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Upon receiving instructions in no uncertain terms from my 11 year old niece and a 12 year old daughter of one of my best friends, to complete the entire Percy Jackson series, and to engage in an ‘informed discussion’ with the two of them, I had no choice but to accede to the orders. It was a totally different thing altogether that I willingly and voluntarily succumbed to such a commitment. Suffice it to say that I have come out much the eager after breezing through the first installment in the series.
Firstly, it would be a grave injustice to categorise or label this book as belonging to a genre that is the prerogative of children. Rick Riordan gives a quick and ‘level setting’ understanding about some of the epochal figures in Greek mythology by exquisitely juxtaposing the contemporary with the ancient. Young Percy Jackson, not so dissimilar to his young readers is not an authority in Greek lore before he accidentally vapourises his Mathematics teacher, Ms. Dodds. Yes, you read that right!
When he involuntarily starts getting acquainted with monsters, he begins to realise that something is not right with him. When he realises that he is in fact the son of Poseidon, the protector of seafarers and the guardian of many Hellenic cities and colonies, all hell breaks loose. Poor Percy is accused by Zeus, the God of the Sky of pillaging the latter’s lightning bolt. If Percy does not absolve himself of this allegation by retrieving the same before handing it back to the rightful owner, then there would be apocalypse. The Gods (in general) and Zeus and Poseidon in particular, would start a calamitous war that would signal the end of life as both humans and Gods know it. To add to his woes, Percy needs to accomplish the impossible before the summer solstice.
But as a small measure of comfort, Percy has help in the form of two friends, Grover and Annabeth.
Will Percy succeed in his seemingly insurmountable mission of saving the world? Can he find the lightning bolt and make the same over to Zeus? The escapade of Percy and his friends makes for some racy and rambunctious read. Monsters, magic and mayhem sweep across every page and the sequential nature of the tightly woven plot makes it an unputdownable read!
I hear that the second installment in the series involves an introduction to a few sea monsters. Well, Rick Riordan, bring it on!