When I encounter a series after all of the books have been published, I try to read the novels one right after the other. With the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, however, this was not the case. I purchased the first novel, The Lightening Thief, in January of 2010 for my fiancé because he really enjoyed the movie. It sat on my shelf for months-my fiancé is really not a reader. One day in January of 2011, a year later, the book called to me from the shelf. I felt bad that it had been sitting on my shelf all by itself so I picked it up and started reading it. Now, almost a year later, I’ve finished the entire series. In July 2011, I read book two and then books three through five I read in September. Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, I present my review of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series!
The Lightening Thief: The first installment was a great opening novel. I loved the way Riordian introduced us to the world of the demigods and gods. He put a lot of thought into how he could bring the ancient myths to a modern audience and it shows in the creative and unique ways he connects the past and the present. I also really enjoyed the characters, especially the main three: Percy, Annabeth, and Grover. They had great depth and personality even though it was the first novel. Riordian has given us a really great first novel and I’m really looking forward to the sequel.
The Sea of Monsters: Following the first novel, it took me awhile to finally pick the sequel up. The characters remain enjoyable but I didn’t really like the plot as I was reading it. It felt like the story line was just an unnecessary filler used to bridge the first and third book. I still enjoyed it as a stand alone but it was my least favorite of the series. Now that I’ve read the rest of the books, though, I see that the story was definitely needed as it introduced some very crucial plot points- the rest of the series simply could not have happened without this one. So overall I enjoyed the story and there was some great humor and I saw its necessity but it was far from my favorite.
The Titan’s Curse: This novel was my very favorite of the entire series! The story of Thalia and Artemis and the Hunters really revived the story for me. I really enjoyed the fast pace and the constant action because it moved the story and the series along nicely. I also liked the increasing interaction with the gods. In this installment, we really learn a lot more Greek backstory. Another aspect I enjoyed was the character growth. Each of the characters is learning about their world and themselves and in reaction to it-growing. Above all, I am enjoying watching Percy grow as a character. This is definitely a must read!
The Battle of the Labyrinth: The Battle of the Labyrinth was a very enjoyable read. What I enjoyed most was the fact that many of the subplots from the first novel were finally resolved, which really is important for penultimate books because it allows the final book time to focus on the important, main storyline. Another aspect that I enjoyed was the character growth. The characters are continuing to grow up and we as readers get to experience that. Percy is really changing and developing who he is. I also really liked how Riordian used the setting of the labyrinth to advance the plot. Through the twists and turns of the labyrinth we find out a great deal of expository information. Finally, I thought this was the first novel where you really encounter the reality of the novel. In it, we get the first glimpse of the loses and sacrifices of life that happen during war. For me, its reminiscent of the fifth book of Harry Potter in its tone and voice yet Riordian is still able to keep the humor that he is so well known for. All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable read.
The Last Olympian: The final book was the perfect ending to a great series! I won’t say too much because I don’t want to give away anything but the novel wrapped up everything very nicely and still left the option of continuing the story.
I recommend checking this series out. Also, Rick Riordian has continued the story of Percy and all of his friends in a brand new series. Let me know what you thought of the series, if you've read it, and whether or not you like the follow up books.