Thursday, July 28, 2016
Synopsis (From GoodReads):
Who cut off Medusa's head? Who was raised by a she-bear? Who tamed Pegasus? It takes a demigod to know, and Percy Jackson can fill you in on the all the daring deeds of Perseus, Atalanta, Bellerophon, and the rest of the major Greek heroes. Told in the funny, irreverent style readers have come to expect from Percy, ( I've had some bad experiences in my time, but the heroes I'm going to tell you about were the original old school hard luck cases. They boldly screwed up where no one had screwed up before. . .) and enhanced with vibrant artwork by Caldecott Honoree John Rocco, this story collection will become the new must-have classic for Rick Riordan's legions of devoted fans--and for anyone who needs a hero. So get your flaming spear. Put on your lion skin cape. Polish your shield and make sure you've got arrows in your quiver. We're going back about four thousand years to decapitate monsters, save some kingdoms, shoot a few gods in the butt, raid the Underworld, and steal loot from evil people. Then, for dessert, we'll die painful tragic deaths. Ready? Sweet. Let's do this.
We all have some notion of the Greek myths and heroes from school and pop culture. But if you were to ask me about a specific hero's story, I would be hard-pressed to tell you about it. This is why Rick Riodan's middle grade books are so important (and why books about other culture's myths need to be published). They make these stories accessible. I listened to this as an audio book and I must say it was lots of fun.
If you have read any of the Percy Jackson books, you will instantly feel at home with the breezy style as Riodan's character Percy is the narrator. How would a teenage boy describe Jason and the Argonauts? What would he emphasize? You guessed it: All the crazy bits! While the novel tends to gloss over the moral issues these stories were originally designed to showcase, the author did point out the obvious sexism and gender disparity in the stories. I appreciated this as many girls will read this book.
Most of the stories move along at a quick pace, but the story of Hercules does drag the novel down. Of the many stories of Hercules Rick Riodan could have told, he chose the ten tasks that he had to perform to atone for killing his family (Yes, those were the good old days where this would excuse mass murder). Each of the ten (actually twelve) tasks are detailed and it just goes on and on).
I think if I were to read this in print form, I would have skipped around and used this book as a reference when I wanted to know about a particular Greek hero. If one reads this as a straight up novel, it tends to get tedious.
Release Date: August 18th, 2015
Source: Public Library
Format: Audio Book
Recommendation: I would listen to this on a long car trip, or buy the print book to have as a reference that your kids can access.