Thursday, February 25, 2010

Book 14: Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan

The more I get into this series, the more I see its shortcomings. Obviously you could argue that it's a YA series and therefore one shouldn't expect much from it; but one could also argue that the Harry Potter series was YA and rose above that status.

Riordan's world is still richly imagined, but the stories zip along so quickly that there's little time for the characters to show any sort of development. And things are glossed over so quickly without much emotional involvement that it's rather surprising. For example, in this book, the third in the series, Annabeth, one of the main characters, goes missing and is presumed dead by some. And there's no real mourning or anything - she's just gone and the only one who seems to care is Percy. Then there's a new character who is introduced, quickly becomes part of the crew and then just as quickly disappears.

In this book, Kronos's comeback is furthered by his minion Luke and a new player, "the General," who was Kronos's right hand man back when the Titans clashed with the Gods. Percy, Annabeth, Thalia and Grover find a new set of Half-Bloods and bring them back to camp, only to run into trouble and end up rescued by Artemis and her Hunters (immortal girls who have sworn off boys and pledged their lives to the Goddess). Artemis finds out that Kronos plans on unleashing some ancient monster and takes off in pursuit, while her Hunters head to Camp Half-Blood. Soon, they discover that the Goddess has been captured by the General, and our heroes set out to save her and defeat the General.

I'm not sure if the faults of the story lie with the fact that it's a teenage boy narrating or with Riordan's writing skill. Again (and I know I keep doing this), if you think about the Potter series, that was all about a teenage boy and yet there was real development and emotional content to the story. Regardless of how I feel the series has dropped in quality, I'll be sticking with it to see how things turn out.

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