Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series

Yep, the Percy Jackson and the Olympians week is not over at Books, Books and more Books yet :) Almost, but not yet :) I thought I'd do a little recap and post my thoughts on the overall series.

 

It's clear from reading my reviews that I enjoyed the series :) Yes, there were weaker books, but there were also better books. As a whole, there's only one word to describe this series: GREAT. LOL, okay, there are many words: awesome, enjoyable and fun :P Especially fun. It's really no surprised the kids have enjoyed it so much, and so did the adults.

To me, it all started with the original idea of combining our modern world with the greek mythology. Seriously, this was a great idea for a world building, because Mr Riordan doesn't have to invent everything from scratch. It's really a win-win situation as well: young readers discover the greek mythology while older readers go ahhh and ohhh, remembering facts that were tucked away in their brain. I mean, while reading this series, I realized that I've picked up a lot about greek mythology over the years through tv, books and other media... and it was simply fun to go ahhh, I know this! and recognizing what myths Mr Riordan brought in. It was also the perfect blending between modern world and mythology and all the modern spins were quite humorous :)

Then, there's the plot which was very interesting and well supported by a very solid world building. The only storyline I found weak was the one of The Sea of Monsters. Aside from it, every book had interesting and complete storyline. The most surprising is that everyone of them contributed to the overall plot of the series. While reading the series, you never questioned why the author was taking this direction with this storyline or think that the series could do without this or that book. There was a gradual build-up throughout the series to the climax and every detail and every character seems to be playing a role in it. The action was great, engrossing and made the readers want to continue reading as fast as possible, but the best was definitively the twists and surprises :D They are many of them and they made the storylines so unpredictable, which you  really need to keep the readers hooked and wanting to read more.

Finally, there's the characters. I liked Percy a lot, but I didn't love him and I think this is a good thing. I feel like Mr Riordan wrote Percy the way he wanted, not a character to please the readers :) For example, Percy is not lovable in a sweet, sweet way. Instead, he has a lot of personality, good and bad qualities and that really made him realistic. It's really the same with Annabeth. She's strong and interesting and I like her, but don't love her. All the other secondary characters added substances to the series and were mostly fun to read about. Nico in particular was very interesting and as I said, I love Tyson :) The gods here were important to the storylines, but most of the time, were there to lighten up the mood :P What I really liked about Percy and Annabeth in this series was watching them grow, their maturation process. How they went to being 12 years old half-bloods to 16 years old half-bloods. How they dealt with their emotions and how growing up changed their relationships and their interactions with other characters.

So as you can see, Percy Jackson and the Olympians series was great to read, enjoyable and a lot of fun. I'd say all that is due to the care of Mr Riordan in balancing everything :) The only thing I found strange in this series was the gods relationships... and this is not due to Mr Riordan's writing. I'm a romance reader at the core, right? I love when my characters are faithful to each other and you know, I guess I'm traditional. It's just that the relationships between the gods, well it's weird ^_^; I mean, many of them are siblings, but they don't act that way. Many are parents/children, but they don't act that way. Many are spouses, but they don't act that way ^_^; So it's just a bit weird. I understand that's greek mythology and also immortality... However, when you see the gods having so many half-bloods by so many different mortal parents, well... Also, I think I would have enjoyed seeing older half-bloods, adult ones. Ah well, maybe in the sequel?

So yes, I loved this series. It was great fun and I recommend it to anyone who likes fantasy :) Yes, this is a young adult series, but it has great plots and world building and likable characters. Plus, Mr Riordan doesn't play the moral, preaching card... so this is pure entertainment :D

6 comments:

  1. Nath, I absolutely agree with your take on this series. Riordan certainly tied up all the loose ends and kept this series fun and adventurous throughout. I loved the contemporary feel to it, and I think that's one of the things that attracted young readers to this series. Excellent summary!

    PS: I did fall in love with Percy. He was too snarky for me not to fall in love with him, lol! I'm easy. :)

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  2. Hey there, Saw the movie. It was good but there are some things that kind of bugged me.

    I really loved this series. Did you know there is a graphic novel of the first book coming out in the fall. Also, there is a 3 short story collection too. The demi god files. One of the short storys happens in between the 4th and 5th book. :)

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  3. Hilcia - Thanks Hilcia :D I really enjoyed it and I really think it's due to the world building :D

    LOL, I really liked Percy, especially his snarky side... but no love, I mean, I don't go back to read the books because I want to read about Percy again :D

    Isabel - What bugged you, Isabel?

    I had a 25% off coupon and I almost bought The Demi-God Files... but I didn't... Hmm, maybe I'll have to reconsider.

    Well I have to say thank you to you two ladies, Hils and Isabel, since it's because of you that I picked up the books :D

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  4. that they had persephone in the movie but did not show Dionysus at all. And he helps run the camp!!!

    I"m gonna review it for boob tube so i'll add more.

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  5. I commented on your review of the first book, nath, but that's as far as I read for now, so I skipped the others. I'm looking for the right post to discuss the movie vs. the book. Am I in the right place? LOL.

    I had the same complaint as Isabel. How the heck did they leave out Dionysus. I thought his character was pretty important!

    Can I post spoilers here?

    ********** SPOILER *************
    Another complaint... I had a VERY hard time believing Luke was the lightning thief. There's no way he could have stolen Zeus' lightning bolt on his own. Ares was completely eliminated from the theft plot and for his role in Percy's prophecy. That was weak.

    Speaking of Percy's prophecy... where the heck was it in the film? He never sees the Oracle in the movie? What the heck? Again.. .weak.

    What happened to Hades' helm being missing, too? That was a large part of how Hades got involved in this whole mess, too!

    And Persephone? Why? Just so she could help them leave the underworld? Didn't work for me.

    Frankly, I'm happy to say that my 10 year old didn't like these inconsistencies either. :)

    ************ END SPOILER ****************

    I guess that's it for now. I'm sure I'll think of something else. LOL.

    Considering all that, though, the movie was entertaining and I had fun seeing it with my girls. :)

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  6. Isabel - Heading towards your review, Isabel!

    Christine - LOL, go a head, Christine :D I don't mind spoilers at all :) and yes, I guess this is the place to discuss the movie :)

    Ugh, it sucks that they took out Dionysus :( He was a fun character!

    Actually, in the Lightning Thief, Luke was the one who stole the bolt all on his own. Then, Zeus sent out his daughters and sons after the thief and Luke was lucky that Ares was the one who captured him, so Luke was able to talk Ares out of turning him in in order to create war. However, if you had a hard time believing it, then that means Luke's characterization/portrayal wasn't great.

    I can't believe they left out Percy's prophecy!!! Then what is going to be the other movies basis?!?!

    I knew hat Hades's helm of darkness was going to be left out. That really sucks because it's part of the twist that makes the book so interesting :(

    LOL, your 10 years old is a true book lover!! :D After reading your comments and Isabel, I'm still going to see the movie, but meh... I knew from the trailer that I wouldn't be liking it too much. sigh.

    Glad you had fun with your girls.

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