Percy Jackson series - Rick Riordan

Mark Robson

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I don't know if anyone else here has discovered this series yet, but I've fallen in love with it. I think Percy Jackson is a fantastic character and the premise is so clever that I'm heartily jealous of Rick Riordan for coming up with it.

According to Rick the Greek gods were never the Greek gods at all - they were the gods of western civilization. Ergo, when the centre of western culture shifted to Rome, the gods all changed their names and moved to Italy. Then it shifted again to France, but the French (bless their strings of onions) did not believe in the gods, so Zeus and co sort of just blended themselves into the background. Then they moved to the UK and more recently have hopped across the Atlantic to the latest centre of Western civilization - the US. Now they're all living in Manhattan doing what they always did best - carousing with humans and producing a string of half-breeds!

Percy Jackson is the half blood son of Poseidon and an earth woman. As the strapline on the cover says, he is: Half god, half boy, all hero! No sooner does he discover his heritage than he is given a quest. Someone has stolen Zeus' master thunderbolt. Everyone is pointing fingers at Hades. Percy is tasked with recovering it in double quick time, before a war starts between the gods.

Any book that starts with the Chapter 1 title: 'I accidentally vapourise my maths teacher' wins a fan as far as I'm concerned. From what I've seen so far, Rick Riordan is a very talented writer who has taken a fabulous idea, built a marvellous story around it and imbued the whole with wonderful humour. This series is a MUST for any fans of good YA fiction!
 

MJRevell

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I've read the first one, but haven't got round to the others yet. Was a good read though :D
 

Patrick Mahon

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I'm reading the first one in this series at the moment, and thoroughly enjoying it - a good mix of excitement and humour! Thanks for the recommendation, Mark. :)
 

Stormpirate

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I found this series not too long ago, and absolutely love it. I haven't read the fourth book yet (Battle of the Labyrinth) as I'm waiting for it in paperback, but I've really enjoyed each book. I love Grover!
 

kythe

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I'm surprised there hasn't been more discussion on this series (unless I've missed a thread). I just finished the 5th and final book today, and it left me wanting more.

The Percy Jackson books were very well though-out, with the stories intertwining and really coming together in the end. The author definately knows his Greek mythology, and manages to stick to the myths despite putting them in a modern setting. I've found myself doing some research in non-fiction books on Greek myths just to learn more about some of the characters and events that are referenced.

I'm sorry to see this series end, since I've really enjoyed reading about Percy's adventures. :)
 

soulsinging

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I've been intrigued by these for a while now, but was hesitant because so much of it seemed like a Harry Potter knock off. Not that I've never read derivative fantasy fiction before, but some of the parallels just seemed way too obvious. Does it avoid that?
 

Dozmonic

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I've only read Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters or something along those lines - we had it lying around the staff room at work. It was quite enjoyable, but it doesn't compare to JK Rowling's writing from book 3 and onwards. It's more comparable to the first two books, though maybe he'll improve as JK did (those first two books are bloody awful to read!). I did find it quite "American", somewhat similar to what I thought when first reading Clive Cussler. However, as with Clive Cussler, it's not offputting. Unlike James Patterson or Patricia Cornwell. Reading their stuff gives me ADHD :)
 

kythe

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I don't think it really compares to Harry Potter, aside from being in the same genre. Both stories involve boys about the same age who have magical experiences, but that's about where the similarities end.

Harry Potter will always have more popularity. Despite the premise, Harry Potter is really a more mature story with greater appeal to preteens-adults.

Percy Jackson is written on about a 4th grade level, somewhat lower than Harry Potter, and it's not nearly as "dark". I was introduced to it through my 4th grade daughter who read it with her class. It's a huge hit in her elementary school. As an adult, I find myself relating more to the kids' parents in the story than to the kids themselves. I still enjoyed the series enough to recommend it, even to adults.
 

JB_Dresden

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I'm curious for any fans of the series, have you see the trailer yet for the Lightning Thief? If so, what do you think of it? Are you excited for the movie or afraid it will not do the books justice? Just curious, I always like hearing people's thoughts on books to movies.
 

Mark Robson

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Hi JB. I went and saw the film with an open mind. I'm afraid it does rather mash the storyline in the book, but if you've not read the book, then it makes for entertaining family viewing. As a fan of the Percy Jackson books I found some of the storyline changes irritating, but managed to look past that and enjoy the cinematic experience and special effects-fest. It was a fun evening out.
 

treicina

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I finished the series a few days ago, and I must say it was a thousand times better than I'd expected when I first bought it. After I started reading the first book, I couldn't stop until I finished the whole series. I really love Riordan's humoristic style to write, and I also learned a lot about the greek gods and goddesses (and what luck that I decided to read the books now, because in two days I'll have my history exam and the greek mythology is part of it :p. Won't have to study that part as fervently now!)
 

Moggle

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I read all the books and found them entertaining, but they don't exactly have much depth. They're more or less written for children.
 

Orionis

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I've bought the first book of the series for my 11-year-old son. I'm interested in reading them, but I too (along with some others here it seems) fear I will constantly be comparing it to Harry Potter, therefore left disappointed.
While I don't mind reading children's books, I do want them to be interesting and intriguing enough to make it worth my time.

Also noted, Riordan has apparently come out with a new series involving Egyptian mythology.
 

Palagrin

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Although HP and PJ do have some similaritites, they deal with such different things that it's quite hard to compare them with each other.
 

virus

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Hi JB. I went and saw the film with an open mind. I'm afraid it does rather mash the storyline in the book, but if you've not read the book, then it makes for entertaining family viewing. As a fan of the Percy Jackson books I found some of the storyline changes irritating, but managed to look past that and enjoy the cinematic experience and special effects-fest. It was a fun evening out.


Dude you are so right. The movie was very annoying in many parts. Also the characters do not look anything like the characters described in the books. Hey I read every single book Rick Riordan wrote I loved them. I can't wait till The Son of Neptune comes out. And now a question: What book series should I read next?I want something like Percy Jackson series or The Lost Hero. :cool:
 

ghost8772

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Good luck with that, I haven't seen any books that are on par with the Percy Jackson ones.

For those noting that its more of a kids books, I'd disagree. How to Train your Dragn was a kids book, seriously shallow, and not a whole lot of story anyways, Junie B Jones is a kids book, bad grammar and all. Percy Jackson is a true YA book, not too twisted a plot, though it does have some riddling going on. But it didn't fall into the HP trap of maturing the story way beyond YA levels. I read book 7 of HP and was wondering if I wanted my daughter to EVER read the series because it became so dark, depressing, and had so many overtones of abuse-of-trust thrown in. Percy Jackson books were a very enjoyable read, especially since I enjoyed reading Greek Mythology stories growing up, and found in a contemporary fiction piece, the same stories with plausible reasons for them to remain valid, not drug out dust covered and attempt to get people to find them interesting as they were millenia ago. My hat is off to Riordan, but I'm not going to go through the Heroes of Olympus series until they are all written, I HATE waiting for the "next" book to come out. Years I've needed to be patient etc... I finished the first section, I'll wait for the second, in the mean time re-read the first run, and maybe Narnia, and Jane Yolen's Dragon books, when I want a YA bint in my reading.

As far as the movie goes. Hollywood lived back down to my expectations of a movie not being as good as the book it was "based on" (How to train your dragon had me thinking "maybe there had been a lull in the trend." this has been corrected to "that was a rather enjoyable fluke") Mashing Clarisse and Annabeth's characters into one being? what were they thinking?
 

Persona

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Good luck with that, I haven't seen any books that are on par with the Percy Jackson ones.

For those noting that its more of a kids books, I'd disagree. How to Train your Dragn was a kids book, seriously shallow, and not a whole lot of story anyways, Junie B Jones is a kids book, bad grammar and all. Percy Jackson is a true YA book, not too twisted a plot, though it does have some riddling going on. But it didn't fall into the HP trap of maturing the story way beyond YA levels. I read book 7 of HP and was wondering if I wanted my daughter to EVER read the series because it became so dark, depressing, and had so many overtones of abuse-of-trust thrown in. Percy Jackson books were a very enjoyable read, especially since I enjoyed reading Greek Mythology stories growing up, and found in a contemporary fiction piece, the same stories with plausible reasons for them to remain valid, not drug out dust covered and attempt to get people to find them interesting as they were millenia ago. My hat is off to Riordan, but I'm not going to go through the Heroes of Olympus series until they are all written, I HATE waiting for the "next" book to come out. Years I've needed to be patient etc... I finished the first section, I'll wait for the second, in the mean time re-read the first run, and maybe Narnia, and Jane Yolen's Dragon books, when I want a YA bint in my reading.

As far as the movie goes. Hollywood lived back down to my expectations of a movie not being as good as the book it was "based on" (How to train your dragon had me thinking "maybe there had been a lull in the trend." this has been corrected to "that was a rather enjoyable fluke") Mashing Clarisse and Annabeth's characters into one being? what were they thinking?

The Dresden Files are good if you are old enough. I stick with books over movies anyway.
 

ghost8772

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The Dresden Files are good if you are old enough. I stick with books over movies anyway.
I haven't managed to get into those just yet.

I agree though, books typically trump movies. I have found a couple exceptions IMO, but of the hundreds (thousands?) that are based on a book, usually the book is the better choice.
 

Timba

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For those who enjoyed this series (I sure did) might I suggest Kathy Reichs "Virals" It now has a sequel that I have not yet read but my granddaughter and I both enjoyed Virals.

The good news is that Reichs is also the author of a whole flock of books that the television series Bones is based on so if you like her writing you have a large selection to pick from. I do not think the "Bones" books are YA though so not somewhere I would send kids.
 

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