My girls have been trying to get me to read their fantasy books but for a long time I resisted. I don't really know why - after all I did read all the Harry Porter books and I loved them. I also read Madeline L'Engle's books and even the Narnia books. A few months back I started reading The Hunger Games and got so engrossed I began looking for the continuation until I had read all the books in the series.
Last week I finally read the first book of the Percy Jackson series and immediately got hooked! It's a bit late of course - those books have been out for years - since Sarah was still in school and both Sarah and Shasha have been discussing Percy Jackson and his exploits for years and years. When I ask them they will say - you ought to read the book Mum - you'll love them. But somehow I never got around to reading them because I always had my own books to read. I read Harry Porter because the girls were just so excited about the books and there was the movie of course.
Well anyway I have started reading Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series and I must say they bear up well. Percy is not as great a character as Harry Porter but he is just as lovable a character. The idea of mythical creatures being real and that the Greek Gods have children with mortals is rather interesting but not really new or gripping. Perhaps it's not fair to compare the Harry Porter books with that of Percy Jackson but one cannot help it. Both the main characters are teenage boys and the books began when both boys are the same age - 12 going on 13. But where Harry seems to be a more developed character, Percy seems more like a shadow of him. Percy Jackson is the son of Poseidon and all the years he was growing up he thinks that his father had died and that his mother, just a normal mother. However one thing about Percy is that he always gets into trouble and is often thrown out of one school after another. After an episode in which he sees The Furies at a museum visit he is again thrown out of school but this time his teacher, Mr Brunner tells his mother to send him to a camp called Camp Half Blood. This is where Percy finds out that he is Poseidon's son and that he has been accused of stealing a Lightning bolt belonging to Zeus.
Camp half Blood is a bit like Hogwarts and all the children there are also children of the gods, like Percy. He makes friends with Athena's daughter, Annabeth Chase and a young satyr Grover and together they set out on a quest to look for the lightning bolt.
It is a good enough read - I enjoyed it and was fully engrossed reading the adventures of this young demi god Perseus. But that is mainly because I have always enjoyed reading the Greek Myths and its quite fun to imagine Olympus as on top of the Empire State Building and that pegasus or flying horses exist or that the entrance to the underworld is in Hollywood.