Should I Tell you about Rick Riordan, The writer of all Percy Jackson Books? The greatest writer of all time (says me)?
Buckle up your seatbelts, kids. This is going to be a long ride.
As far as my goldfish memory goes, Percy Jackson books were my first series ever, and it started by betting against a friend. What was first termed as a joke quickly turned into a friendly read-along to dealing with an obsessive Percy fangirl.
Eight years later, to this day, Percy and Luke will always, always be my favorite ones.
Rick Riordan surely knows where to play what. Eight years ago, I loved his writing and finished the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series in order in a heartbeat. Eight years later, I still love his pieces. In a nutshell – the series is timeless, just like every other Rick Riordan novel.
I’m a Rick Riordan fangirl. Can you tell already?
Unfortunately, my heavily opinionated takes will be toned down in this review because I cannot remember a single thing (except the disastrous live-action remake) that I despised.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series in Order
I remember being so in love that I jumped to the series after Percy Jackson, the infamous Heroes of Olympus Series, which is a great journey, by the way.
That doesn’t mean I will not diss the overdone characters as I did in all of my previous pieces.
I mean, we gotta keep the staple untouched for the quality. The best experience will always come from the right order, and the best way to put PJ books in order is according to their publishing dates –
- Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief (2005)
- The Sea of Monsters (2006)
- The Titan’s Curse (2007)
- The Battle of the Labyrinth (2008)
- The Last Olympian (2009)
- The Chalice of the Gods (2023)
That’s how I, Uncle Rick (Percy Jackson books’ author), and the whole fandom fell in love.
1. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief – A Short Review
Okay, so here we go. Meet Percy Jackson. The boy of our dreams.
Percy is a normal boy until he is discovered as a demigod and is accused of stealing Zeus’s lightning bolt. But up until now, Percy has no idea of what’s going on and is surely not aware that he is the son of Poseidon (God of the Sea).
He also has dyslexia and ADHD, along with getting in physical trouble for which he was kicked out of his school. Yeah, being a demigod and your dad being a literal God is so cool and all, but the responsibilities that come with it. In Percy Jackson’s own words –
‘I was just a normal kid, going to school, playing basketball, skateboarding. The usual. Until I accidentally vaporized my math teacher. That’s when things really started going wrong. Now I spend my time fighting with swords, battling monsters with my friends, and generally trying to stay alive.’
Damn, this kid has no idea what’s in it for him.
Anyway, the story kicks off as he reaches Camp Half-blood, where all the demigods live and train together to make the world a better place. Percy is still very young. Monsters sense you’re a demigod from age 11-13, so it’s a pretty decent age to go to the camp either way.
Percy had his friend, Grover, there. Grover Underwood is a satyr, the best friend, and the guardian of Percy Jackson. He gets patented or claimed as the son of Poseidon on the first days in his camp while befriending Annabeth, the daughter of Athena.
If you wanna talk about feminism, talk about Annabeth. I have seen very few writers perfect a character with a blend of feminine attributes that is not cowardly but rather inspiring.
The whole team is required to go on a quest, and Annabeth does an amazing job leading and planning strategies to make them win.
Onto my favorite character… Luke. If you need one reason to start this series, this character is the one. Luke has this amazing character complex and a (very pretty) scar on his face that shows the root cause of why he has a beef with his father and the Gods in general.
Forget the cheesy movie; in the book, Luke was a master manipulator who was charming and devilishly intimidating (Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief Spoilers here), so much so that he even fooled Chiron and Dionysus, a literal God.
I won’t be surprised if Percy reveals to have a crush on him because that guy was drooling over him more than Annabeth did.
Like every demigod’s personal weapon, Percy had a riptide, a pen which is a sword in disguise. Chiron, his mentor, was the first person to give it to him when he faced Mrs. Dodds and to overcome his fear of low confidence.
Luke, like the perfect manipulator, frames Percy in every way to show that he is the lightning thief to cause a war between the Gods. Still, Percy and his friends are ready to tackle that before the winter solstice. And we are so ready to witness that action.
2. The Sea of Monsters – Is the Book Any Good?
If you are still not in love with Percy Jackson, this book is sure to give you all the goosebumps and innocent tickling because, truly, he’s a sweetheart.
Honestly, the whole book felt like it was more about Clarisse, the daughter of Ares, rather than Percy Jackson himself. Although not entirely, because at the beginning of the book, we use Percy dreaming that Grover was in some kind of trouble and he needed saving.
If you know Percy, he doesn’t let his weird dreams slide so easily. He decodes and surprisingly finds meaning that matches the situation.
This time, something similar happened. Now, we are on a quest to save Grover and win the Golden Fleece from the Cyclops with Percy, Annabeth, and Tyson, a Cyclops.
Yep, that’s the synopsis.
I feel so sorry for you if you came here after watching the movie or even planning to watch the movie. Let me save you time and taste. Please don’t watch the movie.
Even Rick Riordan despises it. The reason is simple: they deviated the whole story and a whole character– the character of Clarisse, the paramount of all.
Clarisse is a pretty interesting character, and in the book, she has been a bully at the camp. Well, at first glance, you’ll hate her. She’s the daughter of Ares, so naturally, she’d pick up fights and be competitive to earn validation.
But her character is not limited to that. She has bloomed this beautiful, friendly competition with Percy till the end of the book that you’d confuse yourself. Was she really that bad after all?
The answer is no, she wasn’t.
I still remember the scene that decoded her character being so misunderstood and masculine because it’s a she, not he, not the proud son of Ares, but rather a daughter.
Ares was not proud of her and often deemed as a disappointment or looked down upon by her brothers because she’s anatomically weaker than them (oh no, she definitely wasn’t).
Even though she hated Percy at the beginning (because of jealousy and insecurity).
Later on, that turned into a beautiful friendship, and we finally got to see the kind side of Percy and the soft side of Clarisse. Clarisse needed that glory, and to complete the quest on her own to be loved by her father seems fair.
Another character that made the book amazing was Tyson, a Cyclope son of Poseidon. I actually don’t get the hate behind this character – all because he’s too dumb.
Well, he’s supposed to have the brain of a 7-year-old, so I don’t know where this hate is coming from. He’s supposed to be dumb and naive yet strong and trustworthy.
If you liked Luke, good news for you – he’s still here.
3. The Titan’s Curse – How Good is the Third Book?
Okay, so we are already at the heart of Percy Jackson and the Olympians series in order – the book where it gets dark and adventurous.
The first two books were more of an introductory book, introducing us to the world of demigods, to the mists and monsters. Still, this one is a straight-up character-building, plot-twisting part of the series. In a nutshell – let the fun begin.
The whole Percy Jackson series has this quest-completing pattern, and this one’s no different. Things might get boring, as we have already seen all of those in the first two books, but the whole book is just the opposite of that.
Spoiler alert: My favorite character of all time, Nico D’Angelo, is finally here.
The camp is saved as per the previous book. Now, Percy and Annabeth have this new quest. They have to save Bianca and Nico, the son and daughter of Hades, from a military school of some kind and bring them to the camp.
It wasn’t as easy as it sounds to be, as things go south pretty quickly. Whatever happens, Annabeth gets kidnapped at last, and the rest are saved by the goddess Artemis and her hunters.
And that call to another quest, and Percy was, unfortunately, not allowed in this quest either.
This quest of rescuing Annabeth was assigned to Zoe Nightshade, who had to choose five people she liked to take to the rescue quest, and again, unfortunately, Percy wasn’t one of them.
As far as we know, Percy and how their relationship escalated in the last book … um, that’s not happening. Percy’s gonna break the rule and rescue Annabeth anyway.
That’s the Percy that is adored everywhere, going to extreme lengths for people he loves.
But again, remember the prophecy? Two people out of five are going to die, according to the prophecy. Our boy Percy has to compensate for that.
I think something changed in him dealing with all that, even after dealing with his own Prophecy about Olympus and also dealing with Thalia Grace, daughter of Zeus.
The best thing was to see Percy develop emotionally once he was back with the pack. He discovered different dynamics with different characters. It gives a unique dimension to his already well-written character, and I loved it.
Call me a hater or whatever, but I really wanted this kidnapping thing to happen. Not because I disliked Annabeth; she can get over the top sometimes, but I’m okay with her. But because of the character development of Percy, he needed but didn’t know where to get it from.
Also, think about it: he is 14 in this book and almost ready for the prophecy to be true. Moreover, since Thalia Grace joined the scene, there needs to be more clarity about the prophecy and who it is about. Kronos and Luke also have a pretty decent turning point in this book.
Overall – if you want me to name one book to read all over again from this series, it’s definitely this one.
4. The Battle of the Labyrinth – A Summary and My Take
Okay, I was wrong. The Titan’s Curse might not be my favorite book of all time from Percy Jackson and The Olympians series.
Back to Nico, he hates Percy on this one. I think ‘hate’ would be a little too little for me, he abhors him. I think the underlying reason might be the post-trauma effect of losing his sister Bianca and the jealousy and competitive powers.
The story starts with Percy in his senior year of high school, as it always does. Things were going smoothly until monsters decided to invade his personal life as he always does. That leaves Percy to go back to his camp and then later join a quest … as he always does.
At the camp, Grover is at risk of losing his license because of delaying a mission to the point of being unsuccessful, so he has to avenge his mini-quest as soon as possible.
But this time, things are a tad bit different. Annabeth and Percy were up for a friendly match when they accidentally discovered the entrance of a labyrinth that was made by Daedalus.
To you and I’s mind, that’s an, oh, what an interesting game. Let them dive deeper into that. But to the ultra-instinct demigods, that’s a huge no-no. Do you remember Luke?
Yeah, we are still working on him.
Since the end ends inside the half-blood camp and the other end is outside somewhere, this could very much mean Luke could access it anytime to terrorize the whole camp and take over it as per his idea to defeat Olympus.
Here, we get some of the best news for Annabeth – she gets a quest! She’s never had a quest, like ever, so this one’s pretty big for her.
The quest is to find Daedalus and let him know what’s going on with Luke so that he doesn’t help him find the entrance to the half-blood camp through the labyrinth. Annabeth gets to take teammates in her quests, and she obviously chooses Percy, Tyson, and Grover.
The fact about the maze is that it is harder for demigods and easier for mortals to solve due to mist and universal stuff, so Percy includes Rachel (who’s a mortal friend) to help them solve the maze quicker.
Expect some action in every part of the book, including the Daedalus workshop, where four of them escape without any harm. After that already epic action scene, Percy runs into Luke, who is already possessed by Kronos, and there goes my second epic face-off.
Meanwhile, at the camp half-blood, monsters have already invaded the camp, and there goes another battle between the camp half-blood and monsters where the camp half-blood wins for the time being.
That’s how the story ends in this book. Overall, the plot was meh to me. But I loved the stories in between, especially the one island where the cursed goddess falls in love with Percy. Read it if you can. It’s worth it.
5. The Last Olympian – Reviewing the Second Last Book of the Series
Oh, finally, and sadly, we are already at the ‘alleged’ last book when we’re considering Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian Books in Order (Allegedly!).
If you are still wondering if we are done with the Kronos thing, no, we are not. Uncle Rick was just postponing it for the very last book. At the beginning of the book, Percy and his friend go on alone to defeat Kronos.
This is a really stupid idea because Kronos has been a “Whole-Ass” God. In fact, father to the three main Gods, and these two are just mere teenagers. Just like we expected, Percy escapes and comes back to camp half-blood as his father advises him to.
Later, he teams up with Nico D’Angelo to visit the underworld and make some life-changing decisions for him that eventually will affect the camp.
Apart from the amazing action scenes, this book is emotional on many levels. Do you still remember the 12-year-old boy who came to the camp with no prior knowledge of anything?
You’ll get to see how much he can grow up now. The whole journey is more of an emotional ride for Percy rather than throwing hands on Luke or Kronos.
I’m glad Percy understood that to defeat your enemy, you gotta know more about them. The journey started when he wanted to know more about Luke.
- What made him so pathetic to go down this path?
- Why did he turn his back on his own father?
- Why does he act the way he does?
- What was his childhood like?
- Is he traumatized because of past actions?
I don’t know if Percy was ready to know all this stuff about Luke because of the way he acted after knowing all these screams that he was guilty of those actions towards Luke.
He almost felt like this could be him, and he could have easily turned out like Luke. I think that realization is what made him the most, and not only him – the whole fandom is now sympathizing with Luke. He’s a troubled child, after all.
This book honestly made me so emotional on so many levels. This shows how Percy has grown over the years and what the prophecy was all about, putting an end to everything that we used to wait for, leaving us nothing to wait for anymore.
This shows the character alternation of Luke and how Rick Riordan has grown with us over the years to deliver such mature plots and dialogues.
In a nutshell – I felt like I’d grown up, and I don’t really buy this feeling. This was supposed to be the endgame, or we thought this was going to be the last one until Uncle Rick decided to drop another masterpiece to mess with our feelings.
I’m not complaining.
7. The Chalice of the Gods – Something About The Actual Last Book of the Series
Ah, it feels so good to be back.
This book feels a bit different from what we are used to in this series. Well, is that a good thing or a bad thing?
If you are someone who grew up with Percy Jackson and is a huge fan of whatever he does, this is good news for you. But if you are someone who is into battles and specifically looking for a plot or something innovative…boy, do I have some news for you.
The overall vibe of this book is pretty chill.
Percy is a grown-up adult now and prepping for college because Annabeth is doing so. Their goal is to get into the University of New Rome because that’s the place where demigods and gods or goddesses pursue their higher studies.
Percy can only get admission to this university if he has three recommendation letters from three separate Gods – which calls for the quest in this book, which is to rescue the chalice of the Gods, which will get him appreciation from the Gods.
I know you might think this is a pretty pointless quest. Still, Percy Is finally focusing on his education, and this one is important for him because it is important for Annabeth.
Also, demigods are not supposed to live this longer, and all of the gods pretty much hate Percy, so yeah, it can be challenging for him to do so.
To rescue Chalisa is harder than you think. But I didn’t expect much action from this because Uncle Rick really wants this guy to take some rest and not be haunted by monsters 24/7.
However, I loved the new concept of what the demigod is actually gonna do since they are past the forbidden age that almost no one has done. This concept took the story to a new dimension and allowed us to explore new things that we hadn’t seen before.
Percy and Annabeth are also much more mature now, and I’m not surprised by the fact that Percy thinks about their future and having a family together, which is really sweet.
He also spends a lot of time with his family and friends back home. For someone who has watched them grow together, this is really sweet. I’m crying already, can you tell?
Oh, and there’s another one coming soon. I’m sobbing now.
Should You Read Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series?
Anyone who says no to this question is taking away happiness from you. So be fully aware of who you’re asking. This could easily act as a filter for you to judge someone at the first meeting.
All jokes aside, this is involved with a humongous part of my childhood and has an unintentional effect on how I think and write to this day.
I love all the characters to their very core, whether it is Luke or Percy or Nico, because all of them have a different story to tell. Whether it’s about being a good listener or writer, I owe it to them – The characters taught me how friends should be and what unconditional love looks like.
So, run, not walk, and welcome to the world of PJ. You’re so gonna love it here.