Percy Jackson and the Olympians was born when Rick Riordan’s son was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia. 5 books were published over the course of 4 years, following demigod Percy and his friends – including a satyr and a cyclops, along with other demigods – as they helped the Greek gods fight the Titans. Each book is somewhat standalone, in that there is a quest led by one of the demigods, but each also is important to the overall arc leading to the rise of the Titan god Kronos.
In spite of unfavorable comparisons to Harry Potter – Riordan has been accused of ripping off the famous JK Rowling stories – the Percy Jackson books have developed a pretty big following. Like Harry Potter the books are written for a Young Adult audience but are enjoyed by adults and older kids alike. The stories are based in Greek mythology with some liberties taken along the way, and there are twists and turns to keep you turning the pages and then anxious to read the next book.
At the end of The Last Olympian, the fifth and final book in the Percy Jackson series, Riordan (pronounced Ryer’dan) promised there would be more stories about the heroes of Camp Half-Blood, and last month The Lost Hero was published. The first in the new Heroes of Olympus series, The Lost Hero follows 3 new demi-gods: Jason, Leo and Piper, as they discover who they are and how they fit into the Great Prophecy.
While the Percy Jackson series is set firmly in Greek mythology, The Lost Hero introduces Roman mythology into the mix. I never realized that the Greek and Roman gods not only have different names, but also slightly different personalities. To go into more detail would spoil the book but suffice it to say this opens up a whole new world of possibilities for the characters. Unlike the first series, which is told solely from Percy’s point of view, The Lost Hero is told in alternating chapters by Jason, Leo and Piper. This allows the reader to get into the head of each of the heroes and understand where they’ve come from, their motivation for their actions and how they feel about their new identities.
While Jason, Leo and Piper, like most heroes, have no idea who they are until they arrive at Camp Half Blood, they don’t spend a lot of time dwelling on this new discovery or at Camp Half Blood itself. There are a few familiar faces from the first series but they are mostly in the background, and Percy himself is nowhere to be found. This allows those new to the Camp Half Blood world to enjoy the book without prior knowledge of the gods and monsters, however I think those who have read the first series will have a better appreciation of the new series. I am very much looking forward to the next book, which I’m assuming will introduce more of the heroes described in the Great Prophecy.
These books are a hit with elementary and middle school readers who enjoy fast-paced mythical stories.
As part of our Gift Guide and Giveaway, the publisher is offering both a copy of The Lost Hero and a boxed set of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, for a total value of $100 (US only please).
This giveaway is now closed.
Also, be sure to check out the giveaway over at 5 Minutes for Mom — another fantastic adventure: Jack Blank and the Imagine Nation.
Nancy can’t wait to see her boys’ faces when they see new books on Christmas. She writes about her 2 boys and life in Colorado at Life Wtih My Boys.