For those who have missed Rick Riordan’s mythological world of Percy Jackson and Olympians since the series’ conclusion, your patience has paid off.
Riordan recently released the first book of his new mythology-driven series The Heroes of Olympus, which picks up right where the Percy Jackson series left off. The book, titled The Lost Heroes, introduces new characters into the familiar world while also revisiting the old ones. While many spin-off series tend to avoid characters from the original, Riordan has no qualms about his new characters interacting with his older characters.
The new series focuses on the lives of three new demigods: Piper, Leo and Jason. Much like the original series, the main characters go on a quest to stop an unknown evil force from unleashing chaos on the world. But unlike the Percy Jackson series, there is an underlying mystery throughout the book concerning Jason’s true identity that is not answered until the very end the plot and making it even more excited than Percy Jackson.
Demigod Jason, who lost his memory and does not know his name, (much less that he is the son of Zeus,) is on a quest to regain the memories that were taken from him by a goddess. Piper, the daughter of Aphrodite, is blackmailed by an evil giant and manipulated into choosing between her mortal parent and her new friends. The offspring of Hephaestus, Leo, is the first fire-bearing demigod in centuries and he must grapple with his desire to help his friends and his oath to never use his dangerous powers again.
The Lost Hero is character-driven rather than completely plot-driven. The writing cycles back and forth between each of the three main characters, making it a more insightful story with greater depth than the Percy Jackson series.
The only unfortunate part of the book was that the ending turned out to be less surprising than expected. Reading it, I thought, “Oh, that’s it? I could have guessed that.” It’s slightly predictable, especially for anyone who is relatively familiar with the mythology supporting the books.
The great part of Riordan’s world is that it is so versatile. It’s fortunate that, with his first series, he created such a huge world with so many diverse characters. He left millions of stories untold and a lot of room for expansion. Because of this, he can naturally weave in new mythology and new characters into his stories. With such a large bank of material, the stories are always fresh and good: it’s no surprise that his new story has met par.
While his other series, The Kane Chronicles, has not become quite so popular (it involves Egyptian mythology instead of Greek mythology), his new series is sure to attract the same young adult audience Percy Jackson ensnared.
The Heroes of Olympus series has the potential to be a just as good if not a better series than Percy Jackson and the Olympians. As long as Riordan keeps coming up with fresh plot lines and snappy dialogue, this series will become just as addicting as its predecessor.