By: Rick Riordan
Disney – Hyperion
Published: August 19th, 2014
A publisher in New York asked me to write down what I know about the Greek gods, and I was like, Can we do this anonymously? Because I don’t need the Olympians mad at me again. But if it helps you to know your Greek gods, and survive an encounter with them if they ever show up in your face, then I guess writing all this down will be my good deed for the week.
So begins Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods, in which the son of Poseidon adds his own magic–and sarcastic asides–to the classics. He explains how the world was created, then gives readers his personal take on a who’s who of ancients, from Apollo to Zeus. Percy does not hold back. “If you like horror shows, blood baths, lying, stealing, backstabbing, and cannibalism, then read on, because it definitely was a Golden Age for all that.”
Dramatic full-color illustrations throughout by Caldecott Honoree John Rocco make this volume–a must for home, library, and classroom shelves–as stunning as it is entertaining.
This retelling of the classic greek myths was absolutely fantastic. Rick Riordan makes each tale relatable by adding quips and anachronistic descriptors to events and people. Through his character Percy Jackson, we see the Gods and Goddesses in all of their glory – dirty laundry and all. I may be slightly biased as I love mythology, and will occasionally make a joke referencing Cerberus or Hermes’ flying sandals, but this novel was incredibly entertaining. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to pick up a physical copy of it. The illustrations in my ebook form were wonderful, although I expect they’d be brilliant in color.
Percy Jackson is the perfect author/narrator for this novel. Adding his sarcastic spin on tales like the union of Aphrodite and Hephaestus: “So Aphrodite married Hephaestus and the celebrity ship Aphrophaestus completely dominated Olympian tabloid news for like a thousand years. Did they live happily ever after? HAHAHAHAHA. No.” I highlighted an incredible number of quotes that either gave really great descriptions for things or was just incredibly hilarious and I wanted to remember it. He would take the time to explain the rivers of the Underworld, like the Acheron and Styx while giving the reader facts about them in an interesting way. For example, he explained the names of the rivers and their meanings, the incredibly complicated family dynamics, and even some of the punishments Hades created.
I’m not even going to waste your time making you read a long review. If you know any greek mythology, you will enjoy this fresh new take on them. And if somehow, you’ve been living under a rock for your entire life and have never heard of Zeus before (don’t tell him, he’s got an attitude) then this is an enjoyable way to learn. In the unfortunate event that you cannot read, bribe a friend into reading this to you each night before you go to bed. It’s worth it. Or you know, purchase the audiobook.
The age range for these books tend to be middle/young readers but anyone can enjoy it. If you like fantasy, romance, violence, debauchery, history, biography or anything remotely similar than you will enjoy this book – young, old, or illiterate.