Sunday, January 04, 2009

Maybe My Favorite So Far

A month or so ago, someone at one of my listservs who hadn't read any of the Percy Jackson books asked if they were any good. A number of people responded. Not one of them had anything bad to say about the books or their author, Rick Riordan.

I won't say that that's unheard of at a listserv. But, in my experience, it's not what you'd call the norm.

I'm definitely a Percy Jackson fan. I'm definitely a Rick Riordan fan, too, because, for the most part, this guy is able to maintain his level of play. I think he also does a better than average job of creating unique, individual adventures for each book within the context of his overall serial story.

With his fourth P.J. book, The Battle of the Labyrinth, we have another quest. A quest ought to make for some narrative drive, and it does here. Once again, the author does some clever things with mythology.

I think one of the things Riordan is particularly good at is avoiding common pitfalls associated with particular story lines. For instance, he brings in some teen relationship angst in Labyrinth without putting up any neon signs announcing, "Hey, look at me! I am more than a fantasy/thriller writer! I can do romance, too!" He even dabbled in some environmentalism in this book without going all heavy cliched message.

The Battle of the Labyrinth and it's companion books are well-done adventures. The next, and final, book in the series, The Last Olympian, will be published in May. For those who can't wait, an "auxillary book," The Demigod Files, will be out in February.

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