This is the third of five mini reviews for the five novels in the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan.
Read The Lightning Thief mini review here.
Read The Sea of Monsters mini review here.
Read The Battle of the Labyrinth mini review here.
Read The Last Olympian mini review here.
“In a way, it’s nice to know that there are Greek gods out there, because you have somebody to blame when things go wrong. For instance, when you’re walking away from a bus that’s just been attacked by monster hags and blown up by lightning, and it’s raining on top of everything else, most people might think that’s just really bad luck; when you’re a half-blood, you understand that some divine force is really trying to mess up your day.”
The Titan’s Curse raises the stakes, the tension and the adventure by a tenfold. I could not tear my eyes away from the page to save my life.
The third novel in the Percy Jackson series picks up a few months after the conclusion of The Sea of Monsters. Thalia has been resurrected due to the healing powers of the Golden Fleece and she, Annabeth and Percy are on a quest to find and protect two suspected half-bloods, Bianca and Nico di Angelo. But the routine mission goes wrong, and Annabeth is kidnapped by Luke’s forces. Artemis, the Goddess of the Hunt, goes searching for a mysterious creature who Luke has recruited, but disappears. Percy is sure the two events are connected and the camp Oracle gives a furtive prophecy and quest which foretells the death and doom of several demi-gods as well as Artemis’ hunters. Percy, who is not invited on the quest, secretly tags along in order to find and protect Annabeth. What Percy and his friends discover is even more frightening than they had imagined.
Rick Riordan’s books just get better and better with each novel. The plot of The Titan’s Curse was astounding and left me perched on the edge of my seat. Percy had been plagued by dreams which were actually events he was watching as they occurred. Sometimes, this technique where the protagonist dreams important information could get a little dry as Percy’s dreams are not really explained, they just happen. I always just assumed Percy’s prophetic dreams were an extension from his powers from his father, Poseidon, but Riordan never elaborates on it. Despite the very obvious dreams, Percy, of course, is too dense to understand them. Once the dreams’ meanings were revealed, I almost threw the book at the wall. The last few chapters of the book were panic-inducing and so mind-blowing.
I should explain my comment about Percy: while he is a great protagonist and so funny and heroic, he reminds me a lot of Harry Potter. Harry is without-a-doubt the most ignorant and slow-witted character in middle-grade fiction in that he has absolutely no clue as to what is happening before it is too late. Many fans and readers even make jokes about Harry’s terrible perceptibility. Percy’s mannerisms and personality evoke Harry. Percy is still a wonderful character, and on the fast-track to becoming a favourite of mine, but Zeus, that boy can be dumb.
In The Titan’s Curse, we are introduced to two more Olympian gods, Apollo and Artemis, who were fantastic additions to an already incredible ensemble. Apollo was so hysterical; I laughed so hard at his jokes and haikus that I had stitches at my sides. I’m really excited to learn more about him in his own series, The Trials of Apollo. Artemis, who has always been my favourite Greek goddess, was a remarkable character. I loved her wit, personality and strength. I was particularly intrigued by her decision to present herself as a twelve year-old girl. Artemis’ Hunters were also phenomenal and fierce. I’m so thankful that Riordan included them in the novel. I always love reading about young girls who are strong and capable, performing such amazing feats.
The Tiran’s Curse was a fast-paced adventure-fuelled novel that I could not put down. The world-building increased and improved, the characters were marvellous and the central villain is getting closer to rising once more.
“Love conquers all,” Aphrodite promised. “Look at Helen and Paris. Did they let anything come between them?”
“Didn’t they start the Trojan War and get thousands of people killed?”
“Pfft. That’s not the point. Follow your heart.”
“Wow,” Thalia muttered. “Apollo is hot.”
“He’s the sun god,” I said.
“That’s not what I meant.”
“God alert!” Blackjack yelled. “It’s the wine dude!”
Mr. D sighed in exasperation. “The next person, or horse, who calls me the ‘wine dude’ will end up in a bottle of Merlot!”
He cleared his throat and held up one hand dramatically.
“Green grass breaks through snow.
Artemis pleads for my help.
I am so cool.”
He grinned at us, waiting for applause.
“That last line was four syllables.” Artemis said.
Apollo frowned. “Was it?”
“Yes. What about I am so big-headed?”
“No, no, that’s six syllables, hmm.” He started muttering to himself.
Zoe Nightshade turned to us. “Lord Apollo has been going through this haiku phase ever since he visited Japan. Tis not as bad as the time he visited Limerick. If I’d had to hear one more poem that started with, There once was a godess from Sparta-“
“I’ve got it!” Apollo announced. “I am so awesome. That’s five syllables!” He bowed, looking very pleased with himself.
“You’re a stalker with hooves.”
“I am not! I followed her to the Big House and hid in a bush and watched the whole thing.”
And there, shimmering in the Mist right next to us, was the last person I wanted to see: Mr. D, wearing his leopard-skin jogging suit and rummaging through the refrigerator.
He looked up lazily. “Do you mind?”
“Where’s Chiron!” I shouted.
“How rude.” Mr. D took a swig from a jug of grape juice. “Is that how you say hello?”
“Hello,” I amended. “We’re about to die! Where’s Chiron?”
Tyson thought Annabeth was just about the coolest thing since peanut butter, and he SERIOUSLY loved peanut butter.
“I gotta say”—Apollo broke the silence—”these kids did okay.” He cleared his throat and began to recite: “Heroes win laurels—”
“Um, yes, first class,” Hermes interrupted, like he was anxious to avoid Apollo’s poetry.
Grover was sniffing the wind, looking nervous. He fished out his acorns and threw them into the sand, then played his pipes. They rearranged themselves in a pattern that made no sense to me, but Grover looked concerned.
“That’s us,” he said. “Those five nuts right there.”
“Which one is me?” I asked.
“The little deformed one,” Zoe suggested.
“Oh, shut up.”
If you look at it from any other side, it looks like a pile of enormous deer droppings, but Chiron wouldn’t let us call the place the Poop Pile, especially after it had been named for Zeus, who doesn’t have much of a sense of humor.