Monday, August 20, 2012

Heroes of Olympus Series: The Lost Hero

When we finished the original Percy Jackson series, we immediately went on to the next part of the series, The Heroes of Olympus trilogy.

The first book in the series is The Lost Hero, and like the Percy Jackson series, Evalina simply gobbled it up.

The Story:  Piper and Leo attend a kind of school for delinquents, called The Wilderness School, with their friend (and Piper's boyfriend), Jason.  At least, they think they do.  The problem is, Jason doesn't remember ever having seen them before he wakes up on the bus to the Grand Canyon field trip.  And then, at the field trip, things start going even worse.  The bully jock in the class turns out to be a crazy storm spirit out to kill all of them, and their coach is actually a satyr who gets kidnapped trying to protect the kids.  On top of that, Piper falls into the canyon... and Jason jumps in, and flies to her rescue.  Yes, he flies.  And that's just the beginning.  As fans of the Percy Jackson series might suspect, these kids are demigods, but somehow they weren't brought to Camp Half-Blood before the story starts, and they are older than the normal age of being claimed by their godly parents.  Bad things are rising - worse than the Titans which Percy and the other demigods defeated recently.  Jason's memory has been taken by Hera, who is the prisoner of a force so strong that no one wants to name it.  Camp Half-Blood is in turmoil because Percy Jackson has disappeared without a trace.  The three newcomers are finally claimed by their godly parents - Leo is the son of Haephestus, Piper is the daughter of Aphrodite, and Jason... he seems to be the son of Zeus, but something is off... pieces of the puzzle don't quite fit, and he can speak Latin.  His memory is still gone, but he starts to suspect he is not the son of Zeus after all, but instead the son of Jupiter, Zeus' Roman aspect.  And that's just the tip of the iceberg...

The Good:  It's neat how the new characters are definitely the center of this story, but the older characters aren't forgotten, and are interwoven into the new line of story.  As in the Percy Jackson series, the writing is exciting and the mythology behind it seems pretty true to the original stories.  The reasons for the strife between the Greek and Roman gods and their children seem to make sense.  The Big Bad is really well done, and we both loved the new central trio. 

The Bad:  There is more teenage angst in this one than in previous books by the same author, and I know it is simply because this trio is older to start with - I think 16 in the beginning, whereas Percy started somewhat younger.  The book was also really long - nearly 400 pages, so it took us a while to get through.  The previous books by the same author were maybe 300 tops.  Some chapter cliffhangers were simply too much to put the book down... not that that's necessarily a bad thing...

The Verdict:  We can't wait to start the next book in the series!  Read this if you have read the Percy Jackson series.  It is really really well done and a great read.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Titan's Curse, Battle of the Labyrinth, The Last Olympian

I am SO behind on blogging these books!

I wanted to note that we had, in fact, read them, and that I am, in fact, still doing this blog... it's been a crazy summer so far, though, so let me apologize ahead of time for the fact that this post is going to cover three books, and that it might not be the format I like to do...

I promise to do better in the future.

Titan's Curse: In this book, Percy and his friends have to help rescue the goddess Artemis from her prison as a stand in for Atlas, holding up the earth, as the Titans strengthen their forces and ready for battle with the Gods.  Along the way, they meet a couple mysterious demigods, and the future of the world, mortal and immortal, hangs in the balance.

Battle of the Labyrinth:  When it is discovered that Daedelus' labyrinth really does exist, and that it has actually expanded over time, and like Olympus, has shifted to lie under the US.  With the Titan army rising, it could be disastrous if they gain control of the labyrinth, with access to anywhere - including Camp Half-Blood!  Percy and his friends need to prevail if the world as they know it is going to survive.

The Last Olympian: The Titan War is at hand!  This is a nearly non-stop action-packed book, full of battles, betrayals, monsters, friends, enemies, and seemingly insurmountable difficulties.  The Titans are strong, and it doesn't seem like the Olympians and the demi-gods will be able to defeat them... Percy and his friends go through much to try to save the world.

So that's that.  I can honestly say that Evalina is completely obsessed with these books.  She's read the Battle of the Labyrinth three times by herself, after we read it together.  She has proclaimed herself a "Greek God Geek," and knows more about some of them than I do..

Next - the Heroes of Olympus series!!  Halfway through The Lost Hero already... I will do a better post on it, promise!