Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Review Tuesday: Percy Jackson

via: http://images4.fanpop.com/image/photos/24300000/percy-grover-and-annabeth-percy-jackson-trio-24367980-1920-1080.jpg

Hello Everyone,

I know that at age 18 (almost nineteen really!) I should not be reading children’s books. As an English student, I really shouldn’t be reading children’s literature (unless they’re classics). But as someone who definitely has too much free time on her hands (surprising for a university student), the Percy Jackson is a fantastic series to just switch off, and let the story wash over.

via: http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/percy-jackson-and-the-olympians/images/10938450/title/percy-wallpaper
I first started to read the Percy Jackson series after I saw the film version starring Logan Lerman (phoooar). The film was fantastic, but the books blew me away. The actual story-line was only okay, but the way Riordan takes the Greek myths and turns them on their head is fantastic. Even though the books are directed at children, they are not dumbed down in the least (I hated books that were dumbed down for children when I was younger). There isn’t anything inappropriate, and the sexual aspects of the myths are just lightly skated over, merely touched upon and dismissed. Staying true to the myths in a modern light, and Riordan does that beautifully. He allows children to learn about another culture in a modern context, and is afraid to shy away from complexities of Ancient Greek culture. 

The character development is pretty good. Percy (the hero) starts out as a troubled insecure young boy who hates being different and standing out from the crowd, and ends the series by taking control of his group of friends to win the day against the evil Titans. He finds where he belongs and becomes the leader that is needed.The characters grow with age, making the books suitable for all ages that read them. You are constantly being shown multi-faceted characters that are relatable for children. Riordan shows how complex relationships can be when growing up, encourages working together and listening to one another. These books would be especially good for children with short attention spans as the plot moves quickly and there is none of the ‘boring descriptions’ that are so hated in children’s books (this is a quote from my sister when I asked her why she didn’t like the Harry Potter books). Themes covered are coming of age, bullying, isolation, relationships, outside pressures on children to perform well in school even when they are not very academic. Riordan encourages children to try to understand adults, and to question them when they do something that doesn't quite make sense. The idea that not everything that adults do is correct is a common theme in children's books, but the motives behind these decisions are not always questioned, which is something that Riordan tries to do, partially successfully. 

via: http://www.percyjackson.co.uk/img/pj_header_logo.jpg
The second series is almost as good as the first. Riordan has clearly found another way to flip the myths on their heads, not just with Greek gods, but Romans as well. However, it fits quite nicely into plotline, and gives the gods represented another side to their characters as well, whereas in the first series, they were pretty one dimensional. The story line also clears up a few plot holes left after the first series, and promises to introduce a story just as page turning as the last.

I hope this is useful for any-one considering reading these books. I thoroughly enjoyed reading them myself!


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