Monthly Archives: April 2010

Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief

His name is Percy Jackson. And he is a half-blood.

If you don’t know what that  is, it just means the person is dyslexic and suffers from A.D.H.D. He or she possesses strange talents one cannot explain. Moreover,  half of his or her genes comes from a god. An Olympian god.

This revelation came in quite late for Percy.  Aside from the above-mentioned “afflictions,”  Percy is hunted down by creatures of mythology best left for nightmares. Finding refuge in Dionysius’s Camp Half-Blood, Percy trains for a quest to save the world from the warring gods. His Herculean tasks are to find Zeus’s master lightning bolt (which he allegedly stole), catch the  real lightning thief,  decipher the riddles of the Oracle, and save his mother from Hades. All of that to be accomplished in 10 days. Then he has yet to face his father-god, who abandoned him and his mother.  Sometimes, one could only wish that the strange would just stay shut inside a book.

Honestly, I thought this would suck rocks. I’ve read and watched too many Greek-inspired stuff that it made me quite lukewarm to the material.  When I read this book a day ago, I wasn’t expecting much. That was until I found myself stuck on my chair. This book is a page-turner. I devoured this like I haven’t eaten for days and a magical buffet suddenly appeared in the middle of the desert.  After a few short butt-aching hours, I had to run to the bookstore to get the next books of the series. It’s that addictive!

Rick Riordan is a great storyteller. He takes in the old, mashes it up with the new, twists it with humor, and voila! A Greek mythology of his own. It takes an imagination to revisit old tales and create life from its embers.  I specially love how he modernized his gods – Dionysius the Camp Director, Ares a Harley biker, Poseidon sort of a surfer guy, and Hades an overwhelmed landlord. It cracks me up.  His heroes – Percy, Grover, Annabeth – are fantastic. I like how he made them as outcasts because they become more real and hilarious.  The story can be quite predictable in a few chapters as it touches on several of the tales of old Greek mythology, but who cares!?! It’s a fun read! (Don’t get me started with the chapter titles – intriguing if you’re starting to read it, laugh out loud afterwards.)

This is definitely a wonderful re-discovery of old Greek. And a new frenzied adventure worth following.

Leave a comment

Posted by on April 21, 2010 in Rick Riordan


Tags: , , , , , , ,

This Book Is Not Good For You

This is the third installment of the the Secret Series.  I had to skip reviewing the 2nd book (If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late) because it WAS indeed too late for me  (… I had to sign THE CONTRACT, the gall of Mr. Bosch!).  After THAT experience, I developed a skill counting backwards.

Anyway, we follow the pursuits of Cass and Max-Ernest.  This time trouble came a-knocking on Cass’s life when her mom gets kidnapped by Senor Hugo, a chocolatier in league with the Midnight Sun.  In exchange for Cass’s mom, Senor Hugo wants a magical instrument called the Tuning Fork.  Joined by Max-Ernest and their new friend, Yo-Yoji,  Cass plans a daring rescue. Will she be able to collect her mother from the vile hands of Ms. Mauvais and Dr. L?  Read on and find out if that bite of dark chocolatey gooey-ness is worth it.

The book promises to crash diets everywhere.  True enough, my chocolate consumption increased by 30% due to the chocolate recipes found in the appendix of this demonic piece of literature. As expected it was better than the 1st and the 2nd book. Probably because we already know who the characters are (thus diminishing the need for pages of introduction) and the author was able to move the story forward (backward if you’re basing on the 2nd book).  I love that the so-named “Cass” (HE said he’s not giving REAL data, so Cass is 100% not her name) is growing up before my eyes and discovering who she is through her past and through her family and her friends. “Max-Ernest” goes through advanced puberty thanks to “Yo-Yoji,” and probably had  fun being Sanse for awhile (See book 2 to know about Yo-Yoji and start at page 316 of book 3 to understand what I’m talking about). The villains roster also got interesting with the participation of the “Senor Hugo,”  a chef who specializes in the devilry of chocolate cuisine (just shows what kind of religion Mr. Bosch practices).   Notable performances in the book:

“Ms. Mauvais” for her performance as a NUN.

“The Skelton Sisters” for being who they are.

“Yo-Yoji” for turning Japanese.

And “Owen,” for having multi-personality disorder.

Though this book is not good for most of us, it can be quite handy as a travelling tool (Translation of “HELLO” in 100 different languages – friendly!).  But still be warned, do not read after midnight. Recipes will cause excessive binging and craving. Nigella Lawson would be jealous (or maybe not).

PS: For those trying to find out who Mr. Bosch is – you’re in the wrong place. I don’t know him either. I suggest you go attend a chocolate convention or bait him with a dark chocolate sale  (70% discount – That’ll get him out of hiding.)  I read somewhere though that Lemony Snickett and Pseudonymous Bosch can be brothers or is the same person. They share the same publisher, you can start there. Pretend to be someone from the IRS. They might start talking, hehehe.


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,