Friday, May 28, 2010

Percy Jackson and the Olympians!

Let me start by saying that, once upon a time, I was a senior in high school, in love with Greek mythology.  I seriously considered going to a small liberal arts school out of state and majoring in Greek mythology.  But then I remembered that I had wanted to be an Aggie since I was 8, and that as much as I loved Greek mythology, Spanish was a much more marketable degree.  So, off to A&M I went.  But I never did get over my love for Greek mythology and I still take the opportunity to indulge in it when I can--in fact, I still read Edith Hamilton's Mythology.

So, a few weeks ago, Bryan went to Alvin to help one of his riding buddies work on a bike.  I decided that, since it was a Friday night, I was going to go out.  I went and grabbed dinner at McAllisters, and then decided to go to the dollar theater.  I chose Percy Jackson and the Olympians:  The Lightning Thief because I really wanted to see it, and Bryan really didn't.  So, I bought my candy and enjoyed the heck out of my movie!  It was highly entertaining, with some pretty good one-liners, and I especially enjoyed the way the movie took ancient Greek mythology and transposed it to the modern-day world.  Granted, they had to warp a couple of the myths to fit the plot line, but overall I really enjoyed it.  The actors did a great job, and I really enjoyed their interpretation of how the characteristics of the parent gods would manifest in their children. 

I am a firm believer in the saying that the book is better than the movie.  There are possibly a few exceptions (and by that I mean the movie is just as good as the book), but in general this saying holds true.  So this week I went to the bookstore and picked up the written version of Percy Jackson and the Olympians:  The Lightning Thief.

I am happy to say that I've finally found another young adult series that is actually worth a damn!  Lol.  Don't get me wrong, I am sure that many of the young adult series out there are wonderful reads.  However, I've only found three others that I've truly enjoyed--Tamora Pierce's Tortall series, and of course Harry Potter and Twilight (both of which are actually considered young adult--go figure, right?).  Now I get to add a fourth!  The Lightning Thief introduces Percy Jackson, a 12 year old half-blood in the tradition of Perseus (his namesake) and Hercules.  However, instead of Zeus, he is the son of Poseidon and a mortal woman (Sally).  At first, he doesn't know of his immortal father.  However, soon he comes under attack by mythological creatures and learns the truth--that the master lightning bolt of Zeus had been stolen and he (and just about every other god and monster) blames Poseidon's son:  Percy himself.

This sets in motion a grand adventure culminating in a challenging quest.  I won't go into much more than that--if there's one thing I HATE its the plot of a book being spoiled!  I will say that, at the end of the book, Chiron (yes, that Chiron!) mentions a prophecy--which helps to launch the rest of the series.  I've read through book 3--The Titan's Curse--and have really enjoyed it.  The way the author uses the mythology is fascinating, and he even comes up with explanations for things that were glossed over in the movie--like why monsters who were slayed in ancient myths reappear in Percy's story.

I will probably buy the movie when it comes out on DVD.  Even though I enjoy the books more--they have a more thorough storyline--the movie was highly enjoyable.  This weekend I plan to go buy the next two books, which will finish out the series.

Since, as I've said before, I hate spoiling plots, I will not be telling the ending--but I highly recommend y'all go give this series a read.  I think you'll enjoy it as much as I have!


  1. i haven't seen the movie... but read 3 of the books in a week... they were superfun and well written.

    it actually got me reading the odyssey again! haha!

    my husband saw the movie and we discussed some of the differences... it sounds like they really sold the movie short by changing some of the main plot points.

    i read some pretty heavy stuff- so it's great to lighten things up with some fantasy now and then...

  2. I agree with your husband--they really did sell the movie short, at least if they were thinking in terms of a series of films. As long as they only wanted one film, I can see how the movie could stand alone...but I really have no idea how they're going to proceed if they try to continue with the rest of the series.
    Fantasy is such a good escape! I just got back from buying the last two books--I'm so excited to see how it ends!


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