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Book Review

Book Cover

Percy Jackson and the Greek Gods (Hardback)


Author: Rick Riordan
Publisher: Puffin
RRP: £12.99
ISBN: 978 0 141 35541 2
Publication Date: 07 August 2014

The Percy Jackson series of books and the two films have a storyline based around a character which is part god and part human, Percy is a Demi-god. Using Greek Myth around which to base his stories, Rick Riordan was tapping into a rich vein of existing storytelling and whilst many of the gods appeared, Riordan only had a short time in which to introduce them and their place in the pantheon, so the next logical step was to use his main character, Percy Jackson to tell the gods backstory.

Percy Jackson and the Greek Gods (2014. 404 Pages) is in some ways an odd and slightly misleading addition to the series. The cover portrays Percy in a fighting stance, backed by a couple of gods. But of course this is not a story featuring the character, except as narrator and in this position Percy provides a forward and afterword.

The book covers much the same ground as Robert Graves’s two volumes, but of course with a lot more wit and a lot less poetic interpretation. The book is split into nineteen chapters, each of which highlights a particular god, although the whole thing has been written so as to create an overall story.

Stylistically the book is written as if Percy was writing, so the language used is that of a teenager, allowing Percy often to describe events in a typically non-academic voice. This gives a fairly jaunty view of what is often a horrifically bloody story. This should allow young adults to access the myths whilst at the same time doing it with a smile on their faces and let’s face it anything which expands knowledge is always a good thing.

Will it disappoint readers expecting to read another Percy adventure? I don’t think so as much of the material can be related back to his books and of course it’s written in his voice. Just as a little present, for buying the book, it also contains a single chapter from Heroes of Olympus: The Blood of Olympus.


Charles Packer

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