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Percy Jackson & the Olympians

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The first book in the Percy Jackson & The Olympians series.

The first book in the Percy Jackson & The Olympians series.

The first book in the Percy Jackson & The Olympians series.

Mary Smith

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“Look, I didn’t want to be a half-blood”

That snarky opening line has spawned a five book series, a second series and two feature films. It is how we are first introduced to Percy Jackson. At the start of the books Percy is twelve years old and is about to find out that his father is Poseidon. Yes that Poseidon, the ancient Greek God who controls the oceans. In the Percy Jackson books everything the ancient Greeks wrote about is actually true. Which is why being a demi-god (or half-blood) is so dangerous. Demi- gods regularly get attacked by all sorts of monsters.The more powerful your god parent is, the easier it is for the monsters to find you. And if your father is Poseidon? Be prepared to fight for your life every single day. Each of the books start out with Percy in our boring everyday world, but he always gets pulled back into the world of the gods.

The first five books are about the prophecy of the end of the world. Kronos, the father of the current ruling gods, will return to claim his throne. In ancient Greek mythology, Kronos was a titan who ate all his children so they couldn’t overthrow him. Needless to say the current gods still hold a grudge about their father eating them. They overthrew their father and spread the pieces of his body in Tartarus. Now he is returning, raising his armies to destroy his children.

Each book has its own adventure that connects to an ancient myth. In the first book, Percy is accused of Stealing Zeus’s master lightening bolt and he must go and find it. Along the way they run into Medusa who of course tries to turn them to stone. After running into other creatures, Percy, along with his best friends, retrieve the master lightening bolt and return it to Zeus in time. The rest of the books follow a similar story pattern with each quest working to aid the fight against Kronos. All of this leading to the last book and the final epic battle in New York City.

Even though the subject matter is serious, the books are also hilarious. Most of the humor is dry and sarcastic, but there are some truly ridiculous things in this universe. The books are all told in first person by Percy, so we get his acerbic take on his absolutely insane life.

Rick Riordan, the author, has created sharp, funny, but relatable characters. He is one of the best story tellers of today and I absolutely recommend reading the Percy Jackson Books. If you are more of a visual person, you can watch the first two movies. The Lightening Thief was released in 2010 and is now on dvd and Blu-ray. The second movie, The Sea of Monsters, was released in theaters August 7, and you still have time to go see it. However as someone who loves the books, I have to say that cliché line.

The books are so much better than the movies.

 

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Percy Jackson & the Olympians