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I read widely and in most genres but romance and westerns. Here you'll find my reviews since 2007, with a few reviews of previously read books as well.


In 2012, I completed an "authors of the world" challenge, reading a book for every country (and a few other entities) by someone who'd lived there for at least two years. I expect to tag these books by challenge and country in the near future. I'm still refining my list by adding books that better meet my challenge criteria.

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series #1)

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series #1) - The success of Harry Potter contributed to three outcomes: Derivative and opportunistic works; books the publisher retitled "[Silly Name:] and the X of Y"; and a chance for good middle reader/young adult authors to be considered more seriously for publication and promotion.These Percy Jackson books (and Michael Scott's Alchemyst series) have little in common with Harry Potter except what Harry has with the genre he entered: Young heroes using magic and medieval-y weapons to defeat evil on their quest. It could be argued that Riordan and Scott do a much better job than Rowling of making mythology an integrated and self-consistent component of the story.Certainly there is Potteresque resonance. Instead of following the protagonist through the school year, the opening volume begins in the school year but its focus is the summer vacation. I love the idea that Percy and other children like him have ADD or ADHD and dyslexia and can't sit still because their brains are structured for Ancient Greek. Percy might do well take heed of Virgil's sentiment (that's Έλληνες, ακόμη και όταν φέρνουν δώρα to Percy and "I fear the Greeks even bearing gifts" to you), but instead undertakes a cross-country quest, accompanied by a young woman and a satyr. Unlike Rowling's generally covert and episodic use of mythological material (e.g., Fluffy/Cerberus), Riordan's is the overt focus rather than the backdrop.Middle readers should identify with Percy and enjoy the ways in which his boring schoolwork in Latin and classical culture suddenly become relevant. Adults who studied Greek long ago may marvel that once upon a time, they knew what an aorist optative was and wish that their brains, too, were hardwired for classical languages.