Percy Jackson and the Olympians Deserves a Medal

Hello all! I know I’ve not been online much this week, it’s been a crazy one, but I have what will hopefully be a very fun review to make up for my absence. I was in need of a bit of relaxation recently, so decided to pick up the Percy Jackson series. Though I read the first one about a year ago and did do a mini review for it, I decided to rework the review here, so that you could get my thoughts for the series as a whole. Plus I had a few more thoughts, now I’d read the whole thing.

percy jackson lightning thief

The Lightning Thief– the first thing that struck me about the Lightning Thief is how much I wish I’d read this series when I was younger. I loved the inventiveness and how it presented the gods in a modern, yet awe-inspiring fashion. This was most apparent in how much I enjoyed Riordan’s representation of Hades’, my favourite god, which made me laugh out loud. He made him sufficiently scary, whilst not doing that contemporary thing of making the God of the Underworld = Satan. Percy is a bit of an everyman, but I’m okay with that. And I do like the spin on the other two main characters, Grover and Annabeth, who are best described as mini versions of their forebears, but with a twist. The one sticking point I had was that there was a false ending- and I felt like the second one was tacked on for the sake of sequels. It was a pity, to me as an adult reader, that the betrayal was incorporated into the earlier BIG SHOWDOWN. Still, it was a lot of fun and it definitely inspired me to read more (admittedly a year later).

Rating: 4/5 bananas

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percy jackson sea of monsters

The Sea of Monsters– the opening for this one was stellar and I thought it was very smart to connect the bullying aspect to Lord of the Flies– it made these books seem doubly educational. This actually feels like a much smarter read in general- especially if you look at the allegory on racism, as Never Not Reading did in her amazing post. Tyson is a fantastic new addition to the story and I loved the depths that it explores on the subject of family as well. Plus, like the first one, there are some really clever connections to mythology, like the use of Tantalus and the chain stores as hydras. Above all, the plot was the plot was a real whirlpool of adventures. Plenty of this was entertaining and made me laugh. And where I had a few issues with the ending of Lightning thief, Sea of Monsters made me go ARGHHH!! So it was a reading success. I’m still lamenting that I didn’t read this when I was younger, because it doesn’t land as well as it could have- and that’s pretty much the only reason I couldn’t give this series 5/5 bananas.

Rating: 4½/5 bananas

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percy jackson titan's curse

The Titan’s Curse– this was so non-stop and I got really caught up in the twists and turns, so I completely forgot to take notes. Given the length of the review, you might assume I didn’t like it, but I really did enjoy it and thought it was a MIGHTY addition to the series. I particularly appreciated the budding romance in this one and how it developed organically. And as always I loved the details about the gods- I thought it was very clever how the goddess of love made you giddy in her presence and Ares made you mad.

Rating: 4½/5 bananas

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percy jackson battle of labyrinth

The Battle of the Labyrinth– firstly I dug how the labyrinth was conceptualised here- again Riordan took the imaginative route and allows the reader to get lost in his genius world building. I did like the addition of flashbacks as well- even if Icarus and Daedalus is right at the pinnacle of my favourite myths and it’s basically impossible to live upto the classic mythology. Hera and Hephaestus were exactly how I imagined them for this series- so that was a perfect work of art. I’m loving the weirdly authentic take on Greek mythology. I also like how this series uses turns of phrase like “All Hades broke loose”- it’s a nice touch and things like that always make me giggle. I think it was great how this book began to deal with deeper themes, like dying. This also had some of my favourite character development, with Grover growing up and gaining some responsibility. Even more than that, I really liked Nicos’ growing role in the story.

Rating: 4½/5 bananas

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percy jackson last olympian

The Last Olympian– unfortunately, this felt like it leapt ahead in the narrative. Noticing how jarring the start felt, I looked and saw there was a novella in between, go figure. I don’t mind that big series have tons of spinoffs, but I would rather that the basic story got told first and I didn’t feel a little out of the loop when I go to the next book. Otherwise it was completely absorbing as a story. Again, I thought Nico was an amazing character. I appreciated the versions of the Furies, Hades, Persephone and Demeter the most again. Like I said, Hades is definitely my favourite god, so anything that casts the spotlight on him and doesn’t go for the Christian imagery is great in my book. While I did enjoy this book overall, I was a bit torn about a few things. Firstly, I know it’s a kids’ book- but the prophecy just isn’t nightmare-worthy- I’m never keen or sold on books that tell you something is *SUPER SCARY* and it just isn’t. Mostly though, I was really torn about the ending. It completely worked, but the message of “you are not the hero” is a bit of a sad note to end the series on- I actually wished that Percy’s role in the final battle could have been more significant. It is nice to have a new Oracle and the promise of more… but it also seemed rather inconclusive, especially given Percy did not have as strong a role as I’d have liked. I feel like this could have been solved if he’d had a few more flaws/those flaws had been taken advantage of. This is based on Greek mythology after all- and it’s fine if his hamartia is that he’s too trusting, but (spoilers for the ending) it ended up feeling like there weren’t enough costs, because it depended on him trusting Annabeth with the knife… and the only trouble with this is that he’s always trusted her, so there was ZERO character growth here. I just think there could have been a more killer ending.

Rating: 4/5 bananas

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Anyway, despite that last disappointment that I kind of ranted about, this series completely appealed to my inner Classics geek and I definitely want to read more Riordan.

Have you read this series? Do you plan to? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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58 thoughts on “Percy Jackson and the Olympians Deserves a Medal

  1. katsobservations says:

    The Percy Jackson series was one of my favorite series growing up! Even my dog was named Zeus because of this obsession. Anyway, I really like your interpretation, you bring up some points that I haven’t considered as a child, like that allegory to racism and the fact that Grover seemed to become unnecessary towards the end. Great review!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. fictionologyst says:

    I LOVE ALL OF RICK RIORDANS BOOKS OKAY! This series is my ultimate favorite, I suggest you read the other series too because they’re as good, trust me!!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. artemisstarlite says:

    Rick Riordan is one of my favorite authors of all time, and this series really sparked my interest in Greek mythology. I LOVE this series, and am glad you think Titan’s Curse is a great book (I’d argue it’s one of the best of this five-book series). I highly suggest checking out the Heroes of Olympus series, because it picks up a few months after Last Olympian leaves off, and I feel it’s really good series and helps grow up with the readers who started Lightning Thief way back when it was first published.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Never Not Reading says:

    1. LOVE this post!
    2. I absolutely hate the new covers. Why did they change them? The old ones were so much better.
    3. Thanks for the shout out! You’re the awesomest!
    4. You’re bananas! I love the ending. I find the losses, especially Selena and whichever Stoll brother it was, to be really moving and difficult. I felt like this had the most difficult ending out of any of Uncle Rick’s series. I loved that it wasn’t tied up in a big bow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pajamapopcorn says:

      Argh! The old covers are most often the best of any fantasy series! I love my Mary GranPre Harry Potter ones, though the newer ones aren’t bad and the original Brit ones are great too! But yeah, I feel like the old Percy covers with their different colors on the back are so amazing. Just very eye-catching. Same with the American Girl Pleasant Company covers vs. Mattel ones. Of course, Pleasant will always win that argument with me. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Nicole says:

    I 100% agree about the reading age for this one. I read the first couple as an adult and feel like I missed out by not being in the target audience for the series. I think that’s the only reason I didn’t completely devour the entire series (and the rest of Riordan’s books). Still, they are enjoyable reads, and I need to remember to include them when I feel like an older MG or young YA series!

    Like

  6. 924COLLECTIVE says:

    My nephew is an avid reader. When I saw he was so engrossed in this series
    I had to check it out, (albeit via audio book). I enjoyed the first 3 books, but it
    was the second series where Rick Riordan introduced Piper a strong capable
    Native American character (so missing in modern writing) that I was completely
    sold, his handling of POC characters is excellent. I would easily read a spinoff
    of the adventures of Piper & friends.

    No shade but I would definitely rather attend Camp Half-Blood to Hogwarts.
    The Titans Curse was a highlight for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. pajamapopcorn says:

    I read those when they first came out in 2005 or so. I was in my late teens or early 20s. Shows how old I am now! Lol. I love them. I think if I went back and read them again today, I’d probably still tear through them. I think you did a great job reviewing them in all their glory (and faults). Don’t see the movies. They are awful. Clarisse is not even in the first one and I don’t know about the others because I have never seen them. Logan Lerman is good, but too old to play Percy by that time (in my opinion). Anyway, great follow up on Percy J. 🙂

    Like

  8. Maria H. says:

    My husband bought me book 1 for Christmas because it’s been on my TBR for a long time and I still haven’t gotten to it! >.< I know I really want to read it but something else always comes first.

    Like

  9. Sophia Ismaa Writes says:

    Omg, I feel like I’ve been waiting forever to read this book, everyone, even the critical book reviewers, seems to love this series. I need to bump it up in my TBR, it’s definitely in the queue for this year.

    Like

  10. Winged Cynic says:

    I was 13 when I last read this series (and thus I can’t contribute much detail here), and I ultimately unhauled it in high school, but it really was so much fun to read. Details like “All Hades broke loose” made me laugh a lot, and I also really enjoyed Hades’ portrayal here.

    Now I have no idea how I feel about the finale now, but I remember really enjoying it for the reasons you stated above. Again, take my opinion with a grain of salt because I remember NIL about it, but regardless, this makes me want to re-read this series again and look at it more critically. I’m sure my opinions would be totally different. 😛 Terrific post!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. bookwormmuse says:

    I have been meaning to get into this series for almost eight years now but I feel like it’s time to give this one a serious go. Greek mythology is something I obsess over regularly so I am kinda surprised at myself that I haven’t picked up this series and any of the others that follow this one. Oh well.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Beware Of The Reader says:

    I do agree with you when you say you wished you had read it when you were younger. That’s something I noticed when I became a mom and a mom of young teenager (at that time): the amount of YA books of excellent quality! So much more than when I was younger! I have no idea why but to hell with the age gap I’m reading them all! LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Carrie says:

    Only those of us out there with TBRs that stretch around the globe, and probably a few time at that, can relate to loving it but taking a year to move to the next book. LOL Great reviews on them all! 🙂

    Like

  14. Zezee says:

    Oh I enjoy this series too. 🙂 I’ve been in the midst of rereading it for the longest time now. I also love it for its inventiveness. That might be my main reason. I love how Riordan mixes in modern tech with all the crazy classical Greek stuff. It’s fun.

    Like

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