If are more then a casual fan of this blog then you know that I am a huge Rick Riordan fan. I know he writes for kids but I find his writing to be so clever and charming. He has introduced to stories and myths that I didn’t know before or had forgotten. He has widen his universe to be the most inclusive in children’s literature. He uses his voice and privilege to ally and uplift other voices that don’t always get the spotlight. To put it simply. Rick is a good egg. He is also been one of the biggest critics of the movies of his own books. While the way he trolls them is amusing it does highlight the difference between the two mediums and how as much as we think Authors have a say in the movies based on their work, they don’t. We all have a favorite book that was completely ruined by it’s movie. For fans of Percy Jackson the movie is just terrible and almost unrecognizable to the books. The choices that the filmmakers chose made it almost impossible to make it a franchise. I think they realized it with the second movie and tried to fix it but it was already too late. A problem that Rick foresaw when the filmmaker’s asked for his opinion. Today, Rick posted a blog post where he details the email conversations with the filmmaker’s and how little power he had in the process. It’s an interesting read and I suggest taking a few minutes to read.
First, it kills any possibility of a movie franchise. I don’t know if you or your staff have had the chance to read farther than The Lightning Thief in the Percy Jackson series, but there are four other volumes. The series is grounded on the premise that Percy must progress from age twelve to age sixteen, when according to a prophecy he must make a decision that saves or destroys the world. I assume that XXXX would at least like to keep open the option of sequels assuming the first movie does well. Starting Percy at seventeen makes this undoable. I’m also sure that XXXXX (for) the first Harry Potter movie, some in the studio argued for making the characters older to appeal to a teen audience. Fortunately, they took the long view and stayed true to the source material, which allowed them to grow a lucrative franchise. This would’ve been impossible if they’d started Harry at seventeen. The same principle applies here.
If you haven’t read The Blood of Olympus, the last book of the Heroes of Olympus series, then stop reading now!
Now that we got that out of the way. Rick Riordan’s new series, The Trials of Apollo we follow the God Apollo who is being punished for his role in the rise of the Giants in the last series. What’s his punishment? Zeus has made him mortal. This is something that Zeus has done to Apollo before so once again, Riordan has taken directly from the myths and created his own world. We first meet the mortal Apollo in an alley in New York in January, a couple months after the end of the The Blood of Olympus. (For those who’ve read, Riordan’s Norse series with Magnus Chase, the first book in that series also took placed in January. So both of his current series are happening at the same time which may mean there may be some crossover coming) Apollo is as you expect him to be. He’s vain, arrogant and totally can’t believe that Zeus would turn into a human. Again. He is quickly introduced to a new demigod, named Meg who he is now pledge to serve until he completes his trials and Zeus says he can be called a God again. Things are rough for Apollo. 1. His mortal name is Lester. 2. He has none of his godly powers. In archery he only hit the dead center. He only made one person cry when he played the guitar. 3. He has acne. 4. He has no idea of why he’s being punished for one of his son’s role in the rising of the Giants and Gaea. That’s totally not fair but then again when has Zeus ever been fair. With the help of some familiar faces, *cough* Percy Jackson *cough* Apollo is taken to Camp Half Blood where he finds that the sins of his past are coming back to haunt him and also it turns out that not everyone loved him before. With the help of the demigods, Apollo must face the trials to prove his worth and take down probably the biggest threat to humanity so far. No big deal. For those who miss characters from previous books, some show up here and we get updates on a few others and hints that others will be making appearances in later books. But what I like the most about Riordan’s writing is how he incorporates tough subjects into his stories without be heavy handed. Like how he handled Nico’s coming to terms with his sexuality. Here, we have one character deal with emotional abuse. It was heartbreaking to read and I feel it will only get worse before it gets better but no less important to talk about. I also love his sense of humor. Apollo isn’t as sarcastic as Percy or as sassy as Magnus but he is not without a sense of humor. Even when he isn’t in on the joke. All in all, this was a very promising start to the series and I can’t wait to see what happens next when Apollo aka Lester takes the show on the road.
We are big fans of Rick Riordan here at Stacks so we or at least I am since Kate has yet to finish Blood of Olympus (and I will continue to publically shame her until she does, out of love of course). We saw that USA TODAY published the cover to the first book of Rick’s new series The Trials of Apollo: The Hidden Oracle. The series is a small spoiler as to what happens to a certain God at the end of the last series but then again, if you know your Greek Mythology then you know that Apollo has a history of pissing off Zeus and that he gets turned into a human. The most exciting part of all of this is that it returns us to Percy Jackson’s world and another trip to Camp Half-Blood. Rick may explore other mythologies like Egyptian in the Kane Chronicles and Norse in his latest Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard but he always seems to come back to Greek mythology and Percy. USA TODAY not only revealed the cover but also publish a short excerpt and it’s pretty clear that Apollo is in for a world of hurt. After ten books from demi-gods point of view, it’s going to be fun to read from a God’s point of view, even if it is one turned human.
Who else is excited to read about Apollo’s adventures? Or who is more excited about more Percy and the gang? Is it May yet?
So, it’s Thanksgiving. The one day to gorge on food, watch football and share what we are thankful for. So here’s my literary Thanksgiving list (in no particular order)
I’m thankful for Maggie Stievfater for she is amazing. Not only is she an unbelievable talented author but she she is also a muscian, artist, goat herder and crazy driver. To say that I love her would be an understatment. I love her. She gave me one of my favorite Book boyfriend, James (from Lament and Ballet). Her latest series the Raven Cycle, only gets better and eagarly (and dread) the final book, coming next year.
I am thankful for Percy Jackson. You sarcastic, sassy demigod you. I hope that after everything that he and his fellow demigods went through that he will get a chance to have a normal life and go to college and live happily ever after with Annabeth.
I’m thankful for Westeros. It’s such a messed up place made up of messed up people. I love it. I’m still not caught up but since I have a good year before book six to come out and until April for the new season, I’m in no rush to finish. I’ve got to make it last as long as I can.
I’m thankful for Maureen Johnson’s twitter. Yes, I do love The Name of the Star and the Madness Underneath but really, her on twitter just makes me happy. Is she insane or do just eccentric? Whatever, she’s entertaining.
And I’m thankful for all my friends and family who keep recommending such great books. I’ll never have enough time to read them all. sigh.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! What are you thankful for?
Ok, so here it is. The final book in the Percy Jackson saga. The Blood of Olympus comes out this Tuesday. If you are like me, you are not ready to see Percy, Annabeth, Leo, Frank, Hazel and Nico (Jason and Piper have sort of grown on me I’ll admit) go but everything must end.
What do you think will happen? Who will survive and who will not? Will the demigods save the world and Camp Half Blood? And will we get any insight into Rick Riordan’s new series, Magnus Chase? Could Magnus be related to Annabeth Chase?
I’m excited but sort of dreading the end. Who’s with me?