Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: a fresh take on old Greek mythology

About six months ago I read a blog post from my mentoree Bex about a series that she and her husband were reading – "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" by author Rick Riordan.  She was very excited because they were going to turn it into a movie.  My curiosity got the best of me and I looked it up online.

Percy Jackson is having a rough year at school.  His dyslexia is getting worse, making it near impossible for him to read.  Other kids are getting him in trouble with a teacher that seems to have it out for him.  He doesn’t want to get kicked out of another school so he tries to stay out of trouble.  Little does he know that trouble is already there to get him!

There are five books in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.  They document the transformation of Percy from awkward teen to Greek hero in a modern setting.  Originally written for children, the books are a wonderful read for all ages.

The Lightning Thief

What if the gods of Olympus were alive in the 21st Century? What if they still fell in love with mortals and had children who might become great heroes — like Theseus, Jason and Hercules?

What if you were one of those children?

Such is the discovery that launches twelve-year-old Percy Jackson on the most dangerous quest of his life. With the help of a satyr and a daughter of Athena, Percy must journey across the United States to catch a thief who has stolen the original weapon of mass destruction – Zeus’ master bolt. Along the way, he must face a host of mythological enemies determined to stop him. Most of all, he must come to terms with a father he has never known, and an Oracle that has warned him of betrayal by a friend.

The Sea of Monsters

When Thalia’s tree is mysteriously poisoned, the magical borders of Camp Half-Blood begin to fail. Now Percy and his friends have just days to find the only magic item powerful to save the camp before it is overrun by monsters. The catch: they must sail into the Sea of Monsters to find it. Along the way, Percy must stage a daring rescue operation to save his old friend Grover, and he learns a terrible secret about his own family, which makes him question whether being the son of Poseidon is an honor or a curse.




The Titan’s Curse

When Percy Jackson gets an urgent distress call from his friend Grover, he immediately prepares for battle. He knows he will need his powerful demigod allies at his side, his trusty bronze sword Riptide, and . . . a ride from his mom.

The demigods rush to the rescue to find that Grover has made an important discovery: two powerful half-bloods whose parentage is unknown. But that’s not all that awaits them. The titan lord Kronos has devised his most treacherous plot yet, and the young heroes have just fallen prey.

They’re not the only ones in danger. An ancient monster has arisen — one rumored to be so powerful it could destroy Olympus — and Artemis, the only goddess who might know how to track it, is missing. Now Percy and his friends, along with the Hunters of Artemis, have only a week to find the kidnapped goddess and solve the mystery of the monster she was hunting.

Along the way, they must face their most dangerous challenge yet: the chilling prophecy of the titan’s curse.

The Battle of the Labyrinth

Percy Jackson isn’t expecting freshman orientation to be any fun, but when a mysterious mortal acquaintance appears, pursued by demon cheerleaders, things quickly go from bad to worse.

Time is running out for Percy. War between the gods and the Titans is drawing near. Even Camp Half-Blood isn’t safe, as Kronos’s army prepares to invade its once impenetrable borders. To stop them, Percy and his friends must set out on a quest through the Labyrinth — a sprawling underground world with surprises and danger at every turn.

Along the way Percy will confront powerful enemies, find out the truth about the lost god Pan, and face the Titan lord Kronos’s most terrible secret. The final war begins . . . with the Battle of the Labyrinth.

The Last Olympian

All year the half-bloods have been preparing for battle against the Titans, knowing the odds of victory are grim. Kronos’s army is stronger than ever, and with every god and half-blood he recruits, the evil Titan’s power only grows.

While the Olympians struggle to contain the rampaging monster Typhon, Kronos begins his advance on New York City, where Mount Olympus stands virtually unguarded. Now it’s up to Percy Jackson and an army of young demigods to stop the Lord of Time. In this momentous final book in the New York Times best-selling Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, the long-awaited prophecy surrounding Percy’s sixteenth birthday unfolds. And as the battle for Western civilization rages on the streets of Manhattan, Percy faces a terrifying suspicion that he may be fighting against his own fate.

Once you are done reading these it will be about time for the release of Riordan’s latest book The Kane Chronicles, Book 1: The Red Pyramid.  The Egyptian pantheon will never be the same!

The Red Pyramid

Since their mother’s death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.

One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a "research experiment" at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.

Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them--Set--has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe--a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family, and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.

And for those of you who really enjoyed the Percy books, the adventures of the Greek pantheon are not over just yet.  According to Riordan’s blog, Myth & Mystery, Disney-Hyperion books has announced a new series called "The Heroes of Olympus" that will introduce some new heroes and welcome back some of our favorites.

3 comments:

Wendy said...

I so want to read these and see the movie. I missed it when it came out. Thanks for the review :)

Sparrow said...

The movie was good (we saw it the day it came out), but the books are so much better!

Kat said...

OOOOO EGYPT!!! YES!!

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