You’re probably wondering why I haven’t read this series before even though I’ve owned the books for years. Honestly, I don’t have a reason. Seeing as I’m a fan of fresh takes on Greek Mythology, you would think that I would’ve read these years ago. Okay, so technically I did, and then I stopped at book 4. I don’t remember why, but what’s important is that I’ve now read them and next is Heroes of Olympus.
The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1)
Author: Rick Riordan
Pub. Date: June 28, 2005
Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school…again. And that’s the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy’s Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he’s angered a few of them. Zeus’ master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.
Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus’ stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.
To be perfectly honest, I kind of suffered through this book. I get that it’s technically middle grade and I’m reading it well past that point in my life, but omfg. Percy was so annoying. 10-year-old MCs do absolutely nothing for me. I’d also read this book before, so I wasn’t surprised at what happens in it. It was fun being at Camp Half Blood, but I really didn’t care for the young protagonists. I just kept wishing for the book to be over.
Overall though, I enjoyed just being in the world and it was a fun book. It was just a little hard to get past 10-year-old Percy. Also, tbh, I didn’t love the narrator for this series, which could have had an impact on my enjoyment.
The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #2)
Author: Rick Riordan
Pub. Date: April 1, 2006
Percy Jackson’s seventh-grade year has been surprisingly quiet. Not a single monster has set foot on his New York prep-school campus. But when an innocent game of dodgeball among Percy and his classmates turns into a death match against an ugly gang of cannibal giants, things get… well, ugly. And the unexpected arrival of Percy’s friend Annabeth brings more bad news: the magical borders that protect Camp Half-Blood have been poisoned by a mysterious enemy, and unless a cure is found, the only safe haven for demigods will be destroyed.
In this fresh, funny, and hugely anticipated follow up to The Lightning Thief, Percy and his friends must journey into the Sea of Monsters to save their beloved camp. But first, Percy will discover a stunning new secret about his family—one that makes him question whether being claimed as Poseidon’s son is an honor or simply a cruel joke.
I liked this one a little more – it felt very Odyssey and I’m always a fan. Percy and Co. are still really young, and I still really didn’t care for them. Don’t get me wrong – I like Percy, Annabeth and Grover, I just don’t jive with the 11-year-old personalities. I found them annoying. The story is great though, so I pushed past. Again, it was fun being in the world and seeing the Greek Myths brought to life – and it’s all very cinematic, coming to life right in your mind.
Yes, I’m fully aware that these books are much more relatable to a younger audience, but I had to start at the beginning, so I did. I’m trying not to be too judge-y with this series, and just look at it from enjoyment perspective, and in that regard this book was great.
The Titan’s Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #3)
Author: Rick Riordan
Pub. Date: January 1, 2007
When Percy Jackson receives an urgent distress call from his friend Grover, he immediately prepares for battle. He knows he’ll need his powerful demigod allies at his side; his trusty bronze sword, Riptide; and… a ride from his mom.
The demigods race to the rescue to find that Grover has made an important discovery: two powerful half-bloods, whose parentage is unknown. But that’s not all that awaits them. The Titan lord Kronos has set up a devious trap, and the young heroes have just fallen prey.
I’m really a sucker for anything Greek God, but I’ve recently read a different series that features the Titan’s as the “Good Gods” and their offspring as the “Bad Gods” so, I was kind of looking forward to the Titan’s being more present. And they are! Things are starting to seriously heat up plot wise and I found myself more invested.
I’m sorry! I loved Percy’s journey in this book, and his growing (confusing) feelings for Annabeth, but my brain exists on a different level than these books, and it was sometimes hard to not wish for the books to be more mature. I know that’s unfair, and I recognize that, but I can’t help it. But since Percy and Co. are getting older, I found I related more and more and found them less annoying.
I should also state that being a part/apart from the fandom, I haven’t been able to avoid all the spoilers, so I know *some* things that happen in Heroes of Olympus and I’m in a romance mood, so Percy and Annabeth not being together drives me nuts. Lol
The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #4)
Author: Rick Riordan
Pub. Date: March 6, 2008
Percy Jackson isn’t expecting freshman orientation to be any fun. But when a mysterious mortal acquaintance appears at his potential new school, followed by demon cheerleaders, things quickly move from bad to worse.
In this fourth installment of the blockbuster series, time is running out as war between the Olympians and the evil Titan lord Kronos draws near. Even the safe haven of Camp Half-Blood grows more vulnerable by the minute as Kronos’s army prepares to invade its once impenetrable borders. To stop the invasion, Percy and his demigod friends must set out on a quest through the Labyrinth – a sprawling underground world with stunning surprises at every turn.
This one was so-so for me. I don’t know. I just didn’t like it as much. Though, this is the book that I really, really started to jive with Percy as a character. I loved how he acted around Annabeth. I loved that he was this awkward teenage boy who had very little clue as to how to navigate normal life and feelings. It made for a really entertaining read in that regard. As for the plot, this kind of just felt like a middle book, biding our time until the grand finale. It wasn’t terrible and it’s full of great action moments that play out like a movie in your head, I just found myself not as invested.
I think at this point, I just wanted to get to the final showdown.
The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #5)
Author: Rick Riordan
Pub. Date: May 5, 2009
All year the half-bloods have been preparing for battle against the Titans, knowing the odds of a victory are grim. Kronos’s army is stronger than ever, and with every god and half-blood he recruits, the evil Titan’s power only grows.
While the Olympians struggle to contain the rampaging monster Typhon, Kronos begins his advance on New York City, where Mount Olympus stands virtually unguarded. Now it’s up to Percy Jackson and an army of young demigods to stop the Lord of Time.
This was arguably the best book in this series. Hands down. I got chills while listening to it. The battle for the city was epic and so well done. I really liked Percy and Annabeth in this book. I’m all for mortal peril and heroes rising up. It makes for such great reads.
I’m also all for the age up. Y’all I just love their relationship so much, that I want to get to the cute couple-y moments! I love their friendship, but I’m on a “I need romance in the books I’m reading” kick so I was chomping at the bit a little bit.
This book actually made me excited to read the Heroes of Olympus, as they’ve been sitting on my shelves for years. I was surprised at how much I loved this book and how it ended. I couldn’t have predicted it going down the way it did. I also couldn’t have predicted who the Last Olympian was going to be, and I kinda loved it? Overall this was a fantastic conclusion (for now) and I cannot wait to see what happens next. I’m also high key terrified for what comes next.