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Review: ‘Percy Jackson and the Greek Gods’ by Rick Riordan

August 23, 2014
Percy Jackson and the Greek Gods

 

I thought I was going to love this book, but it turned out sadly to be somewhat disappointing. I’ve been enjoying children’s and teen fiction lately because most of what I’ve been reading felt natural, with highly developed worlds that were believable and had so much depth. This book had none of those things.

Percy Jackson and the Greek Gods

I have to admit this is the first Percy Jackson, and indeed Rick Riordan book I have ever read. It also didn’t have an overarching narrative, so I have to forgive it for not having the depth of plot. I also have to admit that it possibly wasn’t the best introduction to the Percy Jackson series as there was a very little possibility of gaining an insight into Riordan’s ability for world building and I didn’t have a sense of Percy Jackson as a character. That said, however, the book is stand alone as you shouldn’t need to know Percy’s character to read or get enjoyment from it, and with Greek mythology so full of colour, life, death, tragedy and horror it should have been easy to paint a picture of Ancient Greece. Riordan just didn’t achieve it though. I would have appreciated fewer stories with a bit more depth, or the stories told chronologically rather than by God.

I think the part I found most jarring was Percy Jackson’s narrative voice. It just didn’t come across as natural. It felt very much like an adult trying desperately to write as a child and it simply did not come across quite right. It all felt somehow forced, and Percy Jackson’s reactions to some of the stories didn’t ring true. I highly doubt that any well rounded teenage boy would be so blasΓ© finding out his father was a multiple rapist…

It should have been a great read. There is so much to write about in Greek mythology, but for me ‘Percy Jackson and the Greek Gods’ just fell flat. It wasn’t fast paced, or fun and Percy just felt like he was trying too hard to be funny. Nobody likes a try hard. It wasn’t a terrible read, but it just wasn’t great. And I really, really wanted it to be.

Goodreads review here.

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