Ok, we’re both huge fans of Rick Riordan, of both of the YA series that he is writing right now (the Percy Jackson books and the Kane family books) that look at different mythologies – Greek (and now Roman) with Percy and the Heroes of Olympus and Egyptian with the Kane siblings. We’ve featured the books, reviewed them, talked about our own obsessions with Egyptology and Greek Myths… so we should be done talking about them, right? Sorry – we’re both too obsessed with these books to let it drop, and since the newest one just came out, we thought we’d review it in a different fashion.
So here’s a peek into what one of our usual conversations looks like. (Well, this is the second half of one of our conversations – the first half is filled with Molly and Jacob anecdotes, Thanksgiving plan making, and general “I miss yous”!)
Meghan: I’m going to kick things off by stating the obvious – I LOVED this book. I’m not even going to ask if you liked it. I’m sooooo sure you did. So instead I want to know what you liked most about it.
Ruth: I loved loved loved the way the Roman (and Greek) gods and demi-gods become realistic contemporary creatures. The heroes quest side- trip to Portland is hilarious! And such a perfect send-up of Portlandia with our food carts and hippies of all ages. (After all, we are known as the city “where young people go to retire!”). Seattle gets a healthy dose of this caricature, too. And wait until you see the twist on Amazon(s)!
Meghan: I loved the Amazon bit too. It was one of my favorite parts – sometimes I hate the play on word winks at the audience, but all the ones in this book work. I loved getting back to Percy too. I must admit that while I loved Jason, and I want to know more about his back story, it was nice to see an old friend. And getting a touch more of Nico and what he’s been up to is interesting too. What did you think of the way the Roman and Greek weaving together and the gods being the same but different? I thought it would be confusing, but it’s working for me so far…
Ruth: It’s one of the most intriguing aspects this series, I think. I always thought of the Roman gods as sort of “knock-offs” of the “real” Greek gods, but basically same god/new name for the Roman crowd. Riordan makes the subtle differences understandable and somehow, makes it work that the same god in a different culture has a different personality and way of being, yet can be the same god, too. So in this book, though we’ve met Poseidon before and we know that this god is Percy’s father he’s also the son of Neptune–both dimensions of the same god of the sea.
I also love the growing romance between Frank and Hazel. What do you think of the evolving relationships among friends, love interests, family dynamics. . .?
Meghan: I loved the romance too, and I didn’t think at the beginning I was going to be as into it, as I’m pretty fully invested in Annabeth and Percy’s relationship (I’m mentally still a 13 year old girl who has a bizarre notion of loyalty and playing favorites…). But I liked it, and it felt real. And like I said, the Nico and his sisters relationships are intriguing me. As are the relationships between the kids and their Roman parent vs their Greek parent. I forget – we’ve seen different versions of a few of the gods, but none of the kids (except maybe, again, Nico?) have met multiple versions of their own parent have they? Oh! And here’s another question I seem to be forgetting – do we know who the 7th is? From the prophecy “Seven half-bloods shall answer the call…” Percy, Hazel, Frank, Leo, Jason, Piper… is it Annabeth? I forget it we know that for sure, or if I just need there to be more romance in the next book. 🙂 I may have to go back and re-read the first two books again (already) while we wait for the next installment (due next October?)
Or maybe Riordan can start a new series based on the Norse Gods, and reading those will tide us over while waiting for new demi-god or Kane family books…