Tag Archives: Percy Jackson

Flashback Friday Review: The Titan’s Curse (Percy Jackson & The Olympians #3)

Flashback Friday is a meme hosted by Fic Fare and Swoony Boys Podcast, featuring reviews of books that have been out longer than two years but are no less awesome and deserving!

The Titan’s Curse

by Rick Riordan

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians #3

Source: Purchased

Book Summary:

When the goddess Artemis goes missing, she is believed to have been kidnapped. And now it’s up to Percy and his friends to find out what happened. Who is powerful enough to kidnap a goddess?  They must find Artemis before the winter solstice, when her influence on the Olympian Council could swing an important vote on the war with the titans. Not only that, but first Percy will have to solve the mystery of a rare monster that Artemis was hunting when she disappeared’a monster rumored to be so powerful it could destroy Olympus forever.

book thoughts

(spoilers if you haven’t read the first two books)

So I was really enjoying this series so far. Then I read this book and completely fell in love with it. Those high-stakes and high emotions I mentioned in my review of The Lightning Thief, those aspects I’m always on the lookout for? Here they are!

We get a nice injection of female power in this one, with the arrival of the Hunters of Artemis, partly perhaps to clam the sting of Annabeth being largely absent from this installment.

The Goddess Artemis herself shows up here, and is generally awesome and actually relatable and not just snobby and power-mad as many of the Gods are portrayed. She appears as a twelve year old girl, and at one point declares “If this is Olympian justice, I will have no part in it!”, after an impassioned speech in favor of the Gods rewarding and not punishing the various assorted demigods. To which her brother, the ego-inflated, but otherwise refreshingly relatable Apollo, in the form of a teenage guy, suggests “Chill out, sis.” Seeing the Gods as real people – a bickering, squabbling family, who just happen to also control the world, is one of the most appealing and well-done aspects of this series.

After the revelation at the end of the second book, I was really looking forward to meeting Thalia. It seemed kind of quick to me, that they just fast-forwarded to six months later from the end of that last book, but we got some helpful catch-up info at least. Thalia is a great character infuriating at times but always interesting. It was nice getting a winter adventure here, the only one in this series. Especially when it is incorporated into the story, such as when Percy battles “Santa’s evil twin”. (I love the author;s chapter titles. I totally miss them in the Heroes of Olympus series.)

I love the little things in this series, like Nico playing a card game based on the Greek Gods, and telling Dionysus that he still thought he was cool, even if most players thought he was the weakest God ever, and Percy hoping Nico wouldn’t ask how many hit points Percy had. Great stuff.

The various myths that were incorporated in this installment definitely worked, and were surprising to me. I also loved the little seeds planted here and there for future installments. (view spoiler).

I can’t say exactly why this one made me fall in love. Even with little Annabeth involvement (and I love Annabeth) the character interaction was just top-notch and the plot had the perfect amount of peril and tension. Also, the villains accidentally grew zombie saber-toothed kittens and just sort of let them wander around the National Mall. Which is awesome.

5paperhearts


Review: The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson & The Olympians #2)

The Sea of Monsters

by Rick Riordan

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians #2

Source: Purchased

Book Summary:

Percy Jackson’s seventh-grade year has been surprisingly quiet. Not a single monster has set foot on his New York prep-school campus. But when an innocent game of dodgeball among Percy and his classmates turns into a death match against an ugly gang of cannibal giants, things get . . . well, ugly. And the unexpected arrival of Percy’s friend Annabeth brings more bad news: the magical borders that protect Camp Half-Blood have been poisoned by a mysterious enemy, and unless a cure is found, the only safe haven for demigods will be destroyed.

In this fresh, funny, and hugely anticipated follow up to The Lightning Thief, Percy and his friends must journey into the Sea of Monsters to save their beloved camp. But first, Percy will discover a stunning new secret about his family—one that makes him question whether being claimed as Poseidon’s son is an honor or simply a cruel joke.

book thoughts

This book was so much fun. I get worried when I see a sequel is shorter than a first in a series. I think I associate it with the book being hastily produced or otherwise rushed (I probably have this issue because Harry Potter 5 is my all-time favorite and then HP6 came out and was way too short and felt rushed. I think it gave me a complex or something.)

Anyway. This book cured me of said complex. It didn’t need to be longer. A lot happens. A lot happens that doesn’t necessarily seem to be advancing the overall plot thread of the series, but this is only because we can’t see the whole picture. When we do…wow.

Percy and his friends actually go to the Sea of Monsters (which, like all ancient Greek stuff, has relocated to the reigning Western power, America, and so is now located – where else? – in the Bermuda Triangle), dwelling place of all those fun people like Circe, the sirens, and man – or satyr – eating cyclopses. And speaking of cyclops, I just love Tyson. He is the best.

We get to meet more Gods, which is always fun. Being such a fan of mythology as I am, it’s awesome to always be wondering who is going to pop up next, and still often end up surprised because there is just SO much material for the author to work with. And even when I can guess where things are headed, well…it’s still fun because then I feel clever. 🙂

There were some very emotional moments that I wasn’t expected, but was pleasantly surprised. We see farther into Annabeth’s character and she really comes into her own, as her own hero, bot Percy’s sidekick. Even Grover really grows, and though he doesn’t believe it himself, he is MUCH more than Percy’s sidekick. Even mean-girl Ares camper Clarisse is humanized.

We also learn that monsters are responsible for chain restaurants. What more could you ask for?

Oh, and p.s. from my inner 9-year-old self: OMG FISH PONIES!

5paperhearts


Review: The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1)

The Lightning Thief

by Rick Riordan

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1

Source: Purchased

Book Summary:

Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school… again. And that’s the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy’s Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he’s angered a few of them. Zeus’ master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.

Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus’ stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

book thoughts

I saw the movie a few years ago and liked it, so I bought the box-set for my husband for Christmas. He plowed through them and then insisted I needed to read them soon too. Then one day he just plopped this one in my hand and said “read”, so I obliged.

I think I may have been resistant because I don’t go for “light” reads. I need high stakes and high emotions (which is why I mostly read YA). However, much like Harry Potter, the Percy Jackson series manages to be entertaining, fun, humorous and at the same time handle a very serious, high-stakes plot. I’m definitely not the first person to make the HP comparison, but it is relevant. Both are middle grade fantasy epics with sweeping world-building and absorbing narrative. It’s not a rip-off at all. Rowling sourced Harry Potter from a plethora or myth and lore, but Percy Jackson is firmly rooted in the Greek mythological tradition. This is just SO MUCH there. I’m a lifelong mythology buff and I was still researching Greek mythology every few chapters or so, not because it was necessary to understand the plot (it’s not – you can have zero knowledge of mythology and still understand and like the story), but because my interest was peaked and I wanted to know more. I assume this was the author’s intention and it certainly worked!

It’s rare to find a book that sucked me in as much as this one did. There are books I love to death, more than this one, but don’t have that rest-of-the-world-disappears factor to them. I was pleasantly surprised how much I lost track of time reading this book and the ones that came after.

Don’t be like me and assume you won’t like it as much because it’s not YA. So there’s no romance. Fair enough, but there are still strong bonds forged and great character interaction, and enough to make you realize what direction the plot is going in in terms of romance. It’s not a “kid’s book” just because the protagonist is twelve. After all, demigods have to fight hard to survive before they even reach their teens, so they’re more mature than most. The characters don’t feel like “little kids”, they feel like people, who happen to be twelve or so. You can relate to their struggles whether you’re 9, 19, 29 or 69. Doesn’t matter. Great story, great characters, great narrative. Read it.

5paperhearts