Percy Jackson and the Olympians is my second favorite series ever. Of course, that is next to the Harry Potter series, which movie franchise will end on my 21st Birthday and will signify the end of my childhood, both literally and figuratively. But that is another story.
I have read the Percy Jackson series a year before and even if I was pretty sad that I have to let go of the series and Percy and all the other characters, the ending was not flat. It did not feel pushed or clumsily written, so when another prophecy popped out at the last few pages of the series, I did not really think that Riordan would publish another epic series as a follow through quite immediately.
The Lost Hero opens with a demigod, Jason, with no memory whatsoever about his past, in a school bus of people who clearly he does not know, but with two other demigods who claim to be his girlfriend (Piper) and best friend (Leo). The same chasing monsters to Camp Half Blood thing happened, and that is when we found out the Percy Jackson has gone missing. My heart, LOL. Then comes the quest and the adventures that Rick Riordan has managed to write in a godly way–fast-paced and packed with adventures.
It felt good to be back in Camp Half-Blood, to get to know how are the old characters that I have learned to love are doing, of course, except for Percy.
I feared that since the gap between the Percy Jackson series and the Heroes of Olympus series is quite short, the characters must have resembled each other, especially Percy and Jason and their other counterparts. But I guess, I should have given Riordan more slack, because he actually pulled off this new set of characters. [Although I notice Piper and Annabeth have eerie character resemblance.]
Well for one, Jason is relatively calmer that Percy, especially given the fact that he turns out to be a son of Zeus and descended from the Roman line of gods. He is also more charming and more lovable than the moody Percy, but of course, we can always attribute Percy’s temperament to his Dad’s sea god characteristics and Jason’s calm side to his maturity, given that he is 16 years old at the start of the series. But well, you know, I have biases. It’ll always be Percy > Jason. Sorry, I value time and the order of things.
Jason scratched his head. “You named him Festus? You know that in Latin, ‘festus’ means ‘happy’? You want us to run odd to save the world on Happy the Dragon?”
Look it! Jason knows a thing about sarcasm. Swag.
“Maybe it’s the other way around,” Jason suggested. “Maybe people with special gifts show up when bad things are happening because that’s when they’re needed the most.”
The above quoted conversation happened between Jason and Leo and boy, I hated reading Leo’s chapters. He is WHINY, OH GOD ANNOYINGLY WHINY. Woe is me, I am very unlucky, I am bad and I am helpless. For a son of Hephaestus, he sure is weak. I have known his sons to be the tough ones in the camp and Leo just felt all wrong. I hope his character grows as the series continues though.
He held out his hands and studied his fingers. They were long and thin, not calloused like the other Hephaestus campers’. Leo had never been the biggest or the strongest kid. He’d survived in tough neighborhoods, tough schools, tough foster homes by using his wits. He was the class clown, the court jester, because he’d learned early that if you cracked jokes and pretended that you weren’t scared, you usually didn’t get beat up. Even the baddest gangster kids would tolerate you, keep you around for laughs. Plus humor is a good way to hide the pain. And if that didn’t work, there was alwaya Plan B. Run away. Over and over.
And then we have Piper, who resembles a Annabeth’s character a lot, making her somewhat a displaced daughter of Aphrodite. She is actually awesome, obviously, she is beautiful, but she is also brave and smart, plus she uses Charmspeak, which is probably the coolest and awesomest power of being a child of Aphrodite. While reading her chapters though, it was cute whenever she shows her affection for Jason. I feel actually giddy.
Piper knew it was crazy to think that she could read their expressions so well–two people she barely knew. But she was absolutely positive she understood them, and it scared the jujubes out of her.
But then you see how this love will be a liability in the series and Piper’s biggest flaw. I have high hopes in the twists of her character, though. I am quite excited to see her character grow.
The princess smiled. “As I said, a new life in a new country. Certainly I made mistakes. I turned my back on my own people. I was called a traitor, a thief, a liar, a murderess. But I acted out of love.” She turned to the boys and gave them a pitiful look, batting her eyelashes. Piper could feel the sorcery washing over them, taking control more firmly than ever. “Wouldn’t you do the same for someone you loved, my dears?”
The Percy Jackson series was written in the first person point of view of Percy and I admit that I missed the witty and funny way of how Percy saw and narrated things. As much as indecisive, amusing, and annoying it is to see things the way Percy does, I missed all of these in the The Lost Hero. The characters are as witty as the previous characters, it is just that I kind of hated the part wherein now, we read the novel with three different perspectives. I saw myself almost skimming Piper and Leo’s chapters just to go through Jason’s parts. It is just that I like being in Jason’s perspective. As creepy as it sounds, I like being in his mind. HOKAY, I’ll stop.
Heroes of the Olympus feels more mature than the prior series, even more revealing and exploring on the nature of the gods. Embarrassing, yes, but the series brushed me up on Roman mythology. For all I know, the Greek and Roman gods are just the same, only with changed names.
“Ha,” said Coach Hedge. “The gods hate needing humans. They like to be neededby humans, but not the other way around. Things will have to get a lot worse before Zeus admits he made a mistake closing Olympus.”
More on the exploring of the Olympians behavior, a little psychoanalysis:
“…The Greeks invaded Troy and burned it to the ground. The Trojan hero Aeneas escaped, and eventually made his way to Italy, where he founded the race that would someday become Rome. The Romans grew more and more powerful, worshipping the same gods but under different names, and with slightly different personalities.”
“More warlike,” Jason said. “More united. More about expansion, conquest, and discipline.”
More so, I was in awe how Riordan pieced the puzzles together. How Jason is actually Thalia’s lost younger brother, and how he had inserted the Roman camp and characters even in the prior series. When I learned that Jason and his camp mates were actually the ones responsible for defeating Krios in the Titan war, I saw how Riordan had cleverly manipulated us in making us believe that there is no other camp. I knew Krios did not just die in a cage of tree roots. Not that I mock the satyrs power, but that was Krios. There is no way he can just go defeated in a lame way. Riordan is a Mist.
Also, he opens a gateway to know Hera more. Personally, I liked how Riordan explored Hera’s character in the series. It explains her treatment toward heroes and her sour attitude, even why he favored the mortal Jason in his journey to get the Golden Fleece.
“It’s not fair,” Jason said. “I could ruin everything.”
“You could,” Juno agreed. “But gods needs heroes. We always have.”
“Even you? I thought you hated heroes.”
The goddess gave him a dry smile. “I have that reputation. But if you want the truth, Jason, I often envy other gods their mortal children. You demigods can span both worlds. I think this helps your godly parents–even Jupiter, curse him–to understand the mortal world better than I.”
Giving you answers would make those answers invalid,” Hera said. “That is the way of Fates. You must forge your own path for it to mean anything. Already, you three have surprised me. I would not even thought it was possible. . .”
Juno’s expression was impossible to read–amusement? Disdain? Affection? Possibly all three. As much as she appeared human, Jason knew she was not. He could still see that blinding light–the true form of a goddess that seared itself into his brain. She was Juno and Hera. She existed in many places at once. Her reasons for doing something were never simple.
I enjoyed this series, but I could not say that I liked this better than Percy Jackson. It could be just the bias that the series came first, but maybe it was just that the division of the point of view was a little tedious and annoying. But Riordan did manage to write another epic series adventure, even more exciting than the first series. Kronus feels like a puppy, a whiny puppy even, when compared to Gaea.
Oh gods, I am excited for the following book in the series, The Son of Neptune. October, come already, please.