Archive for November 26th, 2010

Yesterday, I completed the fourth of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series:  “The Battle of the Labyrinth“, (2008©), and today I completed the fifth and final book in the series:  “The Last Olympian“, (2009©), both written by Rick Riordan.   The series is centered around a coming of age story for the title character.  It is also a retelling of Greek Mythology and a classic story of the conflict between good and evil; temptation, human weakness, and redemption.
Despite the fact the series are obviously targeted for a younger audience (I’d say 8 to 15 year olds), I found the series to be a terrific and thoroughly enjoyable series.  The story builds with each adventure and the ultimate resolution is both emotionally touching and dramatically satisfying.  By this I mean over the series you’ve built up an emotional connection with the main characters and the heroism and sacrifice are quite touching.  At least, they touched me.  The drama is also played out well.  There are a number of twists and turns which were not predictable (to me) and therefore – unlike many mythic tales – the ending was satisfying.  I would say it is wrapped up almost too well.
My son, James, who recommended the series to me, says there are no new books in the series, but some of the characters appear as minor characters in off-shoot series.  Anyway, I highly recommend the series!
I believe I will now go on to read more serious treatments of Greek mythology, in specific, and mythology, in general.  I found the characters names and character types to be common themes in modern culture – which has surprised me.  I am particularly amused by the heavy use of mythology in the “Matrix” trilogy and I will want to re-watch the series to see if the mythology was predictive of the movie / series action or if the movie makers were simply adopting names from Greek mythology.  I’ve always simply viewed the movies as science-fiction, not as a re-working of classic Greek mythology.

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