Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Review: Percy Jackson & the Olympians: Part 1

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's master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.
After a summer spent trying to prevent a catastrophic war among the Greek gods, Percy Jackson is finding his seventh-grade school year unnervingly quiet. His biggest problem is dealing with his new friend, Tyson, a six-foot-three, mentally challenged homeless kid who follows Percy everywhere, making it hard for Percy to have any normal friends. But things don't stay quiet for long.

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.

I actually started reading this series a few months ago, after I saw the trailer for the movie (no, I haven't seen it yet.) and I'm really glad I did. I've always liked books that use old mythology like the Gods in new ways, and Riordan brought the Greek Gods and their legends to the modern world in a way that just fit.

I had a couple problems with the character development--Eisley Jacobs said, in her review of the first book that it's far fetched to believe that these kids are so lacking in common sense that they continue to make the choices they make. I actually have the opposite reaction. I felt that Percy seemed a bit too mature for a 12 year old. He came across (to me) as mentally a 15-16 year old in the first 3 books. Their choices could definitely have been better advised, but...I had the feeling that even New York raised kids at 12 wouldn't have been able to handle all of the things that were happening.

Regardless of that, though, these books catch you from the first pages and don't let go until you've finished them. And then you're left going, "I need the next one. Now."

I really do love how integral all of the characters are to the storyline--from the less than pleasant Daughter of Ares (who has always been one my favorite Greek Gods, if only because of Xena. *heehee*) to the drunken lout, Dionysus.

While reading, you forget that these books are for kids and all you can think about is what happens next.

Rating: 4 Stars

Part 2: Coming soon...

1 comment:

Jillian said...

This is a great review! I have an award for you on my blog :)