The first book review…well sort of

Back story and Riordan

I’ve said it once unfortunately I’ll say it again, ever since I was a guppy I was nose deep in musty old books like the Oliver Twist book quietly hidden in my grandmother’s book shelf. I was always fond of history and mythology too.

Reminds of a time back in primary; the teacher had given us a project to present on a culture or something of or interest and had given us three weeks to do it. Me being an utter dolt I forgot about the project entirely until I had only a weekend to complete it and make it look somewhat respectable, because that was the time of Power Rangers Samurai and I was a big fan I chose history of the Samurai. I vividly remember a thirty-six hour blur of jumbled facts, wikipedia, a thick counter book, with sticky and sore fingers from writing notes and gluing pictures on the said counter book. On Monday morning I submitted a 128 page counter book filled back to back with notes, pictures and highlighters for some color, I could almost see ink smoke rising from the book because of my deranged scribbles. Truth be told I can barely remember what I wrote nor mercifully can I remember the mark I recieved, (I thought it was brilliant) but I do remember the enjoyment and fascination I had from doing research and letting my imagination travel to places and experience other cultures -albeit in my head.

I’ve read tons of history on different cultures, and mythologies; I’ve read about Sword makers Masamune and Muramasa, Ancient Egypt, the Iliad of Homer on the Trojan War that birthed Rome, the Aztecs, the Maori, the Shona and a bunch else which I found amazing to learn but not truly experience. I could never be truly immersed in the stories and legends, I read to learn but I never truly felt them come alive in my mind. That is however until I stumbled across a Rick Riordan novel.

I was in that awkward faze of high school were you don’t really know who you are so you try to become some sort of cliche but like your results you completely flunk. So there I was, an awkward adolescent in the school library looking for a book to wind down the time so the wet and grey Friday school day could end. I went from row to row looking for a book and considered actually studying instead when I came across this shiny book, the title was Percy Jack something, lightning something, all I saw were the words Greek gods and I was hooked. So I took it, went and sat on a typical library desk and read, then read and kept on reading until the librarian was annoyed and wanted to leave for lunch. I walked to hostel that day,(yes I was a boarder, anyone who has never been is a muggle) feeling for the first time in a long time so eager to sit down and read again it made me laugh with joy.

This isn’t about a Rick Riordan book in particular but this was the Lightning thief. His books had something I wanted so much in a novel, it was rooted in history and mythology but had an adolescent perspective to it, a paradox of modernized history. It has the teenage experience I could relate to, relationships, coming-of-age, fighting, sown together by historical and mythological plots to throw you in a surreal world that you in some weird way understand and want to be part of, it’s brilliant.

I’ve read the Percy Jackson (Greek) books, the Heroes of Olympus (Greek and Roman) books and the Kane Chronicles (Egyptian) books, particularly fond of the Kane Chronicles. If you would like to read reviews on these let me know and I will be of service.


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