Check out the book I'm writing!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Book Review: Percy Jackson and the Olympians (series)

Title and author: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Rick Riordan

Summary: This is a series of five books. In the first book, 12 year Percy Jackson discovers that he is a demi-god: half-god, and half-human, and that there are many kids like him all over the world. As it turns out, the gods of ancient Greece never faded away, they just moved to New York, and have been up to their usual activities, albeit with modern twists, ever since.

The demi-gods are targets for ancient monsters that still roam the earth, and so take refuge in the safety of Camp Half-Blood, where they are trained to become heros. Adventures ensue.

My Review: Anytime a book alludes to Greek mythology, I watch closely to see what mistakes the author makes. Riordan makes very few. I've found that I can actually tell which of my students have read the series because they know their Greek mythology so much better than the one's who haven't.

The biggest criticism I've heard of the series is that it's a rip-off of Harry Potter, but I don't find that to be the case. Instead, it's a simple matter that both books clearly and deliberately follow the quest cycle common in ancient myth.

The characters are likable, the pacing is excellent, and so is the writer. Riordan is a masterful storyteller, and he knows his material well.

Age appropriate/kid friendly/morality: This book is intended for middle school audiences and above. It has the usual issues one finds in ancient myth (gods having children with mortals, etc.), but the human characters are all very well-behaved. Mature kids ages 7 and up will probably be fine reading these books.

Recommended: If you like myth and fantasy, this is for you. If not, then you probably won't like it. Adults may find the books feel a little young, but the adventures are exciting enough to keep older readers interested, and it's always intriguing to see which myth Riordan is going to take on next.

No comments: