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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Guest Review: Percy Jackson and the Olympians Books 1 & 2, by Rick Riordan

I am pleased to announce that we have our first guest review! Jacob has eaten up these books and wants to tell you why he likes them so much. When describing his qualifications as a book reviewer he says that he is "a PhD student" and has read "many books." And now, straight from the horse's mouth (no offense, honey):

The Lightning Thief & The Sea of Monsters, Percy Jackson and the Olympians Books 1 & 2, by Rick Riordan

So, Laura was at our house and recommended The Lightning Thief to me, saying that she thought I would like the clever way that Rick Riordan managed to mix Greek mythology and modern culture. I’ve now read the first two books of the series (there are currently four books in the series) and I can say that I did thoroughly enjoy these books.

The books are narrated from the point of view of Percy Jackson, a teenager who discovers that his father is one of the Greek gods. The gods are still very much alive, and Mount Olympus has moved to New York as the center of Western Civilization made its way to America. As a demigod, Percy embarks on quests to help the Olympians. This is where the fun begins. Various monsters and heroes from Greek mythology pop up in Percy’s life as he goes on his quests, and their names will be familiar to those who had a unit on Greek myths in junior high school.

What I found particularly entertaining was the way Riordan modernized some of the monsters and explained their existence in modern society. As a few of examples, Circe the sorceress turns men into guinea pigs instead of real pigs because they’re easier to deal with, Medusa runs a garden statue shop in which she sells those she has turned into stone, and the Grey Sisters run a taxi service in New York. Also, Riordan has a good sense of humor throughout the books, which adds to the fun of the story. The writing is crisp and the pacing of the books is wonderful. This series is a fun read and also a great way to brush up on (or even learn) your Greek mythology.

And there you have it! I've read these first two books as well and thoroughly enjoyed them. Riordan's humor is quite hilarious -- I'm especially fond of some of his similes (cheetos freckles?) and dialogue (that hubris/hummus mixup was great). You can bet we'll be reading on!

1 comment:

  1. Basically, what we can get out of this is you should always take Laura's recommendations of books to read. Jacob left that part out, so I thought I'd fill in. The end.

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