Book: Percy Jackson and the Greek Gods / Percy Jackson and the Greek Heroes (Percy Jackson companion books) by Rick Riordan
Release Date: August 19th 2014 / August 18th 2015
Tags: PJO companion books / Greek Mythology / Gods / Greek Gods / Middle Grade / Adventure
Rating: 3 stars / 3,5 stars
A publisher in New York asked me to write down what I know about the Greek gods, and I was like, Can we do this anonymously? Because I don’t need the Olympians mad at me again. But if it helps you to know your Greek gods, and survive an encounter with them if they ever show up in your face, then I guess writing all this down will be my good deed for the week.” So begins Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods, in which the son of Poseidon adds his own magic–and sarcastic asides–to the classics.
I finished reading Percy Jackson as a series about two/three years ago. This was around the time that Rick Riordan started releasing these companion novels. One that focuses on mythology surrounding Greek Gods and the other one on the stories of the Greek Heroes, often demigods.
Which is why two years ago I read The Greek Gods one. It wasn’t until this year however that I finally picked up The Greek Heroes. The reason for that? Greek Gods put me off it. I’ll start by saying that I think these books are great additions to Percy Jackson. As that is more of a middle grade series, it is great to have these books that go with it that dive into the backstories of the Greek Gods and heroes. It teaches younger kids that pick up these books something, that they can later on use in high school for history lessons. And even I learned a lot more about the mythology.
Having said that, I had a lot of issues with our narrator. Our narrator being Percy Jackson. I was not his biggest fan overall throughout the original books but he grew on me throughout The Heroes of Olympus. In this book that focuses on these stories his voice grated on me. He refers to a lot of modern things, probably so that the new generation can understand better what some things meant. However, I think he went overboard with this. It is just too much. However I do recognize that might be my age. Obviously I am a lot older than the originally intended target group. Even so I do think that even for the intended target group it is too much. The line of what it was like in those days compared to now was fading and I think that is a shame.
I have to say that I also preferred the stories of the Greek heroes over the Greek Gods. Obviously now I knew what to expect. And Percy had grown on me a little. But also, mostly the heroes are more easily to identify with. The little guys compared to the divine Gods. It was easier to be interested in their adventures as they were slightly less wacky. Bit only a little less.
These two books also have large illustrated editions. Unfortunately I got the normal only text editions but I think if you read these stories with the illustrations that it would enhance the overall experience.