Thursday, July 14, 2011

Book Review: The Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series

I guess I should really call this a "series review" rather than a book review, but these books are just too amazing! The series is called Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan, and I think it's safe to say that this is my new favorite series. I know that it's already been out for a while, but I only recently finished the last book and felt that this was something I had to share with all of you.
Book 1: The Lightning Thief
375 pages
There are five books in this series, and they allow the reader to follow the quirky and heroic Percy Jackson from the age of 12 to just past his 16th birthday. Percy's always been a little bit different and always seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Because this leads people to believe that he's quite the trouble maker, he moves schools a lot and wonders why he can't just be normal. And as it turns out, it's because he's not normal: he's a demigod! In the first book, Percy learns that he is the son of the Greek sea god Poseidon and begins to attend Camp Half-Blood, where there are many other kids just like him.
Book 2: The Sea of Monsters
279 pages
At Camp Half-Blood, Percy makes lots of friends, including Grover the satyr and Annabeth daughter of Athena. The series chronicles the friends' quests and adventures, in which they encounter prophecies, mythological monsters, mazes, and many powerful gods. At the end, however, it is up to the young demigods to find the inner strength to accomplish the impossible.
Book 3: The Titan's Curse
312 pages
As I already mentioned, I absolutely loved this series. It's written from Percy's point of view, which makes for an hilarious and engaging narrative that you just won't want to stop reading. In fact, I like to think of these books as the next Harry Potter series, but for a slightly younger audience. Because it's written in first person from the young hero's point of view, I think younger readers will identify with Percy long before they're ready to read Harry Potter. Although the characters face similar end-of-life-as-we-know-it situations, the books are less dark and brooding and therefore easier for children and younger readers to get into.
Book 4: The Battle of the Labyrinth
361 pages
That being said, I am 19 and still adore these books. The attraction for me is that not only do you get to meet deep, multilayered characters that you genuinely come to care about, but Rick Riordan has also crafted some of the best action sequences I have ever read. The vivid scenes are reminiscent of thrilling Blockbuster movies, and if you can't picture exactly what he's described, well, then you should probably get your imagination checked. I think boys in particular will love these action sequences and the fact that the plot of each installment is so fast paced that they will never want to put the book down.
Book 5: The Last Olympian
381 pages
Needless to say, I would recommend this entire series to anyone who loved Harry Potter and is looking for their next magical adventure, regardless of their age. I do, however, think that this is a particularly good read for young, reluctant readers, as they will be so engrossed in the story and characters that they won't even realize how quickly they will go through the entire series. At my level and speed of reading, I can have read one of these books cover to cover in about four to five hours, they are just that griping. So if you're looking for a fun adventure series that is great for the whole family, look no further!

I hope, if you haven't already read the series, you'll take me up on my suggestion and read it. If you do, I would love to hear some of your thoughts on the series, so leave me a comment below!

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Thanks for reading! If you have any comments or questions, feel free to leave them here. I would love to hear from you!