Rating: 4 Stars ★★★★☆
Look, I didn’t want to be a half-blood.
Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse – Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him.
When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea.
Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena – Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.
Alright, this book is fun. I love Greek mythology so I’m always happy to see new twists on the old stories and Percy Jackson definitely delivered. All the Gods have moved to America, the Olymp is on top of the Empire State Building, demigods are trained in a summer camp and the entrance to the underworld is in Hollywood. Obviously.
I really liked the setting but the characters were also great. I like Percy, though he seems kind of lost most of the time. He just stumbles from one thing to the next. But he’s also very caring, determined, a good friend and he’s funny. Definitely hero material. He also feels his age, which I liked.
Then we’ve got Annabeth, daughter of Athena. Now her mum and Percy’s dad Poseidon have traditionally been enemies. However, Annabeth would do anything to go out on a quest so when Percy gets one she puts aside that rivalry. And they work really well together. I also liked that there’s no stupid romance in this book.
“I’m not saying hello to a pink poodle,” I said. “Forget it.”
“Percy,” Annabeth said. “I said hello to the poodle. You say hello to the poodle.”
The poodle growled.
I said hello to the poodle.
And can we talk about Mister D, head of the camp aka Dionysos for a bit? Because I adored that grumpy old god.
Mr D got up with a huge sigh. “Yes I suppose I’d better say hello to all you brats. Well, hello. Our activities director, Chiron, says the next capture the flag is Friday. Cabin five presently holds the laurels.”
A bunch of ugly cheering rose from the Ares table.
“Personally,” Mr D continued, “I couldn’t care less, but congratulations.”
The quest is fun as well. Percy, Annabeth and satyr Grover cross America to get to the underworld and confront Hades, who they suspect is instigating a war between Zeus and Poseidon. On the way they meet all kinds of different mythological creatures. It was interesting, fun and fast-paced. Definitely highly enjoyable.
The one thing that was annoying was that no one ever told Percy anything. Seriously guys, just tell that poor kid some facts for a change instead of those weird allusions.
“Wait!” I called. “At the river, you said not to trust the gifts. What gifts?”
“Goodbye, young hero”, she called back, her voice fading into the depths. “You must listen to your heart.”
A fun romp through Greek mythology