Percy Jackson and the Olympians

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Ignore the Shadowhunters Codex in the bottom right, but here you have a wonderful series for young adults and kids. I read them, mainly because I wanted to see the movies. I will warn you in advance, the movies only loosely, very loosely, follow the books. By loosely follow, I mean the characters are the same and, in the case of the first movie, the story line is the same. The second movie just spins itself out of orbit!
Back to the books! It’s where I’m most comfortable anyway!! Right away, you are introduced to Percy (Perseus) Jackson, the half human, or demigod son of Poseidon. Demigods are born when Greek gods ‘get busy’ with humans. Percy’s life is tough. He suffers from ADD and dyslexia, which I believe would make him very relatable to kids today.
The story moves along quickly, good for keeping young minds interested, so we are soon at Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods. There he becomes friends with Annabeth, daughter of Athena, and Grover, a satyr. At camp, Percy quickly realizes why he was never in sync with the real world. His ADD helps him in combat training, giving him quick reflexes. His dyslexia is just his brain’s propensity for reading ancient Greek.
Too soon though, he’s off on a quest to save his mother and prevent war on Olympus. He faces Medusa, Hydra and even Hades himself in the underworld.
As the series goes on, the ultimate evil, Kronos, father of Zeus, Poseidon and Hades, rises in power and attempts to overthrow Olympus itself.
Percy and his ever growing circle of friends must trust each other as they deal with their own fatal flaws and interference from the gods.
In The Lightning Thief, Percy’s mission is set forth by the Oracle of Delphi to retrieve Zeus’ lightning bolt and return it to Olympus before it’s disappearance leads to war. As I said before, his mission takes him across the country and into the underworld itself.
Sea of Monsters introduces us to Percy’s half-brother, Tyson, who is a Cyclops. The camp is suddenly in danger because the protective barrier has been weakend by poison. Now they must go on anotger adventure. Instead of saving his mother, this time he has to save the whole camp and his friend Grover from the Sea of Monsters, or as us humans call it, the Bermuda Triangle. This adventure reveals some fears and flaws in our young demigods and teaches them how to grow as both people and heroes. Once the day has been saved another powerful hero is introduced, giving new light to an old prophecy.
The Titan’s Curse introduces another powerful hero, once again skewing the prophecy, one that runs throughout the series, one that everyone thought they understood.
In The Battle of the Labyrinth, we are sent on yet another adventure with Percy, this time to the famous labyrinth. One that grows in size and complexity with each passing year.
The Last Olympian, my personal favorite, is about the final battle between the gods of Olympus and Kronos’ army. Percy and Annabeth, along with many other demigods, must stand and fight on Olympus while the gods have been drawn away in battle. The Last Olympian, the one the title is actually referring to, is completely unexpected, but I love the message it sends.
This is an amazing series! If your an adult looking for something simple and quick, this is a great series. It’s not mind numbing and it doesn’t require a lot of deep thought to understand. I will be starting to read this series to my kids once they go back to school in the fall. It’s great for all ages.
I will tell you now: if you read the books before seeing the movie, don’t set your expectations to high. Try and watch it as if it’s not based on anything, then it’s a pretty good set of movies!
Happy reading!!

The Infernal Devices

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I was second guessing myself as to whether I wanted to review this trilogy now, or after reviewing The Mortal Instruments…… These books are a prequel to The Mortal Instruments (TMI) series, but I read them after devouring most of TMI. As of starting this blog, I clearly decided to introduce you to The Infernal Devices (TID) first!
This trilogy is set in Victorian England and opens by introducing you to Tessa Gray, our heroine, who is so much more than she appears. She has journeyed from New York City to London to reunite with her brother, her only family as they are orphaned. Things go immediately awry, when she is tricked into captivity by evil ‘women’, who show her that she is not entirely human. Or human at all……
Tessa has an amazing ability. She has the ability to take on the form of any sentient being, and while in that form, understand the thoughts of that being. It’s a power that people will kill to control.
She is rescued by the young Shadowhunter, Will Herondale. For those of you who don’t know, Shadowhunters are warriors who protect the human race from demons and the ‘shadow world’.
I could go on about these books for days, and my husband will tell you I have! I don’t want to give away too much, really just give you enough to encourage you to read them!
We are introduced to a wide range of characters, with different personalities and problems. Everything from terrible illness to being pushed into a life you never wanted, love triangles and marital miscommunication. Our characters range from Jem Carstairs, the young Shadowhunter who was poisoned by a demon at the age of six, to Charlotte Fairchild, a woman in a position of power, struggling to show how capable she really is.
With all of these characters we have some of the most beautiful expressions of love and caring that I have ever read. And I mean ever! I read…… A lot! And these struck a chord deep within me!

Life is a book, and there are a thousand pages I have not yet read. I would read them together with you,

As an avid reader, this line rang true. These are thoughts that run through my head, but living in the world we do, you just can’t walk around saying them. Even married to the love of my life, he would laugh at me a little.

Our hearts, they need a mirror, Tessa. We see our better selves in the eyes of those who love us.

Another beautiful and oh – so – romantic sentiment.

When you walk in the world, I will be the light by your side, the ground steady under your feet, the force that drives the sword in your hand. We are bound, beyond the oath.

This could be a romantic thing, sword talk aside, but this is actually a final moment between friends. Can we say wow! It’s not just the romantic moments that get me. These friends, bound by fate and circumstance,  have a relationship that shows how important non-romantic relationships are for us. They are shaped by each other and do everything they can to help each other.
I know I say this about all the books I review, but you must read these books! Obviously I liked them if I’m talking about them, but they are amazing! They are tagged as young adult books, but they are well written with fantastic characters, so what does age really matter? If the story can pull you in, well, that’s the whole point isn’t it?