Kids Book Reviews by Genre: Mythology
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan is an amazing book about Greek Mythology. Percy Jackson, the main character, learns who he is and sets off on a crazy journey to return something very valuable. He has to fight dangerous monsters along side his two friends and save his mom. Percy learns that there are actually Greek gods and that they probably want to kill him. This book is a great book for all ages and I would definitely recommend it.
Hark is an orphan who forms a bond of brotherhood with Jelt, a fellow orphan. So when Jelt asks Hark for help executing a job for a local gang, Hark reluctantly agrees. And gets caught, natch. He ends up as an indentured servant of a scientist studying the leftover pieces dead sea-monster gods that ruled the island until they all fought each other to death 30 years prior. Hark talks to the former priests who worked with the gods and is largely enjoying himself, until Jelt shows up with a new job that threatens Hark's new life.
There is obviously a lot going on in this book, and the worldbuilding was next level creative. Each sea-monster/god is different, and the descriptions of them were fantastic and a bit creepy. The mysteries of their existence and sudden disappearance unravel throughout the course of the book. That's kind of half of the book, and the other half is the adventures of Hark (they are, of course, intertwined), which I didn't love as much due to his blind devotion to Jelt. But even still, Hark's story goes down a very interesting and unexpected path and I think a lot of young teenage boys will identify with him. The book's message ends up being about your story/legacy and storytelling, which resonated with me as it will with anyone who understands the power and value of good storytelling.
This is a perfect read for tweens and teens graduating from middle grade fiction to YA who love adventure with a touch of horror. If this book finds it's audience, I can see it being really popular. I really enjoyed it! 4 stars.
Thanks to Netgalley and MacMillan for the eARC, which I received in exchange for an unbiased review. Deeplight is available now - put your copy on hold today!
I have just re-read 'the Lightning Thief' by Rick Riordan for probably the twentieth time because it is so amazing.
In this book, Percy Jackson starts to notice strange things happening in his life at boarding school. When he gets kicked out of the boarding school he starts to notice weird things are happening in his life. Things start to get even stranger on his beach trip with his mom. Percy soon finds himself face to face with the real-life Minotaur. What will he do when the monster captures his mother?
I would give this book 6 stars out of 5. Truly worth the read.. and the several re-reads after that. The beginning of a lovely series for any age.
Nizhoni Begay is a normal seventh grader in many respects, minus the thing where she can see monsters. One day, she gets home from school to see a monster in her kitchen masquerading as her dad's potential boss. Sure enough, the boss-monster kidnaps her dad, and Nizhoni, her brother Max and their best friend Davery take off on a race to the House of the Sun to find weapons they can use to defeat the boss-monster and save Nizhoni's dad.
I really liked this one! All of Rick Riordan's books and the books on his imprint have something of a sameness to them, but that's not necessarily a bad thing (I'd compare it to the Marvel Cinematic Universe). You know you're going to get a snarky teenager narrating an epic quest to save the world where they'll be attacked non-stop by monsters from some sort of mythology. That's what you get here, but its the Navajo edition. I liked it a lot - I think it helps when the mythology being referenced originated more or less in your backyard, and as a Coloradan, it was a lot of fun to read. Plus, the mythology itself is just cool; Black Jet Girl, Spider Woman, and Crystal Rock Boy were particularly fun.
For readers who like mythology, action, adventure and snarky main characters. I really enjoyed this one, and will add this series to the list of books I listen to while I run! 4 stars - I really liked it.
Thanks to Disney-Hyperion and Netgalley for the eARC, which I received in exchanged for an unbiased review. Race to the Sun will be released on 14 January, but you can put your copy on hold today!
An excellent introduction to Greek mythology and adventure, Percy Jackson and the Olympians provides an engaging storyline and an interesting set of characters. Perfect for early interest in literature and mythology alike, it was one of my first favorite series of books. I would recommend reading for ages 9 to 12, but it can be enjoyed at any age!
The Percy Jackson series is one of my favorite series’ because it combines two topics that I really like, Greek mythology and action/adventure. Greek gods and legends are typically very epic and exaggerated so combining that with a very relatable boy creates an amazing result that I think only Rick Riordan could have come up with and developed.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians; The Lightning Thief, a fictional novel by Rick Riordan, follows the journey of a boy and his relationships and encounters with Greek legends and myths. Percy Jackson is at first what some might call a “loser” and often gets picked on at school and has trouble concentrating on academics. Percy’s whole life changes when he discovers that his dad, which he hadn’t known before, was the all-powerful Poseidon making him a demigod. After Percy finds out who his dad id he is sent to Camp-Half Blood, a cleverly named camp for demigods, because his home is no longer safe for him. In Camp Half-Blood Percy makes himself at home I makes new friends by impressing people with his powers which he didn’t even know he had. The fun and games is quickly over when learns that someone has stolen the lightning rod from Zeus, the king of the gods, and the top suspect is none other than Percy Jackson, son of Poseidon. On Percy’s journey to prove to Zeus that he is not the thief he is accompanied by his two best friends Annabeth and Grover.
I personally think that it was quite a genius idea to have the main character be just an average boy that gets bullied and picked on at school because it makes him relatable. I think that in one way or another everyone has been bullied before and it makes Percy a very relatable character and I also think it kind of acts as inspiration for us.
Twelve-year-old Aru Shah has a habit of lying. She exaggerates her life to her pretentious classmates in the hopes of fitting in. But, when she lights an ancient cursed lamp to impress them, she accidentally brings about the end of days and a dark creature known as the Sleeper. Together, with her new friend Mini, they have to stop the Sleeper and save humanity. "Aru Shah and the End of Time" is an exciting, funny, heartwarming book that reminded me ofsome of the earlier "Percy Jackson" books by Rick Riordan -- and I thought Mini and Aru's unlikely friendship was a charming, very compelling part ofthe story. There were some parts that were slow and seemed to meander a little, but, nevertheless, this story was a blast. From the minute the story starts, you will want to follow Aru and her friends to the very end.
In the second book of the Trials of Apollo series, the former god (currently human) Apollo teams up with Leo Valdez and Calypso to search for a way to restore his godhood, find a missing friend, and stop an evil emperor's plot to take over the world. This sequel was every bit as good as the first book. Fun, action-packed, and surprising. I'd highly recommend to those who love the Percy Jackson books and the Heroes of Olympus series.
This book is awesome you have to check it out at your local library.
I've yet to read something by Catherynne M. Valente that isn't absolutely gorgeous -- admittedly I may be a little bit biased, as I definitely think folkloric stories are the best, and folkloric stories with lovely playful twists are the BEST best... But when it comes to evocative and clever prose, as far as I'm concerned Valente is on a level all her own. At the moment, I happen to be reading her "Fairyland" series, and so... Behold, the first book -- "The Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her Own Making!" It's just as whimsical as it sounds.
So there's this little girl named September, living in a lonely house and washing a bunch of lonely teacups all the time and feeling very trapped. A quirky and talkative Green Wind -- apparently a defiant and spirited sort of wind -- riding a leopard shows up to spirit her away to Fairyland if she likes. This book is very much like "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" for the modern age: September has loads more authority over herself and her destiny, for one, and she grows dramatically as a human being over the course of the series. Fairyland helps that along of course, despite being a wild and alien place, complete with folkloric and/or mythological figures both eternal and re-imagined, petulant tyrants with very impressive hats, and interesting twists and turns aplenty that I can say I definitely didn't see coming. Valente's world is simultaneously familiar and wonderfully fresh, like she's composed words to go along to the tune of a well-beloved song, shifting its meaning in unexpected ways while still keeping true to the soul of something timeless.
Oh my goodness, Apollo, you strange and beautiful basket case. I was laughing all through this book, marking pages to shove at my friends... You know the drill. The Greek-mythology-centric Percy Jackson series as a whole helped me through some dark times when I was younger, and this first book of Rick Riordan's new "Trials of Apollo" series is delightful, just as I remember "The Lightning Thief" to have been back when I really, really needed it. (It's only missing Mr. D -- I've always especially liked Mr. D. Maybe he'll show up in the next one?)
Anyway. You know how in Greek folklore, Apollo gets stripped of his powers sometimes when he gets his king/dad, Zeus, angry? That's happened again in this series, only now it's all happening in modern day New York... Where the rules to everything are way different than what Apollo's used to... Annnnd he's not used to acne or helplessness, either, both of which he has to deal with as an awkward teen apparently named "Lester." It's the sparkly god of the sun/music/so many things's turn to go on actual quests again instead of waving demigods off on them... And he's very, very sad about it.
Some familiar faces from the Percy Jackson series have appeared so far in "The Hidden Oracle," but I would say it's definitely its own series with unique sources of pathos. Something I always loved about the Percy Jackson books is their empathy, the way people can redeem themselves, the way characters can still be heroic despite/because of their flaws... And that is STILL HERE, operating now through the protagonist, given the centuries worth of mistakes a now-human Apollo has to grapple with. I definitely liked "Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer" -- the Riordan book that came out a bit before this one -- but it didn't click with me in nearly the same way as Apollo's shenanigans. "The Hidden Oracle" felt like a fresh and self-aware remix of old ideas and settings from Percy Jackson, all told through a recently fallen god's wonderful, WONDERFUL narration. Yes, if you want something completely different than Percy Jackson this might not be the best place to look. But if you want to see the Percy Jackson universe through refreshingly new and oh-so-Olympus-y eyes, this may be perfect for you!
To sort of sum things up: I think this is a great kids' book, engaging and fast-paced and written with a light and goofy sense of humor, just like those original Percy Jackson books. (Sometimes the humor does get VERY goofy, so go in warned, but other times it's clever and tongue-in-cheek. Funny guy, that Apollo. Versatile.) Beyond that, though, I...a grown adult...am 100% buying the next book for myself just as soon as it comes out. I know that doesn't necessarily mean EVERY mythology-loving adult equipped with a suitably goofy sense of humor would also enjoy this book, but I know for a fact plenty of others have the same plan.
Popular mythology author Rick Riordan strikes again! He has series delving into Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and now NORSE mythology. This series follows Magnus Chase, son of a Norse god. Which god, you ask? Read the book and find out!
Riordan’s writing style is very distinct, playing to his youthful audience. The chapter titles were humorous and made no sense until I reached those parts of the book. (I read through them initially and thought, “What the…?!”)
Magnus Chase was vaguely--well, maybe more like strongly--reminiscent of Percy Jackson for me. Although Magnus has had a much rougher life so far, his voice is very similar to that of Percy. Magnus Chase is barely 16 years old, but he has been living on the streets for the past 2 years since his mother’s death. After an...interesting encounter with a fire giant, he finds himself gracing the halls of Valhalla with other Norse warriors killed in battle. Along with his valkyrie, a dwarf, and an elf, he goes on a quest to retrieve the Sword of Summer and stop the wolf Fenrir from escaping his bindings.
A interesting read for those die-hard Riordan fans or anyone who loves mythology interpretations. I was very entertained by the story, as I always am with Riordan’s mythologies, but despite the gods changing, the stories are starting to run together. The overlap of stories definitely doesn’t help the blurring of the lines. (Oh, hi Annabeth!) Crossing over from the Percy Jackson series, Annabeth, last name Chase--I guess we could have seen this one coming--has a couple nice little cameos in this book, foreshadowing a larger role later in the series. I’ll be interested to see where this goes.
Trials of Apollo is a view of a Greek god turned human. This book is written by Rick Riordan the writer of The Percy Jackson series. This is a fresh new twist on Greek mythology with new characters, slang, and a threat lurking behind a innocents face. This is a very entertaining book on betrayal, friendship, and family. I enjoyed the classic characters and the new ones too.
Actual Rating: 3.5
Reviewer Grade: 7
The Hidden Oracle is kind of one of those books you’ll read just because you’re a huge Riordan fan (like me). The plot of is not the best; it’s the standard action/fantasy plot of a character fighting monsters with friends and maturing along the way, along with some good old-fashioned betrayal. It does have some redeeming points, though. First of all it’s written with typical Riordan humor. Also the story had a unique point of view, since it is about (and narrated by) the ex-god Apollo, who Zeus made mortal after his involvement in the war with the giants in the previous series. Apollo, of course, does not handle this well, especially after he is tied to the annoying demigod Meg and forced to go on several dangerous quests. This book is also a MUST read for Riordan fans because it ties off several loose ends from the Heroes of Olympus series and also has several references to the Magnus Chase series. However if you’ve never read any other books by Riordan you’ll be fine because the references aren’t major plot details.
Reviewer Grade: 11
The Demigod Diaries is a fun collection of short stories that bring you back into Percy Jackson's world with new adventures. Luke Castellan, son of Hermes, tells his story for the first time in "The Diary of Luke Castellan". Argo II members Leo Valdez, Jason Grace, and Piper McLean go on a search for a missing item and wind up finding trouble within the forest of Camp Half-Blood. Rick Riordan's son, Haley, also includes a demigod story of his own.
Overall, this book was lots of fun. Each story was interesting, adventurous, and packed with humor. I especially loved hearing more about Luke's past, as his character in the first series didn't have much time to tell his story. Leo's adventure is hilarious and fun. Haley's story was well-written, but I felt it was a little serious, considering the rest of the stories are more light-hearted. Nevertheless, this book is wonderful. I highly recommend it if you are a fan of the Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series.
Reviewer Grade: 9
Apollo – the Greek god of music, archery, healing, plague, and the sun – has been turned into a mortal teenager and dropped onto Earth as punishment from his father, Zeus. In order to earn his godly title back, he must be guided by a demigod and follow their orders – this demigod happens to be feisty Meg McCaffrey, “street urchin overlord”. The two must team up to help Apollo succeed in his trials and become a god again.
I read this book in 2 days – I could not put it down! It is adventurous and hilarious! Apollo is an interesting hero who must overcome his arrogance by becoming an average mortal teenager and proving himself to his fellow gods – and you totally root for him along the way. I would recommend reading the Percy Jackson and the Heroes of Olympus books before reading this one because many of the old characters make appearances and it would be easier to understand the references to the other series. Being a longtime fan of these books, I was so excited to see that Rick had brought back almost the entire Argo II crew back!
This book was truly awesome – lots of humor and adventure. I highly recommend it. 5 out of 5 stars.
Reviewer Grade: 9
Magnus Chase is a sixteen-year-old homeless kid with a fear of wolves and a tragic past involving the death of his mother. He doesn’t think he is anyone special – that is until his mysterious Uncle Randolph tells Magnus that the boy’s father is a Norse god.
And that he is in grave danger.
Magnus is plunged into the world of Norse mythology, discovering the truth behind his parentage and his mother’s death. He also finds out that Ragnarok, the Norse definition of the apocalypse, is on the horizon. The fire giant Surt is planning on unleashing an evil creature named Fenrir Wolf to start Ragnarok. If Magnus and his friends don’t stop Fenrir from being released, Ragnarok will begin and both mortals and heroes will be in danger.
This book is witty, surprising, adventurous, exciting, and very unique. Our hero Magnus Chase is someone you can really root for – along with his friends Samirah, Hearth, and Blitz, who are all relatable, likable, and overall totally awesome. I really loved how this book takes you on an amazing adventure from page one. Every plot twist was completely unexpected. This book is easily one of the best books I’ve read this year- suitable for everyone who loves a good adventure story.
I chose this book because Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson series, is one of my favorite authors. I had high expectations for this book because of this – and it totally met all of them.
Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer is the start of an amazing, utterly unique book series. 5 out of 5 Stars.
Reviewer Grade: 9
I absolutely loved Percy Jackson and the Olympians series , but I think that The Heroes of Olympus has surpassed it. All the new characters introduced in this story are really interesting with a mystery aspect. This whole story will keep you guessing because of the little background information given on every character. With a new war and new enemy to defeat this book will keep you up all night!
Reviewer Grade: 9
This novel is the first book of a prospective trilogy by Rick Riordan. In my opinion this novel surpassed Percy Jackson in the Lightning Thief as an origin story. I found the Norse Mythology the most interesting mythology ever presented by Uncle Rick. It is unique and of course humorous. The plot was both daring and nostalgic as it put characters into familiar roles, but also had twists that I was not expecting. I enjoyed each of the four main characters—particularly Magnus’s cool friend Sam, who defies what people expect of her in order to make the world a better place. What I remember best about the book is how funny it was. I liked the book overall and look forward reading the rest of the series.
Reviewer Grade: 9
Magnus Chase was an ordinary teenager—if you can consider normal as being a homeless orphan whose mother was murdered by supernatural wolves. Then, of course, things got worse. And weirder. Because Magnus Chase died.
The end? Not so much.
After he dies, Magnus is taken to Valhalla, the afterlife for Norse warriors. There he learns that he is the demigod son of Frey, a Norse god, and that his two best friends Blitzen and Hearthstone are a dwarf and an elf. Oh, and the world is about to end because a wolf is going to bring on Ragnarok. Now Magnus has to face some of his deepest fears, travel across realms, and somehow befriend a talking sword named Jack in order to prevent Armageddon and save the world from Fenris wolf’s wrath.
Written in irreverent first person with equal doses of humor and drama, The Sword of Summer is captivating from the first chapter and holds interest and emotion to the very last word.
Reviewer Grade: 10