Author: Rick Riordan
Reading Level: 4th – 6th
Publisher: Miramax / Hyperion
Edition: Hardcover, 2006
Much like the first book of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians/The Lightning Thief, it is mildly amusing, light, full of cameo appearances from the Greek mythology: some work very well and others are a bit forced. The “guest stars” scenes work a little better in this one: they contribute to, rather than detract from, the momentum of the plot. The stake gets higher here and I presume, like many fantasy series, this one probably will progress from light to dark as the series progress. (Think Harry Potter.)
Riordan’s decision on using Percy’s first person narrative voice that is light, self-deprecating, and ironic has been effective but might make it more difficult to darken the mood. Of course, he (Percy, not Riodan) can grow up and mature a bit and hopefully we’ll see that his “voice” grows along with him. I was reminded of the Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander, with Percy gaining companions of various talents along his quests. But the similarity stops there – Alexander’s style differs drastically from Riordan’s.
The explanations of some modern day phenomena are actually funny: Chain stores sprouting due to the new birth of each monster; Internet being invented by Hermes, the Messenger God, etc.