Percy Jackson & the Olympians by Rick Riordan

A Coming-of-Age Story Wrapped in Modern Greek Mythology


Imagine finding out that all the Greek gods and myths you learned about in school actually exist in the modern world. Now imagine you’re the son of Poseidon, one of the “Big Three” most powerful gods. That’s the crazy premise that launches the action-packed Percy Jackson & The Olympians series by author Rick Riordan. It follows 12-year-old Percy Jackson after he discovers he’s a demigod and heads off to Camp Half-Blood where he trains to use his newfound powers.

With great abilities comes great turmoil though. There are a lot of gods and monsters from Ancient Greek myths who would love nothing more than to take Percy down. He gets accused of stealing Zeus’s infamous lightning bolt weapon. Not a small problem for a newbie half-blood! As you can guess, that kicks off an epic quest as Percy has to track down the real thief to prevent a war between the gods.

Percy Jackson & the Olympians by Rick Riordan

You can find Percy Jackson & the Olympians by Rick Riordan on your favorite bookstore, including and Amazon UK.

About Author Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan is one of the most popular and bestselling authors of young adult fantasy novels today. He is most well known for his Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, which follows modern-day teenager Percy Jackson as he discovers he is the son of the Greek sea god Poseidon.

Riordan’s Early Life and Teaching Career
Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, Riordan graduated from Alamo Heights High School and went on to receive his degree in English and History from the University of Texas at Austin in 1986. After college, Riordan taught English and Social Studies in Presidio High School in San Francisco for 8 years. It was during this teaching period that Riordan was inspired to create the Percy Jackson stories, as he wanted material that would appeal to kids who struggled with reading and have them connect more to mythology.

Success with Percy Jackson Series
Riordan published the first Percy Jackson book “The Lightning Thief” in 2005, launching one of the most beloved young adult book series to date. There are currently five books in the main Percy Jackson series, as well as graphic novels, companion books, and Riordan’s own adaptations of ancient Greek myths. The books have sold over 100 million copies worldwide and have been adapted into two major motion pictures. The unique blend of Greek mythology retold in a modern-day setting with relatable young characters struck a chord with young readers.

More Fantasy Series Set in Mythological Worlds
Following his triumph with Percy Jackson, Riordan expanded his literary universe to include even more mythologies. His Heroes of Olympus series introduced Roman mythology to complement the Greek myths. He has also penned the Kane Chronicles trilogy based on Ancient Egyptian mythology, the Magnus Chase series from Norse mythology, and a new series centered around mythology from India called the Trials of Apollo. Riordan has an uncanny ability to make stories rooted in ancient culture and lore accessible and exciting to today’s youth. His books speak to the inner adventurer in all children.

Ongoing Legacy
To this day, with 19 New York Times #1 bestselling books under his belt, Riordan continues releasing new books set in the various mythological worlds he has created. An imprint called Rick Riordan Presents has other authors contributing novels based on their cultural folklore as well. Additionally, his stories have inspired graphic novels, companion guides, and supplemental myth collections that allow fans to dive deeper into the myths. It is clear Riordan’s collection of mythology-based young adult books will inspire the next generation to embrace adventure and world cultures for years to come.

The Characters

Our sarcastic hero Percy anchors the series with an average American teenager vibe despite his crazy lineage. Backing him up is a colorful cast that keeps things exciting across five captivating books.

There’s Annabeth, the wise, no-nonsense demigod daughter of Athena who becomes Percy’s closest ally. Grover provides comic relief as Percy’s loyal best friend; he just happens to be a satyr. Series villains like Ares, the brutish God of War and Luke, an embittered demigod make constant trouble for our heroes. Even Medusa and the Hydra show up! With adventures pulling from the strangest corners of Greek myths, Percy and friends face countless dangers.

Why Read These Books?

The Page-Turning Plot

The Lightning Thief kicks things off by throwing Percy head-first into the mind-bending revelation that gods and monsters are real. He gets accused of stealing Zeus’s powerful lightning bolt weapon and has just 10 days to track down the real thief before the king of gods wages war on Poseidon. Each book sends Percy on a quest more epic than the last, with non-stop action pulling directly from the strangest Greek myths.

There’s never a dull moment as demon cheerleaders, Medusa and hydras cause chaos. Rick Riordan crafts truly scary villains and exhilarating battles loaded with witty dialogue. With high stakes riding on whether Percy can conquer each quest, you can’t put these books down until you see him through to the end!

The Clever Modern Twist on Myths

While the books stay faithful to their ancient source material, the way it all translates to modern-day settings makes the stories feel fresh. Seeing iconic monsters wreaking havoc in places like the St. Louis Arch grounds the fantastical elements with funny “can you believe THIS is happening?!” moments.

When legendary tales meet modern conveniences like taxicabs, the Parthenon gift shop and New York public transit, crazy culture clash hijinks ensue. The books do a masterful job blending ancient myths into the fabric of reality. Seeing mythical figures grappling with mundane human problems like romance, grievances between siblings or arguing parents is utterly delightful.

The Relatable Main Character

Even with his special lineage, Percy feels like an average kid dealing with normal issues on top of saving the world. His ADHD and dyslexia make focusing a challenge in school. He has to hide his demigod identity which puts strain on his mom’s marriage to a rude stepdad. These everyday issues ground the bonkers mythical parts in something tangible.

Percy stands in for the embattled kid trying to find where they fit in. That makes it easy to connect with him, because despite his epic quests battling legendary monsters, he has the same teenage growing pains we all deal with.

The Hilarious Narration

Percy brings plenty of sarcastic humor as narrator, dishing out quippy observations full of wit. Moments of levity pop up constantly, like Percy claiming truancy court makes battling hydras seem like a vacation. It cuts tension at just the right moments. Percy’s dry humor about the absurdity of wrestling Furies while trying to maintain normal straight-A student expectations echoes what we’re all thinking.

The Supporting Cast

While Percy steals the spotlight, his demigod friends are full of personality too. Wise-cracking Annabeth’s quest to appease her demanding mom Athena offers great sidebar stories. Annoying know-it-all traits make her extremely sympathetic rather than irritating. Grover’s hilarious mannerisms and loyalty provide frequent laughs.

Seeing figures like the Ares kids at Camp Half Blood trade insults and clash inflated egos keeps things fun. Mr. D, the disinterested wine god forced to watch demigods, also shines with hysterical, biting commentary.

Final Verdict – A Must-Read Series!

Percy Jackson and the Olympians has wide appeal for kids, teens and even adults. Engaging heroes and villains coupled with funny narration and non-stop action create a truly entertaining experience. Those new to Greek myths finally get an easily digestible primer. Meanwhile, lifelong fans love seeing their favorite godly characters translated to fresh modern settings. Riordan strikes the perfect balance between staying faithful to legendary source material while crafting something that feels new. Clear your schedule before you pick up that first book, because you won’t be able to put them down!

5 More Must-Read YA Book Series Like Percy Jackson

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

The beloved books about the Boy Who Lived and his adventures at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry need no description. Rowling crafts an immersive fantasy world hidden within our real one, similarly to how Greek myths come to life in Percy Jackson’s reality. Iconic heroes, scary villains and clever world-building make this a must-read.

The Heroes of Olympus Series by Rick Riordan

Riordan expands the world of Percy Jackson with more demigod adventures against mythological monsters. The original cast returns alongside new heroes like Jason Grace, Piper, Hazel and Frank Zhang who bring unique talents and fresh humor to the mix.

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard by Rick Riordan

Riordan strikes gold again in this series based on Norse mythology. It follows Magnus Chase after he dies and becomes an einherji, blessed warrior fighting alongside Thor and Loki to prevent Ragnarok. The hilarious, diverse cast of gods and fantastical monsters return for another clever modern update of ancient myths.

The Trials of Apollo by Rick Riordan

The Percy Jackson author has perfected the formula of thrusting old myths into the modern world. This series follows Apollo stripped of his powers and turned mortal as punishment. To regain his godly status, Apollo must restore five lost oracles that keep the world in balance. His misery navigating human challenges like getaway buses and rhyming poetry is downright hysterical.

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Riggs’ bestselling YA fantasy novel also centers around special children battling sinister monsters intent on their destruction. Protagonist Jacob discovers his grandfather’s strange childhood home hid magical kids with unique talents. When its perfection fractures, Jacob helps these beloved characters navigate grave dangers in unfamiliar terrain. The series continues as Jacob discovers his own peculiar abilities.


What is the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series about?

The Percy Jackson & the Olympians series tells the story of 12-year-old Percy Jackson who discovers he is the demigod son of the Greek god Poseidon. After learning he is a demigod, Percy gets sent to Camp Half-Blood, a special camp that trains young demigods to use their powers. The series follows Percy on various adventures and quests where he battles fearsome Greek monsters and gods from Greek mythology. Ultimately, Percy plays a major role in an impending war between the gods on Mount Olympus.

How many books are in the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series?

There are a total of 5 books in the main Percy Jackson & the Olympians series. In order, the books are: The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Titan’s Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, and The Last Olympian. There is also a sequel series called The Heroes of Olympus centered around Roman and Greek demigods.

What age are the Percy Jackson books appropriate for?

The Percy Jackson books are generally targeted at a middle grade reading level, appropriate for ages 10 and up. The books feature action, adventure and some violence since the characters battle mythological monsters and beasts. But overall they are very accessible for middle grade readers and help bring Greek mythology to life.

What reading order should the Percy Jackson series be read in?

The Percy Jackson & the Olympians books should be read in the order they were published in: The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Titan’s Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, and The Last Olympian. Reading them in order allows readers to follow Percy’s journey and character growth as well as the overarching myth plotline.

Why should someone read the Percy Jackson book series?

People should read the Percy Jackson series because the books provide an exciting, imaginative adventure infused with Greek mythology come to life. Readers bond with the characters and become immersed in the world of gods, titans, monsters, and demigod heroes. The books make Greek mythology contemporary and thrilling for young readers. The series combines myth, action, humor, and vivid examples of loyalty and friendship.

Who are the main characters in the Percy Jackson book series?

The main protagonist and narrator of the series is Percy Jackson, the 12-year-old demigod son of Poseidon. Other major characters are Annabeth Chase, Percy’s friend and the daughter of Athena; Grover Underwood, Percy’s best friend who is a satyr; and Luke Castellan, a son of Hermes who plays an pivotal role. Many Greek gods like Zeus, Hades and mythical beings feature prominently.

What mythical beasts and monsters appear in the series?

As Percy battles the forces of evil, he encounters famous beasts and monsters from Greek myths. Some of those include the Furies, Medusa, the Minotaur, the Chimera, the Hydra, harpies, the sirens, Cerberus and Typhon. He also crosses paths with other entities like the Oracle, Fates, the Styx River and mysterious Titans like Kronos.

Has the Percy Jackson series been adapted to film or tv?

Yes, two Percy Jackson films have been made. Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief starring Logan Lerman released in 2010. The sequel Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters also starring Lerman came out in 2013. Unfortunately, further adaptations in the initial series have not yet materialized even though the author and fans remain hopeful.

How has the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series influenced pop culture?

The immense success of the Percy Jackson series has helped bring mythology into mainstream pop culture. It has shaped the YA fantasy genre and spawned a legion of devoted fans of all ages. Terms and characters like demigods, Camp Half Blood, satyrs and Kronos have entered the cultural lexicon. The series helped establish Rick Riordan as one of the most popular children’s authors working today.

What other book series has Rick Riordan written?

Aside from Percy Jackson, Rick Riordan has authored several other mythology inspired series. Those include The Kane Chronicles (Egyptian mythology), Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard (Norse mythology), The Trials of Apollo (Greek/Roman) and his newest Daughter of the Deep graphic novels focusing on lesser known myths.

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