Son of Iris asks:

I know this blog is about Pokemon, but due to your recent chain on twitter about a Percy Jackson TV series, how would you rate & rank each of Riordan’s books, at least the ones you have read in full.

honestly, dude, I’ve had so many classics questions coming in lately I don’t actually know what this blog is anymore

I’m not going to do a whole rank-and-rate numbered list thing, because… frankly there’s a lot of them.  That just sounds like more work than I want to do, especially since it’s been a while since I read most of them; like, the original Percy Jackson and the Olympians books came out when I was a teenager and I don’t think I’ve reread any of them in full since then; I also haven’t read book 4 of Trials of Apollo yet.  I think the Magnus Chase books are probably my favourites in the Percy Jackson ‘verse, which is not entirely because of Alex Fierro but honestly that’s a pretty significant factor.  I think those books are also a really good example of how minority representation in fiction is good, not just for people who don’t often get to see characters like them in media, but because working with diverse perspectives can actually make a story just flat-out more interesting.  Riordan’s whole schtick is reinventing mythology as a presence in the modern world, and that just works better with the widest possible range of character backgrounds.

Of the Greek/Roman books, House of Hades is probably the most memorable for me, because it has Percy and Annabeth in Tartarus, at their lowest point and fighting impossible odds together, as well as Nico’s confrontation with Cupid, which I thought was a tremendously evocative scene.  The Dark Prophecy has a special significance for me in particular, because I happened to be reading it during my year in Greece, just before we visited the Cave of Trophonius in Livadeia.  I was really quite tickled to discover that Riordan’s description of the process of consulting the Oracle of Trophonius is pretty much lifted straight from Pausanias’ Description of Greece.  Literally no one reads Pausanias start-to-finish, not even classicists, because most of it is boring as hell, but there are some fantastic nuggets in there if you can be bothered to find them, and that’s what I love about Riordan’s Greek myth books – he references stuff so obscure that even I haven’t heard of it.  I dunno if I have a particular favourite of the Kane Chronicles books, but just in general I love the worldbuilding and how immediately obvious it is that the Egyptian gods and magicians are simply not the same as the Greek demigods from the Percy Jackson books and follow completely different rules, despite existing in the same “expanded universe.”  Different cultures have different conceptions of what a god is and how gods behave, and I like that Riordan’s Egyptian deities feel different from his Greek and Roman ones.

I haven’t read any of the Rick Riordan Presents books, and there’s so many I dunno if I’ll ever have time for them all, but they all look so good and aarrrghhhghh… So I am going to read Aru Shah and the End of Time, and I am going to read City of the Plague God [EDIT: Sal and Gabi Break the Universe also sounds really fun], I just don’t know when yet.

One thought on “Son of Iris asks:

  1. The ophiotaurus shows up in them too, because of course someone’s going to try to kill the gods and of course they’re going to use the “canon” means of doing that. (Scare quotes are because the concept was both invented and named by Christianity and therefore didn’t exist during the time period when the original mythology was written; you’ve done a whole post about this)


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