Rick Riordan is the author who wrote the adventurous, action-packed series of “Percy Jackson & the Olympians.” His books have been New York Times #1 best-selling series, and he was a middle school history/English teacher for 15 years. Riordan taught at both private and public schools in Texas and the San Francisco Bay Area. He lives in San Antonio, Texas with his wife, Becky Riordan, and their two sons, Patrick and Haley Riordan.
“Percy Jackson & the Olympians” isn’t the only mythologic, modern-day fantasy series Riordan has written, and it will certainly not be the last, but he hasn’t always written fiction. Before, he wrote the adult mystery series “Tres Navarre,” containing seven books about a fast-paced crime story with a talented and flawed hero, Jackson "Tres" Navarre, a 3rd generation Texan. He’s also written “The Kane Chronicles,” a Egyptian-mythology-based series about sibling magicians, Carter and Sadie Kane saving the world. Riordan also just began a series connected to the Percy Jackson series, focusing on Annabeth Chase’s, (a Greek demigoddess and close friend to Percy,) cousin and Norse demigod Magnus Chase. He named this series “Magnus Chase & the Gods of Asgard,” which has many similarities to Percy Jackson’s story.
Riordan mixes the present with the past in the very first installment of the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series, The Lightning Thief. Our protagonist, Percy Jackson, is a “troubled” kid who has been to six schools in the past six years. He lives in upstate New York, where his story begins. After troubling events and the lost mother, he finds that a certain god has had something stolen from him and the prime suspect is none other than Percy. So, Percy’s mentor sends him on a quest with dangers around every corner, and Percy, along with his friends Annabeth and Grover, set out to find the real thief and clear Percy’s name. They’ll meet new people, anger some gods, make some new enemies, and save the day. But, a greater evil is rising and the thief isn’t their biggest problem.
Riordan’s writing style is simple and easy to understand, since his books are intended for a younger audience. He adds humor with sarcasm, which is expected since he is writing from the perspective of a 12-year-old boy. But, his books do have a darker tone to them, especially as he continues writing Percy’s story down. An example of Riordan’s writing style would be when they were at the entrance to the Underworld, “‘How did you die?’ ‘We er….drowned in a bathtub.’ ‘All three of you?’ ‘It was a big bathtub.’”.
The intended audience, as stated previously, would certainly be a younger age group. But, it is a series you can grow up reading as you get older. Though, it does have some violence, like when a hellhound clawed up Percy, if you enjoy fiction, adventure, action, and/or mythology, then you will most likely enjoy Percy’s journey in Rick Riordan’s The Lightning Thief.
Catrina enjoys reading, writing about television, and being awesome.