Series Review: Percy Jackson

In early June I finished the Percy Jackson Series so I have been sitting on this post for a while. 

The Percy Jackson series, by Rick RIordan, is based on the Greek Gods having children with mortals this leads to children who are part immortal and are therefore used as pawns against these Gods often hunted by mythical monsters.  The series allows you to see how this affects the children and in some ways their mortal parents. These children go away to a summer camp once they have attracted some monsters which helped to equip them to survive the year in the mortal world.  The strength of your ‘godly’ parent depends on how affected the child is by monsters, some of the children stay at the summer camp all year round and others are able to spend a couple of weeks there before going back into the mortal world. 

During this series we see the three main characters mature and grow in young adults.  The characters all change during the series and their relationships develop.  Percy learns how to fight to survive the various monsters that stalk him throughout the series and he stops complaining about his ADHD and understands that it keeps him alive. He also matures into a young adult, understanding that his mum has her own life and accepting her choices and opinions even if they discomfort him.   

Annabeth develops a lot over the course of the five books,  She not only tries to live with her dad and his new family again, she learns that she is not always right, she allows others to occasionally take the lead which can be a very wise choice.  

Grover the the third and final main character is the oldest of his friends he grows a lot during the series. Not only is he the first of them to become romantically involved with someone, he also faces challenges which take him away from his home without any expectation of returning.  He becomes a strong leader despite what the Elders believe and people look to him for strength.  

Another key thing which occurs during this series is, that despite the ‘arguments’ the different gods have with each other,the children start off following this trend before realising that they have the ability come together despite these issues.  This shows that the ability to overlook petty squabbles can be key to being victorious. 

The series addresses a long list of themes but I think one of the most important themes Percy Jackson addresses is growing up.  Everyone can relate to this in some way, even if it is not the supernatural growing up that the demi gods do. But we all know what it can be like to be a teen and not be treated as a grown up, or to suddenly be in charge of something that you have not had to worry about previously, like finding someway of paying for the roof over your head, or a way to keep food in your stomach. But this series addresses some of the more awkward parts of growing up, like your first kiss, or when you realise you have your first awkward crush or moments of jealousy. All of these are things that readers can relate to and they can make reading this series all the more satisfying. 

Another key theme in this book is family.  The family of all the demi-gods are understandably complex, between being distantly related to all the others in Camp Half-Blood. But they are also related to the immortal gods who have milenia of arguments between siblings and in some cases affairs which understandably filters down to the children even with minimal contact with them.  The children are very competitive with each other, each wanting to catch the eye of their immortal parents.  However they will band together with their brothers and sisters against other cabins, and for those such as Percy, who do not have any demi-gos siblings I am sure that this can be incredibly isolating for those characters. Despite this when it is necessary for them all to come together, they do to fight a common enemy. You can trust that your family will support you no matter what. 

The final theme I want to address is the theme of redemption.  We don’t see many heroes in real life.  There are people that do extraordinary things and we do not always celebrate them, but that doesn’t mean that we do not believe in heroes, they just tend to be in stories.  This story centres around the fact that the demi gods are heroes, even those that may not appear at the time. Anyone can make a poor decision which then spirals out of control and you do not know if you can ever recover from it. However like some of the characters in this story show you can change the path your decision has led you down and be redeemed in the eyes of those around you.  

Now this series is aimed at a younger reader than I usually cover and that is in some ways reflected in the writing, but the following series Heroes of Olympus are much more focused at young adult readers and this series gives you a good basis in this world for you to read that series (though it is not required).  

I personally really enjoyed reading the Percy Jackson series and it certainly pulled me out of a reading slump.  Have you read the series?  Did you enjoy it, leave a comment to let me know. 

What I think about Fanfiction

At the moment I am in a bit of a reading slump.  But I am reading just not books.  I am reading a lot of fanfiction so I thought that I would write a little about this topic.  Fanfiction can split people’s opinions but I often find myself reading fanfiction for various reasons.  I also occasionally write fanfiction immersing myself further into specific fandoms that I really like.  

What  I think about Fanfcition

As this hobby has been taking my time away from reading books I thought I should share some thoughts and opinions on Fanfcition. 

Positives 

Further exploration of Fandoms

If you love a particular world then reading or writing fanfiction allows you to spend more time in the world.  If you run out of the original fiction then may people have taken up the mantle and done what they wanted to have happened with the characters.  If you are a twilight fan it might be that you were #teamJacob and so you want Bella to marry Jake; You might love Harry Potter and wonder about what Charlie does in Romania, or How Bill became a curse breaker. 

Great for Improving your Writing

If you are a budding writer (which I certainly am) then fafiction allows you to develop these skills without committing hours upon hours to wrold building and character developement.  A lot of the work has been done for you.  In some cases you may create characters who are new to the fandom, but the vast majority of the work has been done.  This means that the writers can experiment with dialog and description without having to work too much. 

Like Minded People 

You can often find people on the internet who have similar interests, this could be reading, (like this blog); or people who are interested in specific parts of world history. In the case of fanfcition you are find people who like reading the same fandoms as you, and insome cases writing or reading additional fiction on these fandoms. 

Find writers you would never heard of otherwise

Not all fanfiction writers go on to write books, but there are a few, and a lot who do so nre not massively famous.  But I have bought a book or two based on indivudauls writing of Fanfiction.  There are certain Fanfiction writers who I love to read whenever I want to get lost in thier particular fandom, and I go back to them time and again.  So i purchased of og their books, despite the fact that is not within my usual reading options but I loved how they write so I thought it was important to give this writer a chance to read some of their other work.  

Negatives 

Not having enough time to read actual fiction 

You can wormhole into a fandom and never come back out.  There are so many different fandoms, and if you are an avid reader or watcher you can disappear into different scenarios regarding that world forever.  I personally will read some Harry Potter fanfiction and while I change my where I read using both Archive of Our Own and occasionally Fanfiction.net I can always find something that I want to read.  

Spoilers

You take on reading Fanfiction at your own risk.  If you have not finished reading a series which you decide to start reading fanication on there may well be a number of spolier contianed withing  those pages.  You may be new to s fandom and start reading it and  you ruin the next book in the series, or a character that until this point is slaive and a fanfiction kills them off then you find out in the book/series they have been.  There is nothing more heartbreaking than ruining a series for yourself in that way 

Romance

If you are not a fan of romance you may be disappointed, most of the fanfictions, at least that I have read, tend to have an element of romance usually with two characters who people wish had ended up together.  While there are some fanfictions which do not centre around a romantic storyline they are few and far between 

Quality of writing 

Anyone can write Fanfiction, you just sign up for one of the multitude of websites that are dedicated to it and start writing.  Which is great for those who want to write if gives writers and opportunity to hone their craft.  I actually have a couple of books on my kindle which are written by authors i originally found through reading their fanfictions. But not all fanfictions are good, in fact I have started reading some and abandoned them due to poor grammar or the characters not feeling quite right. I am not saying thaevery fanfiction is poorly written, but just be aware that there are some that you may not regret even reading the synopsis. 

Completion rate

Now i am a series binger, I will be writing a post on this soon, but this obviously impacts my reading.  I try to aviod series that are not yet completed…. Game of Thrones and this ish much more difficult with Fanfiction.  I have learnt to always choose the completed icon when I am searching for fanficiton, but this can put of writeres who are good writers and have a strong premise but don’t get hte reaadership as people are only selecting completed stories to read.  In Addition a number of Fanfictions also have sequels and these are often not completed either they are newer than the original stories anad tare therefore a work in progress or life has prevented them from ever being finished. 

While I may have listed more negatives than positives in this article this does not mean that I am not a fan of fanfiction.  I love to see what people think could have happened, and the answers to some what-if questions that burn away in the back of your mind.  There are some authors who do not want their work used in this way and I completely respect that stance, but I also feel that this art form allows the readers the chance to share their love of the fandom that they have read about.  How do you feel about Fanfiction?  Have you read Fanfiction in the past or fallen into fanfiction wormhole? Let me know in the comments below. 

Review: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

This Harry Potter was always my favourite, and this certainly reflected in the state of my book,  this one now has loose pages, which I am considering sellotaping into place (which I always feel bad about).  However this may have changed as it took me over a full month to read this book.  

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, byu J. K. Rowling Book Cover

If you have not yet read Harry Potter in this book we learn a lot about the history of Harry’s parents, something that hasn’t really been addressed in the series previously.  The main storyline follows Harry’s knowledge of the escaped Prisoner Sirius Black and Harry’s discovery on how this relates to him.  

During this book the characters massively develop. Hermione finally realises that teachers are not infallible and that as much as she may try to learn everything from books there are somethings that can’t be learnt through that medium.  This book also brings Hermione closer to Harry as they work together on saving a life without Ron.

We once more see Harry determined to complete something that should be impossible for someone of his age, and developing his must win attitude, strongly influenced by his Quidditch Captain.  

Ron has a much more limited role in this book than the previous two and this understandably helps to improve the relationship between Harry and Hermione.  In the previous year there was a substantial chunk of time where Hermione was not around and this is probably there to restore the balance between the characters. 

One of the themes in this book is friendship, both in the current day with Harry, Hermione and Ron, and the friendships that Harry’s father had. Harry, Ron and Hermione have a falling out which affects how the group interact.  But despite the differences that are demonstrated and shown throughout the book the group are willing to do anything to support each other by the end.  The friendship dynamics that Harry’s father had are revealed and much like Harry Ron and Hermione it was assumed that they would always be there for each other, no matter what.  Unfortunately this was not the case. 

Another theme of the Prisoner of Azkaban is fear. The reader learns for the first time about Azkaban and how the prisoners are treated, and the main reason that there are no escapees.  The creatures which guard Azkaban create fear by ensuring people relive their worst memories. Harry Potter who runs into danger and seemingly has no fear, fears these creatures, and this fear while being rational is one which everyone can understand.  Everyone fears something and this helps to show the readers that despite appearances Harry is also human and has his own fears which he faces. 

The final theme I want to highlight in this book is betrayal.  This book highlights betrayal between friends or doing something that can be perceived as a betrayal.  Hermione, while looking out for her friends best interest, is seen to betray Harry and Ron. This understandably impacts on their friendship and while it is easily resolved the grudge is held  in place for a while.  This apparent betrayal is less complex than the one that affected Harry’s family so grievously, but is seen as just as much of a betrayal by the parties involved.   

This book is written in much the same way as the previous two though as Harry had grown the language used das become more complex allowing the reader to see this as a reflection of the character’s growth.

This book made me feel a little nostalgic, but i was disappointed by this book as it was a long time favourite of mine and I did not enjoy it as much as I used to.  

⭐⭐⭐

I gave this book three stars, and while I would read it again I do think that I would want to ensure to have lower expectations.  

Review: Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian

As you may have noticed at the end of June I was on a Rick Riordan kick, and this book I read in a day. I wasn’t working so I was in my new favourite reading place, our hammock and just read all day.  

Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian by Rick Riordan book cover

This book is the final installment in the Percy Jackson Series. This book sees Percy become sixteen and fulfil the Great Prophecy which was alluded to throughout the series come to pass.  We also see the gods come up against old foes and are forced into action. 

The characters we have followed throughout the series so far have all matured and in the case of Percy he is about to turn 16. This growth of character is shown through the maturity that they show when faced with choices regarding life and death and the potential impact this will have on their friends and the entirety of the city Mount Olympus is based in.  While they may question themselves they commit to a decision regardless of how difficult this is.  

Grover starts leading the Satyrs and spirits of nature, Percy leads all the cabins in battle and knows when the best times are to take advice.  Annabeth understood that family can be the most important thing whether chosen or otherwise.  The rest of the characters involved willingly overlook their differences to support each other and provide hope where there may have otherwise been none. 

This book is clearly the end of this series, though Rick Riordan did allow another prophecy for the Heroes of Olympus series which I will probably read soon.  I personally really like the way that the author writes,  the books are fast paced with enough mysteries presented early on to keep the reader not only second guessing themselves but makes you feel that the main characters are in a danger which they may not be able to overcome. 

I felt that one of the themes in this book is Family.  To some family are those that they are related to biologically or legally, to others they choose their family often being close friends that you know will be there no matter what. This book explores family dynamics, understandably the family dynamics between the immortal gods are complex and in some cases convoluted.  It also shows that those who go to Half-Blood Camp are there for each other, and consider each other family however distant the relationship may be.  

Another key theme explored is choice.  There are a number of key choices during the book which completely changes the outcome of the situation that they are facing.  One of these choices was a very difficult choice and altered the entire story.  Another key choice was presented to one of the gods, to decide to support their siblings or ignore what is happening and let the world they know crumble.  All of these key moments prove the power of choice and the impact a single choice can have on an outcome. 

This book satisfied me, all the plot lines were neatly tied together. I felt that the characters all had their deserved endings, and while there were some bittersweet moments the ending made me feel content. 

⭐⭐⭐⭐

I will rate this book four stars as it is a satisfying ending and well written but I felt that while it was a great book I could have put it down. 

June Wrap Up

June has been a lovely month, the weather has been a little hit and miss but I actually took a break from my job for a whole week.  Something I haven’t done since September 2019.  Meaning this was the first week I have taken off since starting Indulgent Readers. The vast majority of my week was spent reading which is great. I also took the opportunity to write a few posts for the next few weeks.  

This month I finished six books and 1,797 pages which while I have read more books compared to last month the number of pages I have read has reduced from May. After I finished Medievalathon I did find it difficult to find my motivation to read again. 

Percy Jackson and the  Last Olympian by Rick RIordan Book cover,

My favourite book of the month was Percy Jackson and the Last Olymian, the review will be coming out soon, but I loved the way that this series ended, but if you want to hear more you will have to wait for my review.  

My first review of the month was Kingdom of Ash, the final instalment of the Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas. (It feels like ages ago that I actually read this)

I also published reviews for the first three books in the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan:

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters

Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse

I wrote about my first experience of readathons this month,  I am currently taking part in another readathon which ends mid-July and I hope I will be able to find some for August. 

My second series wrap up was completed and was about the Throne of Glass series which I really loved. 

My final post of the month was the Mid Year Freak Out tag,  and this was actually my most popular post of the month (even though it was only done recently!). 

As I have already said I have finished the Percy Jackson series, so you can look forward to those reviews coming out soon. I am reading The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss at the moment and I hope to share my thoughts on this book soon. 

What was your favourite read of the month?  What are you looking forward to reading in July?