Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Book Review - Percy Jackson and The Olympians (fiction)

Percy Jackson & the Olympians is a series of fictional adventure and fantasy books authored by Rick Riordan. The series if you couldn't guess is geared towards young adults. The story and journey focuses around Percy Jackson and his demigod (half mortal/half god) friends in a world where Greek gods exist in modern day and all the mythology we learned in school were all true. As in the mythology, the gods mated with mortals and Percy is a product of one of these encounters. His father is one of the Big Three Gods--Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades, you find out who midway through the first book. Percy goes to many quests to retrieve something or fix a situation (again these quests are similar to the ones of other Greek heroes--Hercules, Achilles, Perseus, etc.). The overarching storyline that spans throughout the series is that there is an enemy who is trying to destroy Olympus, and there is the great prophecy that may or may not involve Percy and his friends in helping or deterring that enemy.

Penny's Take: 3.5 out of 5
You may remember my review of the movie Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief. Well, that movie was based on the first book of the five book series. I recently finished the entirebook series and now would like to review it as a whole.

Overall, I thought the book did a great job in educating readers about famous myths and Greek gods and how they are relevant today. The book made Greek mythology cool to the kids today. I liked how it infused modern day electronics like cellphones and iPods and current events but I also feel that because it infused 'trends' of today, it may not stand the test of time. I'm not a huge young adult reader but I have read The Chronicles of Narnia, His Dark Materials, and though I refused for the longest time, and ended up loving it, the Harry Potter series. And they all, to me, can stand the test of time because it wasn't too modern. But this doesn't mean that Percy Jackson & The Olympians isn't as good, it's lacks that timeless feel.

I thought the adventures and how the educational factor was infused was done well. The story was consistent though I question the background of three main characters--Annabeth Chase (daughter of Athena), Thalia Grace (daughter of Zeus), and Luke Castellan (son of Hermes). They came to Camp Half-Blood (a camp for kids who are demigods (half mortal / half god) together and I question if one or two aspects of the story were not fully fleshed out. I'll leave it at that since I don't want to give anything away. I still thought it was an enjoyable read.

No comments: