Review of Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods, Rick Riordan

I have finally finished reading this book! I will not deny that it was a huge effort, it was a bit never-ending, not because of the book itself, but because I couldn’t sit enough to move forward, but it made me happy to be able to give this wonderful series a close. I have already written a few posts about the Percy Jackson books, which I invite you to read, but I think it is time to move on to something else, to another series. (Note: a couple days after I wrote this post, I found out that there is another Percy Jackson series, where the characters are grown-ups, and the stories, apparently, more adult… so, forget what I said about moving on to something else… there is still a lot of Percy Jackson to read).

For those who want to read everything that exists about Percy Jackson (which is not a little), I leave a list of books first, to know where to start. I just want to make the caveat that the character Percy Jackson appears in two other series of books too, you can read it in this Wikipedia article.  Here below I only refer to the books in the Percy Jackson first series of books. A little confusing, I know. But I suppose the author, Rick Riordan, thought that reusing his best characters in his new series would be a great motivator for his existing fan base.

The Lightning Thief (2005)
The Sea of Monsters (2006)
The Titan’s Curse (2007)
The Battle of the Labyrinth (2008)
The Last Olympian (2009)

And then, some complementary books were written to the series, some that talk about mythology, about gods and heroes, another with extra short stories:

Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes
Percy Jackson – Demigod Files
Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods

In this case, we will talk about Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods. It is a book that can be talked about with total freedom without fear of spoilers, since it is basically the stories of the gods of Olympus, (at least the most important ones, since there are thousands of Gods), explained from the point of view of Percy Jackson, that is, a young teenager. I say that there can be no spoilers, because these legends are already hundreds and hundreds of years old, so that most readers, in some way or another, are already familiar with what will happen in the stories. Kinda like talking about the Titanic… you know what’ll happen. Spoiler alert: it will sink. The difference is Percy’s vision, his comments, and his modern reading of the facts depicted.

The stories are full of humour, always some kind of joke in each paragraph, which makes its reading very enjoyable, and an incredible way to get distracted, while learning about Greek mythology. I have searched, parallel to reading, a lot of information about the characters, and the truth is that in the Greek mythology there is never a single story for a character. On Wikipedia, for example, it is explained «Some versions say that Zeus was his father, others that Poseidon was the father, others that he had no father.» This is a random example, but there were a lot of those. The story of any given character would go one way or the other, depending on the source.

An important element is that many times, these stories are full of sex scenes, rapes, incest… you know, the usual stuff… and then, the explanations that Percy has to give are always very funny, “he did something terrible, I don’t want to delve into explanations, ok? ”, Since it is assumed that, who reads the book is a teenager (or probably younger), like him, Percy Jackson tries to soften the blow a bit. Clearly, every time I saw this kind of comment, I did my quick research on the character that was being described to see what his/her story was really about. I suppose that each reader will have done the same, stung by curiosity.

Final comment: as I said in the case of the other complementary books of the series, this book is not essential to understand the whole series, only if you are a diehard fan. However, I think that of the complementary books I’ve read, this is the one I liked the most. It is a light reading, without new details about the story, but that entertains and tries to make us see mythology from another angle.

Keep on reading,

GG Klimt 

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