Books in series: The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Titans Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, The Last Olympian
Published by: Disney-Hyperion Books
My rating: 3.5 overall (The Lightning Thief 2.5★, The Sea of Monsters 4★, The Titans Curse 3.5★, The Battle of the Labyrinth 3★, The Last Olympian 4★)
Genres: fantasy, young adult
Diversity: main characters with ADHD and dyslexia
Content warnings: death of children
“It’s hard to enjoy practical jokes when your whole life feels like one.”
I am so glad I have finally read this series. I never read it as a kid and I’ve always wanted to because I do love mythology. I do kind of wish I had read this as a kid, I think I would have loved it more than I did. But I still enjoyed it quite a lot anyway. The books were very addictive and I felt I needed to rush through the series. The characters are so lovely and Rick Riordan writes them as sympathetic heroes who’ve found themselves in a really messy situation.
A highlight of this series is the way Riordan seamlessly blends fantasy and mundanity. I think low fantasy can be so fun and Percy Jackson nailed it. Chariot races, God based cabins and capture the flag tournaments are just some of the features of camp life and it all gave me a strange desire to go to Camp Half Blood. The blend of Percy Jackson’s two worlds, those of the Gods and those of the regular humans, created an excellent tension throughout the series for Percy as he grappled with keeping both sides of his life in order, and that added a layer of complexity I loved.
Riordan also creates a host of fascinating characters, all with strong voices who become immediately loveable to the reader. Percy, Annabeth and Grover, the central trio, stole my heart. Annabeth especially was such a lovely character and I adored having such a clever, strong woman as a main character. Percy was a soft wholesome boy and I will never not love them. Grover is hilarious and brought such fun and lightness to the darker moments of this series. The chemistry and relationship between these three characters drove the books and the passing time, and thus their changing relationship, was a joy to watch.
We follow these characters over multiple years, and their growth and development as the years passed was something really compelling about this series. The long character development arcs set across multiple years gave Riordan the room to really give intricate character development, and he did that beautifully. The romance arcs especially were well developed and spanned multiple years, which was both clever in terms of the ages of the characters, but also realistic and heartwarming for us slow burn fans. And now that I’ve brought up romance, I just want to say I loved it in this book a lot, especially in the main ship. It was a really captivating element of this series and something I don’t see too often with childrens books.
Overall this was a really fun series, and I definitely understand why it has so many fans. Riordan created such an interesting world. The thought put into the modernisation of the Greek mythology and the institutions and culture created to uphold their positions in modern day society was ingenious. I plan on reading his other series eventually, and I think I will actually like them more than this one. But there is definitely a strong foundation for success here, and I elated to finally be up to date with Percy Jackson.
until next time!