Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Series Analysis
I first got interested with the books after watching the movie, that seemed to happen to me quite often. The very same thing happened to me with Harry Potter and up to this day I am an avid Harry Potter fan. Actually, it happened with the Twilight Saga for me as well but as it turned out I hated the books. 🙂
I am a strong believer that however good the movie was..the books were always, ALWAYS better.
So back to Percy Jackson…The series actually contains 5 very interesting and well adapted books:
Many people like to compare this book to Harry Potter in terms of popularity, but I cannot understand why they have to do that. Why can’t another series just have a record of its own? Why can’t readers just enjoy both books? I must admit that the Percy Jackson series is no where as successful as Harry Potter, but HP was the first and there’s always an advantage in being the very first series of books to capture the attention of the readers after so many years.
I just want to treat the two series separately as they tackle two very separate series….Percy Jackson is not Harry Potter people – 1st because they deal in two very different worlds. Percy deals with mythology whereas Harry deals with magic. Yes, the both have mythological creatures and both have magical features but Harry is a wizard so he has powers; Percy is a demigod…he must have powers. Comparing the two series in terms of characters and creatures is like taking Nicholas Flamel to battle with Hercules for crying out loud.
I thoroughly enjoyed Percy Jackson because I treated it as it is…a wonderful series about mythology. I mean, when was the last time you found something like this? I must admit that it was not as original and well-thought off as the magical world of wizards and muggles as Harry Potter but it does have it’s own special charisma.
The premise is that Olympus, the gods and goddesses and all mythology moves with the Western civilization. I love the humor and light-heartedness of the series and the action packed adventure that Percy and his friends had to go through. I also loved the twists and turns in the story…like HP there was a prophesy. But unlike, HP the entire story revolves around his prophesy; and unlike HP also the one to whom the prophesy referred to was not to be the savior of the world but rather could easily become the reason for the end of Olympus. Whereas in HP Voldermort made the decision to focus the prophesy on Harry; in this series Percy made the voluntary decision to own the prophesy.
I also love the obvious intensive mythological research that the author, Rick Riordan, put into the books. I mean, I have always love mythology and would easily claim that I know my mythological personages and monsters but Riordan brought into the open certain monsters and characters I do not even know about and I love that. True, Riordan cannot claim ownership on the mythology but he can surely stake a claim on the concept.
The books are light, adventure filled and very humorous as certain points. Taken from the point of view of the main character, Percy Jackson it is a choppy and attitude filled narration of what is happening and how the character sees things.
I love the funny and brilliant ways that the author played with the mythological characters – how he “updated” the gods and monsters for the 21st century. Ares is a cross between a Hell’s Angel and a professional wrestler, a math teacher is a harpy in disguise, and demigods can communicate by IMing — Iris Messaging- hehehe! (you’ll have to read it to get the details on that one) It’s also fun to see how Riordan tried to explain many mythological happens and how we mortals do not know and perceive the things happening around us because of the Mist – a sort of veil that hides from mortal eyes the world of gods, goddesses and monsters.
It is also noteworthy to mention that as far as mythology is concerned Riordan kept true to form. He didn’t try to make the readers love the gods by presenting them as good or worthy of worship but rather he kept true to the principles of classical Greek mythology. Each of the 5 books are heavily reliant on Greek mythology but if you look closely you’ll see that each one is based on a central plot on one of the most popular Greek myths – The Lightning Thief was a take from the adventures of Odysseus from the Odyssey; The Sea of Monsters was a taken or based from the adventures of the Jason and the Argonauts and a bit more of the Odyssey; The Titan’s Curse calls into mind the Labors of Hercules; The Battle of the Labyrinth takes you back into the stories of Theseus and Daedalus; and The Last Olympian takes from the earliest part of Greek mythology which deals with the battle of the Olympians versus the Titans.
I would recommend this to those people who’re looking for another good series to follow after Harry Potter; it may not be a dark or compelling as Harry Potter it is a very good series worthy of attention and appreciation. Just give it a chance.
Update from Wikipedia
A sequel, also based on the Camp Half-Blood and Greek mythology universe, is planned for the Percy Jackson series. Rick Riordan has confirmed that he is writing the series, and as of November 2009, the first book is slated for release on October 12, 2010. Riordan also wrote at the end of The Last Olympian, “As the first Camp Half-blood series draws to a close…” This hints there will be another series.Riordan has stated that characters from the original series will return but will not be the main characters. Also like the first series, there will be five books. Riordan has also stated that the time between the two occurrences of great prophecies is not as long as Apollo assumes it will be. The series name is The Heroes of Olympus and the first book is The Lost Hero.