Thoughts on "Percy Jackson and the Olympians"
Warning: Spoilers for "Percy Jackson and the Olympians," "So You Want to Be a Wizard," and the "Harry Potter" series follow:
1. Grover rousing the dryads and Annabeth using Plan 23 on the statues in "The Last Olympian" always makes me think of the battle in Central Park at the end of "So You Want to Be a Wizard."
I sometimes wonder if the two series could be crossed over. There's lots of Manhattan and Long Island in both, after all. It wouldn't be too big a stretch for Nita and Kit to bump into Percy in Montauk or wander into Camp Half-Blood. They could, of course, stumble into the boundary around Camp Half-Blood and convince it to let them through. I'll bet a Duane-style wizard could talk the barrier into letting him (or her) in. Maybe Kit will get a job delivering pizzas and he can be the lost pizza delivery guy that Percy mentions in "Sea of Monsters."
The problem with this idea is the cosmology. The nature of the Greek gods is totally different between the two. But still, I think about it sometimes.
2. In my review of "The Last Olympian," I mentioned how eerie it was to read about Typhon approaching New York during the time when Superstorm Sandy hit. Later, though, I realized in real life, the unbelievably huge storm (which, fortunately for my peace of mind, came from the wrong direction) was followed by the top of the Empire State Building being lit up blue (which was the signal that Obama won in 2012). That's even eerier.
3. Speaking of the mortals seeing Typhon as a storm, I think that I have been a victim of the Mist. Well, not really, but it would be cool.
On my honeymoon, my now-ex-husband and I went into an ice cream shop, where the worker was being bothered by a pigeon. That was the stubbornest pigeon ever. It kept coming back into the store, and at one point, went into the back room and knocked over something that crashed loudly. The worker ran into the back and drove the pigeon away. Sometimes in my more fanciful moments I wonder what the pigeon actually was. A Stymphalian bird? A Harpy, maybe? Possibly even a baby pegasus?
4. One of the things that tickles me is the punny names in the series. Many of the demigods have surnames that relate to their parentage. Silena Beauregard, for example. "Beauregard" literally means "beautiful gaze." Lee Fletcher: a fletcher is someone who makes arrows, and Michael Yew: yew is one of the types of wood that bows were traditionally made from. Of course, Percy himself makes the Stoll/stole and Blofis/blowfish connections himself. And Katie Gardner is pretty obvious as well, as a daughter of Demeter.
5. Could Persephone have half-blood children? Persephone is, after all, a goddess in her own right. That would certainly be a "what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander" moment in Persephone and Hades's marriage, since mentions of Maria di Angelo make Persephone jealous. Let's have Persephone take up with some human men and have a few half-blood children herself. I wonder what traits of the children of the goddess of springtime and/or death would be . . . .
6. I know that the Demeter as mother-in-law thing was played for laughs and everything, but since I have something of a green thumb, I have always thought that Demeter would have a high chance to be my Olympian parent, at least of the major Olympians.
7. In my review of "The Last Olympian," by the way, I reference my two favorite goddesses. Those, for the curious, were Demeter and Hestia. I love Hestia. And apparently Riordan does, too.
8. The quote that I sort of talk around in my review of "The Battle of the Labyrinth" is when Pan says: "The spirit of the wild must pass to all of you now. You must tell each one you meet: if you would find Pan, take up Pan's spirit. Remake the wild, a little at a time, each in your own corner of the world."
I love that quote so much. And I was very disappointed that my "no spoilers in the body of the review" policy kept me from quoting it. I took out my frustrations by posting that line to my Facebook instead.
9. I found the evolving nature of the symbolism of the color blue to be at once interesting and frustrating.
In "The Lightning Thief," the blue food thing represents a way that Sally stands up to her odious and abusive husband, Gabe. Gabe once insisted that there was no such thing as blue food, so Sally started serving blue food whenever she could, from blue candy to blue corn tortilla chips.
In "The Sea of Monsters," the symbolism has changed just a bit to blue food representing the idea that anything is possible. This is an understandable shift, since it was Gabe's insistence that blue food was impossible that started it.
But somehow, by "The Last Olympian," blue is now just Percy's favorite color. No symbolism or meaning beyond that. I frequently wonder why Riordan (or his editor) let it shift so far from the original meaning over the course of the five books.
10. I was seriously underwhelmed by the last few "Harry Potter" books. And it seemed that nearly every time I would say something about some of the things that underwhelmed me (how Dumbledore's death was really unnecessary from a storyline point of view and since it wasn't organic, Rowling had to shoehorn it in with the "suicide by Potions Master" scene, how Ginny/Harry came out of nowhere with that awful "monster in Harry's chest" development, and, to paraphrase a commenter from LiveJournal, how the pairing of Ron and Hermione should lead to a future book being called "Harry Potter and the Messy Divorce") someone would respond "you have to understand how the formula works."
So, it was with great pleasure I watched Riordan thumb his nose at some of the things that my friends told me were just the way it had to be. If Riordan had followed "the formula," we would be living in a world where Chiron is dead, Percy is with Rachel, and Annabeth is with either Tyson or Grover.
No thank you.
And, yes, I liked the idea of Harry and Hermione ending up together. They genuinely liked and trusted one another. Apparently, loving someone you like and trust is not allowed in "the formula." Don't ask me.