The Hidden Oracle

Hoodlums punch my face
I would smite them if I could
Mortality blows

Looks like I’m on a bit of a fantasy kick these past (two) months; good thing it can be such an impressively versatile genre.

Rick Riordan is quite a familiar name in the genre, within the subgenre of YA. There’s been two movies, there’s plenty of books that brought Greek mythology to teens. Literally and figuratively.

This time it’s about – yep, right there in the title – Apollo. The god is turned human, but that doesn’t mean things go along breezily. Quests, monsters, demigods! And meeting your offspring.

Yes, the tongue is firmly in the cheek, but Riordan still manages to pass some mythology facts along. It’s all in seemingly effortless fun, and the twist might even surprise you. And if you’re looking at a way in for both reading and/or learning about Greek mythology, this and Riordan’s other work is a super accessible first step.

The Trials of Apollo: The Hidden Oracle, Rick Riordan, Hyperion 2016

The Battle of the Labyrinth

The last thing I wanted to do on my summer break was blow up another school.

“The next Harry Potter” a blurb on the back says. Little did I know that I could take that literally. The Battle of the Labyrinth is almost as entertaining as the previous Percy Jackson and the Olympians books but some plot lines and scenes seem to be copied a bit too liberally. Good thing there are smaller plot lines that make sure it doesn’t feel like a complete rip off.

Percy’s growing closer to his feared sixteenth birthday (there is a prophecy about it), but before that plenty of things happen to distract him. Kronos is becoming stronger, traitors and old friends pop up and then there’s Annabeth and the growing discomfort between them. Because heck, what does a fourteen year old half-god does with those weird feelings?

Rick Riordan goes full out on mythology again, mixed up with contemporary USA and teenage issues. It’s fun, fast and easy-to-read. I’m ready to be surprised with the final book of the series.

The Battle of the Labyrinth, Rick Riordan, Hyperion Books 2008

The Titan’s Curse

The Friday before winter break, my mom packed me an overnight bag and a few deadly weapons and took me to a new boarding school.

After watching the two movies based on these series, I’ve decided to try one of the books (“The films were all wrong, the books are so much better!” Is there ever someone that liked the film version over the book version?).

As per the title, there is a prophecy with a Titan’s Curse involved. Friends disappear, threats are made and a quest has to happen. Just like the myths Rick Riordan borrows his gods from. Because – for those not in the know – Percy Jackson and his friends are half-breeds, children of the gods of Olympus and a human parent. This creates a very entertaining mix of teen adventures and mythology (and a successful one, looking at how large the series are).

The Titan’s Curse is packed with action, entertainment and teenage emotions. I don’t know if there will be a third movie, but I’ll definitely continue with these series.

The Titan’s Curse, Rick Riordan, Hyperion Books For Children 2007