Nov 7, 2015

Best Read of October - Rick Riordan

I am not here. I'm deep into NaNo. Or at least I assume because this is a scheduled post. Yes, schedules.

But I need to do a Best Read post because I missed it for September, somewhat understandable because I has moved near then.  That moving involved me not having Internet for two weeks and access to several libraries so....

Rick Riordan.

He's my new god.

By which I mean, I read eleven of his books in two weeks. Two series, back to back, that directly follow each other. Percy Jackson and the Olympians and then the Heroes of Olympus. Plus a collection of side stories.

I want to call them YA, but the libraries and bookstores call them MG.  I know, the main character - Percy Jackson - is 12 when they start but he's 17 by the end. You watch him grow, a la Harry Potter, and I couldn't categorize those books as MG at all. There's war. And sword swinging. And deaths.

The premise is that Percy is a demigod. A rather powerful one being the son of Poseidon, and that's a huge shake up at Camp Half Blood were a lot of demigods end up. See, Poseidon had made a promise with his brothers Zesus and Hades to never father another child and yet here Percy stands.

The Camp is a place where demigods train to protect themselves from the monsters they're godly blood attracts, and Percy's a tastier treat than most. However, he's forced right into a quest in the first book to retrieve Zesus's stolen weapon. With the lightening bolt gone, and Percy's existence recently revealed, Olympus is tense. Add that to the fact that the reason the Big Three, as they're called, made their pact in the first place was because one of their children are destined to either destroy or save Olympus, and Percy's not in a good position.

These ten books cover the span of two wars that occur in rapid secession, Percy in the midst of it all. It's a great action adventure story that spans the entire US and follows the early mythology of Greece. But what I really love is all the attention to detail Riordan puts into things. Villains and monsters, allies too, aren't who you typically see in stories based off of Greek myths. They're the rare minor god only briefly mentioned, the monster seen once, and everything that happened then is tied into what's happening now. It's, quite simply, amazing.

Plus, I'm not one for romance in YA, but it's done so well in here. There's really only one couple you care about, but it takes them five years to get to that point. Riordan builds it up slowly in an amazing study of character development and then goes on to show how much they mean to each other without being cheesey and over dramatic.

And the cast! Abused kids, diverse histories and cultures, complex goals and motives, funny and sad and the ones you just want to shake. I'll admit, it started to get to large for my taste near the end and my author mind felt like because of that Percy was diminishing instead of growing at the sake of those around him, but I still loved reading these into the night and then gushing about them to a friend and planning a fake wedding for the characters.

Because, man, I grew up with Harry Potter, but the kids a few years younger? This is their generation and I can totally see why. (Pity the movies sucked, but I totally watched those back to back one night.)

And best yet, he just started a new series that is also linked to these last month.

Riordan, even with fourtyish books under his belt at this time, is just getting started and I don't care if I'm the only one under 16, I will be there the first day Trials of Apollo comes out.

So yeah, go read these. They're a great quick read to help you get over a slump of the reading or writing type.

1 comment:

  1. *sigh* My son has several of these books. He watched the films, so I thought I could get him interested in the books. Sadly, no. I might just have to read them myself, just so they know what it feels like to be held :-)