unhappy and has a layer of mystery surrounding him – it’s hard to tell whether he is on the side of the heroes, or willing to let the world fall.

The Son of Neptune rounds out the seven heroes that are supposed to save the world. With the addition of Hazel and Frank, the group is complete – not only in numbers, but also in personalities. Hazel is the complete opposite of both Annabeth and Piper – she is meek and has a very dark and troubled past. Contrastingly, Frank is gangly and very unsure of himself and his powers. They’re the cutest of the demigods (at least in my opinion). Contrasted against the others’ confidence and amazing abilities, the insecurities and ways in which they are just slightly more withdrawn from the world not only makes me want to hug them, but also makes their journeys of discovery so much more potent.

Paralleling Hazel’s past with Frank, Percy and Hazel’s quest provided two enthralling storylines that pulled me in. One was fast paced and almost impossible to predict what was going to happen, while the other was laden with foreshadowing and provided you with glimpses into the heroine’s insecurities.

Without giving much away, the idea that Death could be chained was fascinating. I’m sure that everyone has wanted to stop Death in its tracks – losing someone you love is incredibly painful. But, the realities of this are driven home throughout the story. Yes, Death could be cheated, but then even those that wanted the peace of death may be forced to come back. It was a great reminder that the beauty and importance of life is highlighted through the darkness of death.

<- The Lost Hero Review The Mark of Athena Review ->
Image source: The Gold Journal

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

Overview

The Lost Hero

Title: The Lost Hero
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: The Heroes of Olympus #1Camp Half-Blood Chronicles #9
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Mythology, Urban Fantasy
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Penguin
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: Beckendorf and Percy Jackson blew up a cruise ship full of monsters.

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Synopsis

OLD ENEMIES AWAKEN AS CAMP HALF-BLOOD’S NEW ARRIVALS PREPARE FOR WAR.

When Jason, Piper and Leo crash-land at Camp Half-Blood, they have no idea what to expect. Apparently this is the only safe place for children of the Greek gods – despite the monsters roaming the woods and demigods practising archery with flaming arrows and explosives.

But rumours of a terrible curse – and a missing hero – are flying around camp. It seems Jason, Piper and Leo are the chosen ones who must embark on a terrifying new quest, which must be completed by the winter solstice. In just four days’ time.

Can the trio succeed on this deadly mission – and what must they sacrifice in order to survive?

Thoughts

I loved delving into the world of Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase again. For someone with an obsession with reading, Greek mythology and fantasy, this series is definitely one that has me coming back again and again – so the expansion of the Percy Jackson verse was kind of exciting. Plus, it begins a journey that is way more intense and epic than Percy Jackson and the Olympians.

The Lost Hero introduces three new key characters to the Percy Jackson verse – Piper, Leo and Jason. And, honestly, it is a tie between whether I love Piper or Annabeth more. Piper is the daughter of love and as such, feels kind of useless and insignificant. But, throughout the tale, she proves again and again and again the power of such an emotion. She isn’t the meek, vain girl that is expected, but a power in her own right. Her journey to discovering her own strength while helping her comrades was so nice, and again, Riordan helped to remind us that we all have our own strengths and weaknesses, and in embracing them we can discover who we truly are.

Adding a slightly violence crazed satyr to the mix of powerful piper, lost Leo and forgetful Jason helped to add more flavour and humour to the story. His habit of yelling die and taking swings at potential enemies with his baseball bat was such a stark contrast to Grover that I couldn’t help but giggling. It also had me rereading the book a few times, if only to giggle at the slightly more inopportune moments of his violent emotions.

The conclusion of this story brings to light the Roman-Greek crossover throughout this series. I had wondered about the Roman side of the Gods while reading Percy Jackson and the Olympians, so finding out that this had been considered throughout the writing process was fun and interesting. And, as with his adaptation of the Greek Gods, very well thought out and engaging.

<- The Crown of Ptolemy Review The Son of Neptune Review ->
Image source: Wikia