The Chamber of Secrets is one of my all-time favourite Harry Potter books (if I must pick a favourite that is). If I’m in the mood for a Harry Potter book and don’t feel like reading the whole series (since that can take a few months), it’s the second book that I tend to pick up.
I don’t think that you can say anything about a Harry Potter book these days that someone else hasn’t said. It is so ingrained into our culture and our minds, that I can’t even imagine a person who hasn’t read or at least heard of, the Harry Potter novels. It is certainly ingrained into my memory and childhood.
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.
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).
The Son of Neptune introduces 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.
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.
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!
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.