Do you like Greek mythology and children’s fantasy books? Then Percy Jackson and the Olympians is a book series for you! Written by Rick Riordan, one book a year, from 2005 to 2009. There are five books in the original series, written from Percy’s point of view. Each book is loosely based on different Greek heroes’ adventures:
- The Lightning Thief (2005, based on Perseus)
- The Sea of Monsters (2006, based on Odysseus)
- The Titan’s Curse (2007, based on Hercules)
- The Battle of the Labyrinth (2008, based on Theseus)
- The Last Olympian (2009, based on Achilles)
Riordan got the idea for this book series when making up stories for his son, who was studying Greek mythology in school and wanted bedtime stories based on Greek myths. When he ran out of characters and myths, he made up his own. Since then, his books have been published in multiple languages all over the world.
Besides the main 5 The Last Olympian books, Riordan also published several supplementary works.
- The Demigod Files, released in 2009, features 3 short stories, which are set between the fourth and fifth book and received mixed reviews: Percy Jackson and the Stolen Chariot, Percy Jackson and the Bronze Dragon and Percy Jackson and the Sword of Hades.
- The Ultimate Guide was released in 2010 and accompanies the reader in the world of Percy Jackson: his starting life as a half-blood, trading cards, maps, every monster Percy faces, a tour of the Underworld, and more.
- The Demigod Diaries is a lot like The Demigod Files and contains 4 new stories, character interviews, illustrations, puzzles and a quiz. The stories are adventures of Thalia, Luke and Annabeth that precede the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. And the fourth story is a first-person narrative from Percy’s point of view, set one month after The Last Olympian.
And then finally, there is The Heroes of Olympus, a sequel series:
- The Lost Hero (2010)
- The Son of Neptune (2011)
- The Mark of Athena (2012)
- The House of Hades (2013)
- The Blood of Olympus (2014)
Percy Jackson and the Olympians is a book series that’s based around a “Great Prophecy”:
A half-blood of the eldest gods
Shall reach sixteen against all odds
And see the world in endless sleep
The hero’s soul, cursed blade shall reap
A single choice shall end his days
Olympus to preserve or raze
Now I like both Greek and Roman mythology and read a whole host of books based on these, same stories. If you’re like me, then I don’t have to explain the story of these books, you can figure out most of it if you know which Greek mythological hero the book follows. So I’m not going to dive into each story separately, all you should know is that everything turns out well.
What I did notice about the books, is the age of the main characters. In the first book, Percy Jackson is 12 years old. By the last book, he’s 16 and has already saved the world several times. It’s definitely not YA, but a children’s novel. The protagonists are teenagers, friends working together against adults who don’t believe in them. There is love involved, but it’s a sweet love, nothing too dramatic or overwrought. And it’s a great story for adventurous children, who like a bit of mystery and fantasy in their books.
Have you read these books? As a child or more recently? Let me know what you think in the comments!