This series has five titles -- The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Battle of the Labyrinth, The Titan's Curse and The Last Olympian. Through them, you get to revisit forgotten relics like the Golden Fleece, meet Zeus and Hermes in person, run from mythical monsters disguised as cheerleaders, and even ride with a group of Centaurs calling themselves Party Ponies. What I found most interesting about these books is that they introduce you to Greek mythology without subjecting you to thick volumes of dusty texts. It's the perfect educational tool -- fun, witty and filled with fascinating information.
Riordian is a prolific writer and though I've steered clear of his books for adults (Yes, I refuse to grow up!) and I really didn't enjoy The Kane Chronicles -- same concept as Percy, only adapted to Egyptian mythology. But I find his language most exciting to read. It's very American the way it relies on comebacks, slangs and catchphrases to make a somewhat tedious and intimidating subject identifiable. He actually makes me want to read The Illiad by Homer without cheating with literature guides and wikipedia.
The Percy Jackson series is an amazing present to receive no matter how old you are. It's fun, hilarious, entertaining and (be warned) super addictive. It also gives you an idea as to why films like Clash of the Titans and Immortals are such poor by-products spawned in drunken Hollywood basements.
To compare Percy to Harry Potter would be a sin because Rowling's little boy is in a league of his own. But if this were a competition I'd say that Percy Jackson was America's answer to Britain's fantastical pride and glory. Buy the box set if you know what's good for you. I promise you won't regret it.
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