Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Titan's Curse

The Titan's Curse
© 2008 Rick Riordian

This week I read book three in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, and I must say that this was an improvement over The Sea of Monsters, at least in my estimation. The book gets off to a rough start: the author doesn't introduce the situation very well, establishing no ties to the ending of the last book so the readers don't really know what's going on. The last book saw Zeus' daughter Thalia rescued from her fate of being a tree. She joins Percy in this newest adventure, which immediately begins by their having to rescue two half-bloods from a school after being attacked by a monster of sorts. If that seems familiar, it's how the last two books began as well.

Despite this rocky start, the book soon picks up. Trouble is (as usual) brewing. Kronos' revival seems to be going well as his armies are growing larger and more dangerous. We're introduced to several more gods in this book: Artemis, Apollo, and Athena all make extended appearances. (Apollo defends his role as the sun-god while dismissing astronomy as boring. ) Percy, Grover, and Thalia -- along with Artemis' hunters -- are tasked with rescuing Artemis from the clutches of Kronos before the Winter Solstice. (Solstice deadlines are also a familiar element of this series.) The story's plot is also personal for the readers, as one of the other familar characters is placed in jeopardy. The quest takes them to San Francisco, where the citadel of the Titans is being rebuilt. The story is both fun and darkly serious at times. A lot of the drama is self-conflict, as the characters try to deal with the monsters within them.

The book ends with a temporary resolution: the ultimate conflict is still (they think) at least two years away, in which time they will double their training efforts while blocking the Titans' ascent at every turn. I will be continuing the series.

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