Hi book nerds! Back with another review, but this time it’s for a series! And guess what, it’s a reread!
Earlier this year, I promised myself I would reread the Percy Jackson and the Olympians (which is my absolute favorite right next to Harry Potter). I first read the series when I was in high school (a little over 7 or 8 years ago, AACCKK). I’ve had my own set since last year and I finally completed collecting the graphic novel editions, so really, a reread is a must. And so, this November, I committed myself into this promise! And y’all, it’s a success! (See the thread of my live tweets for some serious fangirling moments and commentary here!)
Here are my thoughts on the books! (Warning: there will be spoilers!)
Book 1: The Lightning Thief
This book just never gets old! I first read this series back in high school and my love for it never diminished.
I loved getting to know the characters once again! Percy, Grover, and Annabeth. Seeing all of them get to know each other, go on a journey, and be a team is awesome! Made me feel a little bit nostalgic, too. I also love how the writing style makes it seem like I really am in the book, going on an adventure with this trio.
Loved the plot, of course. There’s a blend of magical stuff and pretty normal teenage issues, and that was great for me. There are prophecies and mythology, but there’s also family issues. I’m reminded that these characters are just kids, and they’ll be going through some typical human problems as well.
And of course, I couldn’t help but think of the movie adaptation. It’s just so different to the books, and well. Books are better, anyway.
Book 2: Sea of Monsters
I’m gonna be honest. I had so much more fun with this than The Lightning Thief! And I don’t know if this is because the story’s more captivating or I just don’t remember much of it after reading it for the first time several years ago.
Sea of Monsters was jam-packed! There are more stuff about Greek mythology (from the creatures, to the stories, to the heroes and villains, and the gods), the bigger plot and the prophecy is finally revealed to Percy, plus the characters are also a highlight (Tyson appearing and worming his way onto Percy’s life, Annabeth opening up more about herself, Clarisse trusting Percy and working with him). It was all so good and every element worked well together. I also loved that it’s humorous but also philosophical at the same time.
In this book, I also realized that Percy really did have the makings of a villain, or at the very least, a bad guy. He’s powerful (and still has more potential in the coming years), sassy, insecure, and can also be prideful at times. What makes him different though, is he’s still compassionate. He trusts people and sees kindness, and he takes the time to reflect and he admits his flaws, his doubts, and wrongdoings. I’m pretty sure we have Sally Jackson to thank for that.
Also, can I just say, that ending?! It’s truly brilliant and so well executed that I still had goosebumps even though I already knew exactly what was coming. It’s so good! Loved this!
(And yes, I’m still so mad that the movie adaptation changed and omitted so many details from the book. Ugh.)
Book 3: Titan’s Curse
Titan’s Curse is another amazing journey and it’s only getting us closer to the big prophecy, the gods and the titans, the looming final battle, everything.
We meet several new characters and it was so fun going on a journey with these new people here in this third book! Zoe Nightshade (bless her), Bianca di Angelo (oh, Bianca), Nico di Angelo (a.k.a. one of my favorite characters from the PJO universe), and of course Thalia! It was so exciting to finally see Thalia in action and get to know her, seeing as in the two previous books she was just this character in a backstory. But she’s here in Titan’s Curse and she definitely left a mark on me.
Also, Percy and Thalia’s dynamic was just so good. I remember thinking about something Annabeth had said in the Sea of Monsters…
“Percy, you know who you remind me the most? Thalia. You guys are so much alike it’s scary. I mean, either you would’ve been best friends or you would’ve strangled each other.”
Thalia and Percy were both powerful, dangerous, loyal, insecure, and somehow, even just for a little bit, waiting for a chance to prove themselves to their fathers. I wish there were more scenes with them, actually. I would have loved to see them actually team up and just obliterate anyone who was on their way. They’d be the perfect duo!
Of course, what really amazes me the most is Riordan’s storytelling—the way he weaved the plot and tied it all up perfectly at the end. Even if I’ve already read Titan’s Curse, I still got shocked, I still held my breath, I still anticipated for the next things to come. This, for me, is just awesome.
There was also a part near the end where Athena tells Percy what his fatal flaw is, and wow. I just loved it so much! She nailed it! Percy’s fatal flaw can truly be a good thing or a bad thing, and I’m reminded just how much I love his character.
Such a great book! So excited for the next one!
Book 4: Battle of the Labyrinth
Second to the last book in the series! Battle of the Labyrinth was a fun and heartfelt read—with new characters, great plot twists, and a couple of moral lessons that will really stick with the reader.
There were new characters like Rachel Elizabeth Dare, Quintus, Briares, Calypso that really left an impression on me (I mean, they already did the first time I read the book, but it felt more significant this time). Loved that we got to see more of Nico and we saw just how his character developed in this book. Now, I’m just so excited to see more of him in the next books and series. And of course, the tension between Annabeth and Percy! Our main characters are entering teenage years and here come the feelings. Percy was so daft, it’s endearing.
I also love how there were a couple of plot twists that I still missed. I mean, I read this book years ago, so I guess my memory is now kind of fuzzy. But wow, Uncle Rick really never fails to surprise me. I love it!
Also, when I first read this book, I never quite realized just how much of a theme the environment was in the story. Grover’s journey, Pan’s message, everything was so heartbreaking and enlightening as to how humans are treating and should be treating the wild, the earth.
“The wild, my dear Grover, is so small now, so shattered, that no god can save it.”
“Remake the wild, a little at a time, each in your own corner of the world. You cannot wait for anyone else, even a god, to do that for you.”
Another theme that was a highlight for me in this book is family. With Sally meeting Paul, Daedalus with his son and his nephew, the tales about Hera and her “family”, Nico and her sister Bianca, and even Rachel with her dad or Dionysus with his sons. All of these parts involved family—both the good, the bad, and the ugly—and I just really adore that.
I really loved this one. We’re close to the end and I can’t wait!
Book 5: The Last Olympian
THIS BOOK IS A MASTERPIECE. I have no words except for two: home and hope. For me, these two words perfectly embody The Last Olympian.
Here, we get to see the importance of home, of family—and not just the family by blood, but also family by choice. The ugly sides of family were shown as well, and the fact that just because someone is your family doesn’t mean they’re always right or always good.
There’s also hope, so much hope. For the future, for the much needed change, for the environment, for the camp, for the families. It also showed us just how w should keep the hope and to never give it up. I loved it so much.
When it comes to the characters, they have grown so much here, especially Percy. From his powers and abilities, to his attitude and thinking, Percy has grown into a hero. Another amazing character development for me is Clarisse. I loved her arc throughout the series, and seeing her character in this final book is just great!
The plot, of course, was just… I don’t even have the right word to describe it, but it was so well-written, so well thought of, and it’s just the perfect ending to a great series for me.
Rereading this series was an amazing experience. Yes, I’ve read it before, but everything was just as great, just as chilling, and just as exciting. This is truly a wonderful series from such a great and talented author. Love you Uncle Rick!
And now, I must delve into the graphic novel editions of Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Ciao!