I finally picked up Rick Riordan books. It’s only taken me approximately half my life.
So far, I’ve only read The Lightning Thief and The Sword of Summer, and I must say that I definitely prefer The Sword of Summer to The Lightning Thief. However, that does not mean that I won’t eventually get through the rest of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians books, as well as The Heroes of Olympus and The Kane Chronicles. I did pick up The Hidden Oracle while I was in New York, so I am looking forward to reading that.
The Lightning Thief – 4 stars
So I was a bit spoiled because I had seen the movie well before reading the book. However, I also knew going into the book that the movie was one of the lesser faithful adaptations going around, so I knew that while the traitor was the same, the scenes in which the traitor was revealed were different. I also knew that the ages of the characters were not the same in the book and the movie, as they were much younger in the book. I have to admit that I do enjoy the movie on its own, but comparing it to the book, I can see why people did not enjoy the movie. Again, like with The Chronicles of Narnia, I am fairly late into the Percy Jackson game, but overall, I found the book to be fast paced with likeable characters who you can’t help but root for. I loved the rivalry between Annabeth and Percy and how it echoed the rivalry between their parents. I also appreciated that so far there is no romance between the two of them, given the fact that they are 12 years old. I loved all of the references to the Greek myths and I feel like Riordan really captured the gods well, though I had a hard time taking Hades seriously in the book because I could not get the mental image of Steve Coogan out of my head. I have a feeling that if I had read this when I was younger, I would have given it a 5 star rating, but since I am a bit older, it just didn’t hit the 5 star mark for me.
The Sword of Summer – 4.5 stars
I love the sarcastic little shit that is Magnus Chase. I love the diversity of the characters such as Sam, the ex-Valkyrie who is the daughter of Loki and also a Muslim (and wears her hijab with pride); Blitzen, the dwarf son of Freya; and Hearthstone, the deaf elf. I love the pop culture references that occur throughout the book (even if they are going to date the book in the future). I love the references back to Percy Jackson (and Annabeth!). I love that there is no romance in this book other than the references to Sam’s arranged marriage that she’s okay with.
Perhaps it’s because I’ve only read The Lightning Thief, but I really enjoyed The Sword of Summer and didn’t find too many similarities. To me, Percy and Magnus are completely different. But then again, Magnus is 16 and in The Lightning Thief, Percy’s only like 12, so I would hope that they are different. Also the fact that, you know, they are two unique and separate characters.
I mainly took off a half a star because the ending felt a little boring and was not nearly as funny as the rest of the book. However, that did not warrant a full star to come off for me.
I really look forward to reading the rest of the series and checking in with a misfit band of awesome heroes.