Monday, September 10, 2012

De and Doug's Den: Percy Jackson

So anyone who knows me decently well knows that I really love ancient cultures, especially their mythologies.  Of all the ancient cultures, Greek mythology is the best known by our modern culture.  So, when I saw a series about a boy who finds out he's actually a demi-god, how could I resist?

The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan is a series I mention a lot on this blog, but I haven't had a chance to explain how amazing this series truly is.  I first found out about the series by accident; I was sick and picking up a prescription at Wal*mart; I had 30 minutes to kill, so I went to pick out a book, figuring I could read for awhile and buy it if I liked it.  I actually sat on a bench in Wal*Mart reading The Lightning Thief for 45 minutes before someone asked me if I was waiting on a prescription!!!  Needless to say, I was definitely hooked.

What you'll love about the series if the fast-pace, the fun characters, and the ability to relate so well to the title character.  The books are written from his perspective; I would characterize them as being similar to the Harry Potter books in reading ease and understanding, as well as stylistically.  The first book is actually the the gateway to reveal a large and sinister plot that threatens Western Civilization as we know it.  There are creative twists and turns that not only add drama and excitement, but show the growth of the individual characters.

Each book ends with a "cliffhanger;"  I ended up devouring the five-book series in a matter of days (less than a week) simply because I had to know what would happen next.  The break between books 2 and 3 (Sea of Monsters and Titan's Curse) was the biggest cliffhanger for me, so if you like the series, you might want to buy those two books together!  Each book is not very long (about 250 pages), so they are great for most kids (6 or 7 and up).  All the books are great for people who can only read a small amount at a time, because the chapters are short and the plot is easy to follow.  The final book in the series (The Last Olympian) dives directly into the action and is very fast-paced compared to the other books; maybe plan on giving yourself an afternoon off just to read this one ;)

In summary, if you are looking for an exciting and easy read, try the Percy Jackson series!  There is a movie based loosely on the first book, so you can watch that and see if you might be interested in the series, but don't be surprised when you pick up the first book and note all the differences!

If you like this series, you can also check out the available book from the sequel series, the Heroes of Olympus series.  The first two books The Lost Hero and The Son of Neptune are available now; the third book Mark of Athena comes out October 2.

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