THE HEROES OF OLYMPUS by Rick Riordan

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Get excited, Percy Jackson fans; House of Hades came out today!  I’m a huge fan of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, but I didn’t start the Heroes of Olympus series when they first came out.  I was a little nervous about how good it would be after being kind of let down by The Kane Chronicles.  But it turns out that the continued adventures of Percy and his fellow campers are definitely worth reading!

For those of you who are confused by the Percy Jackson serieses (yes, I know that’s not a word), here is the quick breakdown:

Percy Jackson and the Olympians—In this five book series, Percy, Annabeth, Grover, and fellow Camp Half-Blood demigods undertake a series of quests (one for each book), all of which lead them one step closer to defeating the titan Kronos and his minions.

  1. The Lightning Thief
  2. The Sea of Monsters
  3. The Titan’s Curse
  4. The Battle of the Labyrinth
  5. The Last Olympian

Heroes of Olympus—This series begins a couple of months after the previous series left off, and Percy Jackson is missing.  Instead, we meet some new demigods—and then a whole lot more new demigods—who must all work together to defeat a new enemy.  This series is fulfilling the new “Great Prophecy” that we heard at the end of The Last Olympian. 

  1. The Lost Hero
  2. The Son of Neptune
  3. The Mark of Athena
  4. The House of Hades
  5. The Blood of Olympus (Fall 2014)

Short Story Collections–If you’re just reading the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, these companion short stories are entertaining, but unnecessary to understanding the plot.  If you plan to read Heroes of Olympus, read both of these companion novels in their appropriate chronological places.  The events in these short stories are referred to in the new series, and sometimes relate to major plot points.

  1. Demigod Files–read between The Battle of the Labyrinth and The Last Olympian.
  2. Demigod Diaries–read after The Lost Hero.

So is the Heroes of Olympus series worth reading for Percy Jackson fans?  Absolutely!  I was skeptical about the multiple points of view (each chapter follows a different demigod on the quest), but unlike The Kane Chronicles, all of the chapters are in third person–so although we are seeing things from the perspective of different characters, we don’t have the confusion of trying to remember who “I” refers to.   By introducing new demigods, Riordan also gives us a taste of what made the first books so awesome (and what was lacking in The Red Pyramid): the sense of the building of friendships and community between the diverse group of campers and questers.  We see less of daily camp life than we did in The Lightning Thief, but Camp Half-Blood is still present, giving the questers a sense of the home and community they are fighting for.  All of the character and community development from the first series contributes to this strong foundation, as well; if you haven’t read Percy Jackson and the Olympians, you’ll want to do that first!

Can’t wait for The Blood of Olympus next Fall!

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