So begins Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, in which the son of Poseidon adds his own magic--and sarcastic asides--to the classics. He explains how the world was created, then gives readers his personal take on a who's who of ancients, from Apollo to Zeus. Percy does not hold back. "If you like horror shows, blood baths, lying, stealing, backstabbing, and cannibalism, then read on, because it definitely was a Golden Age for all that."
“Hermes played a little Mozart and some One Direction, and Apollo cried, ‘I must have it! The girls will go wild for that!”Actual rating: 4.5 stars
Percy Jackson's Greek Gods is Greek mythology at its finest. What's not to love about the return of the fabulous Percy Jackson's point of view? I can honestly say I missed his voice more than anything. He's that quirky, smart and sarcastic character you can't help but fall in love with. After the final book in The Heroes of Olympus, titled The Blood of Olympus, I was desperate for more Percy since he didn't appear very much in the final book. This book however, was so well done. Percy's voice and personality shines through in Riordan's writing style, for example the frequent use of em dashes and parentheses. It once again adds something to Percy's point of view, something I now love more than ever.
Percy's sense of humour and sarcastic remarks are always appreciated, even in the bloodiest and most gory scenes of the book. Especially in those cases, because it always lifts up the mood of the book and never comes across as serious lecture or an encyclopedia. Instead of just summing up facts and info dumps like I kind of first expected it to be, I loved how Riordan always created multiple stories that fit perfectly in the chronological order of the book, so readers can enjoy it even more. Like that I never had the impression of actively learning something unless I was trying really hard to remember all of the names.
Other than that, I think the author did a terrific job in portraying the lifestyles of the gods. The combination of stereotypes and remarkable differences was highly enjoyable and brought a new layer of depth to the world of Percy Jackson. We got a sort of a sneak peak into the everyday lives of the Greek gods and what they fill their immortal lives with. Though most of the gods are different and have a well-developed personality of their own, they all seem to have some particular things in common. A well-known and frequently used example in this book is how they all are unable to avoid love affairs and all sorts of drama. At least something that fits in tv-shows like Gossip Girl or The Bold and the Beautiful. Secretly we all fall easily for a healthy dose of drama, just as it was given in this book.If they actually give Riordan permission to turn it into a tv-show one day, let me know.
I adored all the stories I read, although some more than others. Keep in mind that everyone, myself included, has a preference when it comes to the gods. That is also why I automatically loved stories involving certain gods, whilst stories of gods I rather dislike I will enjoy a bit less. Unless those gods are being made a fool, then I will adore the story with all my heart. So yes, there were stories I didn't really care about or ones I didn't think mattered very much. I did learn to love some gods like Hephaestus because of this book, and especially because of their stories. Like him, they really are different when they have a story of their own to tell, not to appear for a few minutes to help demigods on a quest.
To at least say something about the illustrator of the book, I didn't think this book would have been as perfect as it is now. Rocco's drawings were simply a great addition. They fitted the story and Riordan's descriptions so well. Some were even so beautiful I felt like I could stare at them all day long. A great example of that is the drawing of Persephone's kidnapping. One word: gorgeous.
Uncle Rick remains one of my favourite authors of all time, and it has been proven once again. As if he couldn't do something else to make me love him even more. Because Percy Jackson's Greek Gods remains in the Middle Grade genre, he made a very smart decision to sort of sugarcoat stories and put in all sorts of hidden life lessons. I'm personally not the biggest when of sugarcoating, only when it's necessary. To me, writing a book about the ancient Greek myths which should be appropriate for kids is a valid reason. There's already enough sex, rape and violence as there is, and in my opinion it was really smart to still mention it, yet in a way you know what it's about but don't get it thrown in your face. The hidden life lessons may seem a bit repetitive when a teenager reads them. Maybe we all know as a teen it's bad to use drugs and that you should tell someone when you encounter harassment, but it can be great for younger children. Another reason why Riordan deserves all the applause he can get.
In a nutshell, Percy Jackson's Greek Gods brought back all the Percy Jackson feels. It's only now I realise I'm not ready to say goodbye. In fact, I don't think I'll ever be able to. Reading this book made me gain more knowledge of the Greek mythology than I ever did in the five years since I've become obsessed with it. There will always be more to learn, but for now I'm not prepard to learn every god out there, nor any family trees. The Greeks already made that aspect of their mythology as complicated as it is. I just had so much fun reading this book, I can barely wait for the next installment. Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes, my body is ready.