Rediscovering Fantasy with Percy Jackson

Rediscovering Fantasy with Percy Jackson

Julie Dunn, Prospect Staff Writer

The Percy Jackson books, written by Rick Riordan, is one of the most beloved young adult book series of all time. Read by millions of young people everywhere, they have gained a massive following that is dedicated to talking about characters of the main series. The story follows young Percy Jackson as discovers he is related to one of the Gods of Olympus and goes off on heroic quests with his friends as they defeat evil that attempts to destroy the goodness of the world. The main characters are very beautifully written and full of life, especially the main trio of the series: Percy Jackson, Annabeth Chase, and Grover Underwood. As the series progresses, readers are introduced to more characters that soon become as valued as the characters we began the story with, including Rachel Elizabeth Dare. After the initial five books, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, the series leads into the next five books, The Heroes of Olympus, the continuation of the series. These are great books to read if you enjoy reading about Greek and Roman mythology.  

I remember when I was first introduced to these books. It was back in the fourth grade, and we were allowed to listen to audiobooks in the classroom towards the end of the year. We were given the option to listen to it with three other classmates, and we were given the first book, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. I had such a wonderful time listening to the book, while reading along, with my three friends in the fourth grade. I always looked forward to reading it everyday with them. I was in a dark place in the fourth grade and listening to the book made life more bearable. The first book was so much fun to read, and I read the second book, Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters, the summer afterwards. It was an okay book, but I did not seem to enjoy it as much as the first book. I don’t know why I did not continue on with the series afterwards; I got very busy with fifth grade and I did not read very much in the fifth and sixth grade for some reason. 

I finally read the rest of the series earlier this year, and I enjoyed it so much more than I thought I would. This included re-reading the first book, and it has aged so well compared to the other books in the series. All of these books are so masterfully written, and Rick Riordan incorporates Greek mythology into young adult stories so well. I really loved the characters the most, especially Annabeth for her intelligence, bravery, and kindness. She has become one of my favorite book characters of all time. My favorite of the Percy Jackson books is The Titan’s Curse and of the Heroes of Olympus it is The Mark of Athena

Since the Percy Jackson TV series from Disney+ will begin filming in June, I think that it will be a joy to begin reading these books. Even if you have already read them, it would be great to re-read them, because these books are just so memorable. Reading these books has been one of my favorite parts of this school year, and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading fantasy books that are connected to older myths.