Showing posts with label percy jackson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label percy jackson. Show all posts

Saturday, May 14, 2016

[Review] The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson #5) - Rick Riordan: Cluttered and Halfheartedly written

In the last book of the Percy Jackson series, Percy and the Gods of Olympus are preparing for the final battle against the Titan Kronos.

What intrigued me: There's no reason for me not to pick this one up! I loved the third and fourth novels. Unfortunately, it could only go downhill from there.

A Very Chaotic, Messy Storyline

THE LAST OLYMPIAN needs a lot of time to get the story started. What I loved about the previous books is that there was a straight storyline they were following and you knew exactly how close the heroes were to their goal at all times. This one doesn't have that. 

I feel like Riordan is just trying to give a storyline or cameo to all of his characters, so they can all have their moment of glory in the last book. It's cluttered, and it's full of unnecessary halfheartedly-written side quests that weren't really enjoyable to read. I didn't really understand why the characters were doing anything, they seem to be rushing from scene to scene, preparing for battle or trying to convince someone else to help them. 

With all those mini side quests comes also a frequent change of scenery that throws you off track and leaves you wondering what they were doing there in the first place. Riordan really lost himself in trying to make this battle epic and trying to cram as many characters and mythological concepts in this as possible. Because the heroes have dealt with Luke and Kronos in the previous book before, having these two as the final battle antagonists is repetitive and boring to read. 

Disappointing Character Development (or lack thereof)

Riordan's biggest strength in this series has always been Percy's voice to me. Percy is funny, a sweet and loveable guy, and just overall a wonderful protagonist. It's remarkable how spot-on Percy's voice is and has been for the entire series, however judging by this being the last book - he hardly went through any character development at all. While it was charming and relatable to have this oftentimes super oblivious main character before, after five books it really gets annoying to have Percy realize even the most obvious things last. He's not a leader and it hardly seems realistic to have anyone follow him into battle. Annabeth in a heartbeat, but not him.

In general I have never been a fan of the character development in Riordan's books, and never really thought any character aside from a handful of Gods and side characters (Apollo, Artemis, Zoe, Nico) was even remotely developed enough for me to actually care about them. 

In other reviews I've often read about how everyone loves the relationship between Annabeth and Percy- which I find is pretty much non-existent (Enlighten me please if you disagree). I was hoping to finally get behind the fascination that these two seem to have for everyone - but no, I'm still confused. This didn't make the novel better or worse for me either way, but is simply proving my point that even after five books I still feel like most characters remain blank slates for me.




Overall: Do I Recommend?

A very disappointing conclusion to the series. I personally found it lacked structure and was very drawn out, and I wish I just hadn't read this and pretended the series ended after the fourth.

Additional Info

Published: May 5th 2009
Pages: 361
Publisher: Puffin
Genre: YA / Mythology / Greek 
ISBN: 9780141321288

"All year the half-bloods have been preparing for battle against the Titans, knowing the odds of victory are grim. Kronos's army is stronger than ever, and with every god and half-blood he recruits, the evil Titan's power only grows. While the Olympians struggle to contain the rampaging monster Typhon, Kronos begins his advance on New York City, where Mount Olympus stands virtually unguarded. Now it's up to Percy Jackson and an army of young demigods to stop the Lord of Time. "
(Source: Goodreads)

Have you seen the Percy Jackson movies or read the books?

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Saturday, July 11, 2015

[Review] The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson #4) - Rick Riordan

In THE BATTLE OF THE LABYRINTH Percy and his friends have to travel through King Minos' maze to find its inventor Dädalus before Luke.
Previously (The Titan's Curse): The Titan Atlas teamed up with Percy's arch enemy Luke, a son of Hermes. Atlas could ultimately be defeated by Artemis and Percy, but Luke is still in the process of trying to reawaken the remaining Titans to re-build the rivaling city to the Olymp - Othrys.

After absolutely loving THE TITAN'S CURSE I couldn't wait to finally read this one. I wasn't disappointed. About six months have passed since book three, Riordan starts the story similar to the third one, with an encounter with mythological beings. I was very sad that Riordan decided to kill off Zoe Nightshade, because I loved her as a character. With Rachel Elizabeth Kane, the mortal that can see through the veil and that Percy met briefly in THE TITAN'S CURSE, we have another interesting side character joining the crew. I love that Tyson plays a bigger role in this novel again, I missed him in the third. His approach to problems is always amusing and refreshingly different.

Annabeth functions as a leader in this novel and I'd rather have her swap roles with Percy. What's so interesting about the Percy Jackson series is that Percy is technically the main character, but is never the chosen supreme leader that has all the strategy down. Percy mostly mindlessly walks into situations and just wins out of sheer luck and/or stupidity. It's impossible to dislike him. I just love how Riordan uses Percy's lack of knowledge about Greek myths to explain them to the reader through other characters. While I think I do know quite a bit about Greek mythology, Riordan references really obscure myths that I'm pretty sure only a small portion of readers have encountered before. I was very grateful for the little glossary of mythological beings at the end of the book.

Unfortunate Pacing to Introduce More Mythological Beings

One of the things I have to criticize is that there are too many cameos of the Gods in this one. I hardly think that they would have the time to descend to Earth to help Percy and his friends every few chapters. You might argue that it's only because the Olymp is at war and Percy and his friends play a significant role in that, but - I just don't buy it.

Unlike in the third I felt like the plot was a little dragged out. The main storyline is the heros' quest to find Dädalus, but they are distracted by other mythological beings all the time. The way they found him towards the end feels like a cheap solution that they could've figured out way earlier if they'd just been persistent and kept asking the Gods. Or maybe used rational thinking. Therefore this novel doesn't read as easily and quickly as the third. I just wanted them to finally find Dädalus and take care of the bigger problem. The fight with Kronos has been going on since the first book and at this point they're just stalling. I'm still excited for the fifth and final book, but I don't think that the fourth was really an essential part of the whole. However, it's still a good read.




Overall: Do I Recommend?

I was tempted to skim pages at some point, but I ended up reading everything patiently. The story just sucks you in and Riordan's writing is brilliant. I'm still not a huge fan of Annabeth, but Percy makes the waiting worthwhile. I can't wait for the fifth novel. I guess I recommend.

Additional Info

Original Title: The Battle of the Labyrinth
Author: Rick Riordan
Published: 1st April 2009
Pages: 362
Medium: Hardcover
Genre: YA / Mythology / Greek

"Percy Jackson isn't expecting freshman orientation to be any fun. But when a mysterious mortal acquaintance appears on campus, followed by demon cheerleaders, things quickly move from bad to diabolical. 

In this latest installment of the blockbuster series, time is running out as war between the Olympians and the evil Titan lord Kronos draws near. Even the safe haven of Camp Half-Blood grows more vulnerable by the minute as Kronos' army prepares to invade its once impenetrable borders. 
To stop them, Percy and his demigod friends must set out on a quest through the Labyrinth-a sprawling underground world with stunning surprises at every turn. Full of humor and heart-pounding action, this fourth book promises to be their most thrilling adventure yet."(Source: Goodreads)

What's your favorite Greek mythology read?

Continue Reading...

Sunday, June 28, 2015

[Recommendation] The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson #3) - Rick Riordan

In THE TITAN'S CURSE, the third novel in the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan, Percy and his friends have to deal with the aftermath of freeing the titan Kronos.
Wonderful and Likeable Main Character

I have only watched the first two movies and not read the books and just went ahead and read the third book. I didn't have any problems trying to understand who was who, even though Riordan doesn't make an effort to describe what has previously happened. I got quite annoyed at Mead doing the opposite in her Vampire Academy series and always summarizing everything in the first chapter, so this was refreshing.

Because Percy is such a young protagonist, I didn't expect to identify with him at all as a twenty-something. I was wrong. Percy is a very smart character that does act his age while not being either obnoxious or naive. Many authors try and fail at writing about characters that are that young, but Riordan masters it skillfully.

The key to making Percy so realistic and pleasant to read about it that most of the action in the novel is describes via little hints that Percy doesn't get. Riordan doesn't try to make him the omniscience hero that figures everything out right away, quite on the contrary. He's impulsive, doesn't put much thought into his actions and oftentimes flat out embarrasses himself while failing dramatically. I love that. I identified and sympathized 100% with Percy and that's remarkable, judging by the fact that he's a thirteen year-old boy.

Perfect Blend of Mythology and Own Ideas

I've seen so many authors try to tackle Greek mythology as a background for their novels and just flat out fail. Riordan doesn't just use the myths as story lines in his book but creates a vivid, entertaining and unique world on his own. There are rarely times when I thought he just took this from The Iliad as I did when reading works of Angelini, Carter, or Cabot.

Riordan mixes mythology skillfully with his own imagination and puts a very unique and different spin on things. His portrayals of the different gods are hilarious, spot on and super entertaining.
Another main thing that absolutely fascinates me about the series is how funny it is. Riordan is a master at funny dialogue without trying hard and I found myself having to pause several times because I was laughing so hard.

Towards the end the story drags a little. Percy and his friends are constantly being hunted by mythological beings and it gets a little repetitive if you're familiar with the story lines of the first two novels. However, I enjoyed to meet new Gods and get to see Riordan's interpretations of them. I wasn't a fan of setting one of the battles in the Smithsonian, I've just seen too many other novels and movies do that. I'm looking forward to reading the next novel!




Overall: Do I Recommend?

You don't have to read the first books if you've already watched the movies. I didn't. You won't miss anything and the movies do an alright job at introducing you to the world of Percy Jackson.
I know already that I will reread the series at some point so I'll get all the small hints that are scattered throughout the novels. I love how Riordan nods to readers familiar with The Iliad and gives us the opportunity to find out which character we're dealing with.

If you love Greek mythology, this is the series for you and I'm by no means surprised at how successful the franchise has become. Riordan is an excellent writer and Percy an extremely lovable and likeable hero. I dearly recommend the series.

Additional Info

Original Title: The Titan's 
Author: Rick Riordan
Published: May 5th 2007
Pages: 320
Medium: Hardcover
Genre: YA / Mythology / Greek


But when you're the son of a Greek god, it happens. And now my friend Annabeth is missing, a goddess is in chains and only five half-blood heroes can join the quest to defeat the doomsday monster.

Oh, and guess what? The Oracle has predicted that not all of us will survive..."(Source: Goodreads)

What's your favorite Greek mythology read?

Continue Reading...

Monday, October 13, 2014

October Reading Queue: Stephen King, Percy Jackson and A Hell Lot of Meg Cabot

Reading Queue is a monthly meme, posted at the beginning of each month, where you share what books you plan to read for the month.

Dear Lord. My Reading Queue isn't even funny anymore. I have recently even bought a new shelf only for my TBR books and I think this is it. I have hit rock bottom. I know that there are a lot of people that have TBR piles three and four times the size of mine but for me, this is massive. I mean, look:

Here we have the aftermath of the Book Fair in my city and my local bookstore doing a 1,99 each thing.
  • "Wake" by Amanda Hocking is something that I've been eyeing for ages, but not this one. I've been eyeing the Trylle Trilogy and I just read Amanda Hocking so I was like: yup.  (Review)
  • "The Winter People" by Jennifer McMahon sounds spooky and weird, so I decided to get it. Of course I needed to get it, it's been ages since I last read a spooky novel about dead things. (Review)
  • "Throne of Glass" by Sara J. Maas is actually an Amazon Purchase which I got bullied into buying by a particular Canadian Ginger friend. I'm not even mad, it sounds amazing.
  • The Hunter by L.J. Smith was a no-brainer, I had to get it. I don't even know what it's about but I have read about 6 or 7 of the Vampire Diaries Novels and I just love her writings. I had to. Not sorry. (Review)
  • Ruby Red  by Kerstin Gier isn't really something I would've bought hadn't it only costed 1,99. She's from my country, it's about time travel and there's a movie about it so I just shrugged my way through that one. (Review)
  • I already tried to read "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn and wasn't really into the whole thriller-thing so I put it back on my TBR. I'm going to read it eventually, but not right now. Not feeling the thriller vibe.
  • "Numbers" by Rachel Ward. Haha, I have no idea why I bought this. I think it's about someone being able to see when in the future somebody that's talking to him is going to be dying. Does that make sense? Sounded good in my head. Anyways, I'm a sucker for these kind of things. Loved the movie TiMER, so I had to. (Review)
  • I haven't even read the blurbs for "Abandon" by Meg Cabot and "Insatiable" also by her. I love the Princess Mia Series, so I went for it. I use that excuse a lot apparently. Ugh. (Review: Abandon, Insatiable)
  • The last two (for this picture ahahahhaah) are the Third and Fourth Percy Jackson Novels by Rick Riordan in hardback. Swoons! Can you believe that I paid $8 for them? For both! I'm going to start crying.

Here we have some things that I already showed you guys in my August Haul. Yup, I shamelessly read other stuff first. 

  • One of my new additions to my TBR shelf is "Second Glance" by Jodi Picoult (Review) which I am very excited about because I haven't read anything by her yet, which is a goddamn shame. I'm probably going to read this next after I finished "Monster" by A.Lee Martinez which I am actually SUPPOSED to be reading right now, but Lux #4 is kind of claiming all my attention and I have another ARC queue'd as well. 
  • "Firestarter" by Stephen King is my first date with him and I have such high expectations, it is doomed to be disappointing if you ask me.
  • "Starter for Ten" is by David Nicholls and I just had to because everyone is all over David Nicholls, and I want to be, too. (Review)
  • "Be Careful What You Wish For" by Alexandra Potter is such a predictable purchase because I am all over dying-wish/childhood-wishlist books, I have at least ten of them. (Review)
  • The last one is the first Vampire Academy Novel by Richelle Mead and I am so ready for this! Nobody has ever been more ready in the history of mankind. I'm probably going to hoard a lot more sequels before I start this series because I just KNOW I am going to love it. After I saw the movie I fell basically head first into Rose/Dimitri and I have zero shame. Bring it on! (Review)

   Have you guys read some of these and were they 
good or bad? 

What should I read next?
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