Percy Jackson & the Olympians
The U.S. logo for the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series
|Genre||Fantasy, Young-adult fiction, Thriller, Mystery|
|Publisher||Disney Hyperion (formerly Miramax Books)|
|Media type||Print (hardback and paperback)
|Followed by||The Heroes of Olympus|
Percy Jackson & the Olympians, often shortened to just Percy Jackson, is a pentalogy of adventure and fiction books written by Rick Riordan. The Lightning Thief is about a twelve-year-old dyslexic ADHD boy, Percy Jackson. Once after returning home from his boarding school, Percy and his mother Sally Jackson, decide to go to the beach in Montauk. After a series of tragedies at Montauk beach, including thinking that he has lost his mother, Percy finds out that he is a demigod, and son of Poseidon, the God of Sea. He also discovers that he is accused of stealing the weapon of Zeus, the lightning bolt. Now, to clear his name of this thievery, and to save the world of World War III, he must find the real thief and return the lightning bolt to Zeus. Thus Percy Jackson and two companions, the satyr Grover Underwood and Annabeth Chase, a daughter of Athena, start on a journey to the underworld and the god of the underworld, Hades.
More than 20 million copies of the books have been sold in more than 35 countries.
As of October 28, 2011, the series has been on ''The New York Times'' Best Seller list for children's book series for 223 weeks. The first book was adapted into a film titled Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief in 2010, which was commercially successful, but received mixed reviews. An adaptation of the second book, titled Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters, was released in 2013.
- 1 Origins
- 2 Books
- 3 Supplementary works
- 4 Main characters
- 5 Reception
- 6 Films
- 7 The Heroes of Olympus
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Development for both The Lightning Thief and the Percy Jackson series as a whole, commenced when Riordan first began making stories for his son Haley, who had (at the time) recently been diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia. His son had been studying Greek mythology in second grade and requested that his father come up with bedtime stories based on Greek myths. Riordan had been a Greek mythology teacher in middle school for many years, and was able to remember enough stories to please his son. Soon Riordan ran out of myths and his son then requested that he make new ones using the same characters from Greek myths and add new ones. Thus, Riordan created the fictional character Percy Jackson and made the story of how he would travel across the United States to recover Zeus's thunderbolt.
In June 1994, Riordan had completed his manuscript for The Lightning Thief and began looking for agents. During that time, he visited multiple local colleges looking for good editors until he eventually found an agent. While he left his manuscript to his agent and editor to review, Riordan took his book to a group of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders to read and give their critique. Ultimately he gained their approval, and with their help, came up with the name of the book and created the way Percy's sword worked. In June 1997, Riordan signed with Bantam Books to prepare the book for publishing. In 2004, the book was sold to Miramax Books for enough money for Riordan to quit his job to focus on writing. After it was released on 28 July 2005, it sold over 1.2 million copies. The book was released in multiple versions including hardcover, paperback and audio editions. It has been translated into multiple languages and published all over the world.
The Lightning Thief
The Lightning Thief is the first book in the series. It was released on June 28, 2005.
During a field trip to a museum, Percy is attacked by a "Fury" disguised as his Pre-Algebra teacher, Mrs. Dodds, and he causes her to vaporize using a sword given to him by Mr. Brunner, his Latin teacher. After Mrs. Dodds is killed, no one from his school remembers her, except for Mr. Brunner and Percy's best friend Grover. One day, when Percy gets frustrated from studying for his Latin exam (Percy, as a demigod, has both ADHD and dyslexia), he goes to Mr. Brunner for help, and overhears a conversation regarding his safety at the school between his teacher and his best friend, Grover. At the end of the school year, Percy leaves the boarding school for his home. His mother, Sally, tells him that the two of them are to spend time at a cabin in Montauk, a beach that Percy had gone to when he was younger. One night while at the cabin, Grover, revealing himself to be a satyr, warns the two of them to leave immediately. Sally drives them to Camp Half-Blood, a safe hideout for demigods, where no monster can enter its bounds. Before reaching the camp, they are attacked by the Minotaur. They reach the camp border, but Sally is transformed into a shimmer of gold and dissipates after being attacked and Grover is rendered unconscious. Percy tears off one of the Minotaur's horns and uses it to destroy the beast before passing out from exhaustion. When he wakes, he finds himself at Camp Half-Blood and sees Mr. Brunner, who turns out to be a centaur named Chiron, along with Annabeth Chase, a daughter of Athena. Percy is soon claimed by his Olympian parent, Poseidon, the God of the Sea, since he is accused of stealing Zeus' master lighting bolt. Although Percy insists that he is innocent, Zeus refuses to believe him. Percy, Annabeth, and Grover are given a quest to retrieve the lightning bolt and believe Hades, the God of the Underworld, to be the thief and Sally's captor. As they travel to the Underworld they face numerous mythological monsters, including Medusa, Echidna, and the Furies. The trio come face to face with Hades, who does not have the bolt and asks them to find his Helm of Darkness, which has also been stolen. The three escape from the Underworld, Percy fights Ares, the God Of War, and they retrieve the stolen items. They revisit Hades, who returns Sally safely. In the end, they learn that the real thief was Luke Castellan, a son of Hermes and the camper who had befriended Percy when he first arrived at Camp Half-Blood. He had stolen the bolt to allow Kronos, the King of the Titans, a chance to rise again. Before leaving the camp, Luke tries to kill Percy using a poisonous scorpion, which Percy kills after Luke left him with it.
The book was adapted into a film by Chris Columbus and 20th Century Fox, under the title Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief on February 12, 2010.
The Sea of Monsters
The Sea of Monsters is the second installment in the series, released on April 1, 2006.
If Thalia's tree (Thalia was a daughter of Zeus about to die, but he turned her into a tree to protect Camp Half-Blood) fully dies, then the camp borders will no longer be protected and more Monsters will start attacking the camp. Chiron (the camp's head instructor) is accused of poisoning the tree and is banned from the camp. After Chiron has left, Percy has a dream about Grover in a wedding dress because Polyphemus, a huge, deadly cyclops wishes to marry him, thinking he is a female cyclops. Later in the dream, Grover warns Percy, "Don't let me die!" This will continue unless they find another way to protect the camp borders or the camp will be overrun by monsters. Percy then finds out that Tyson is his half-brother and a cyclops. To save the tree, a quest is given to find the Golden Fleece. Clarisse La Rue, a daughter of Ares, will lead the quest to find the Golden Fleece. Percy, Annabeth, and Tyson sneak off, not just for the Golden Fleece, but to find Grover Underwood. They meet Luke on his ship, the Princess Andromeda, but are able to escape. They soon join with Clarisse on her quest. Her ship is destroyed passing through the Sea of Monsters and Annabeth and Percy continue their search for Grover after becoming separated from the others. After encountering the Sirens and Circe, Annabeth and Percy reach the Polyphemus' cave. They are able to rescue Grover and Clarisse and Tyson helps defeats Polyphemus. They recover the Fleece and head to Miami. Clarisse heads to camp and the others are captured by Luke. They are about to be killed before Chiron and the Party Ponies (other centaurs) rescue them and take them back to camp. The Fleece is able to save the tree, but it also revives Thalia, whose spirit was in the tree.
The book was adapted into a film by Thor Freudenthal and 20th Century Fox, under the title Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters. It was released on August 7, 2013.
The Titan's Curse
The Titan's Curse is the third installment in the series. It was released on May 1, 2007.
Percy, Annabeth and Thalia are sent to a gloomy boarding school to rescue two half bloods whom Grover found, Bianca and Nico di Angelo. While on this mission, they are attacked by a Manticore, and are saved from the goddess Artemis and her Hunters, all of which were girls from age 10-14. How ever as Annabeth also tries to help kill the Manticore, she falls with it and is stuck with Luke. Artemis goes on a quest to help Annabeth, not telling anyone. As soon as she is captured by Luke and his army, her lieutenant Zoe Nightshade, Bianca, Thaila and Grover go on a quest. Percy, not being invited along by the Hunters because he was male, follows them on Blackjack, a pegasus who is grateful for being saved by Percy. He is caught out by Dionysus and he tells Percy to pursue the others. He does and joins the quest group. How ever, as the prophecy told, Bianca is killed in a place where no water is found, and Zoe is killed by her father Atlas, who Percy had dreamt about. Atlas was to be the General for Kronos' army but now cannot and that is a win for the demigods and Hunters. Thalia replaces Zoe as Artemis' lieutenant during the gods' summit. Thalia's induction as a lieutenant of Artemis ensures that she never reaches 16, thus escaping the prophecy but leaving Percy as the only one who can fulfill it. Eventually Percy rescues Annabeth by taking Atlas' place in holding the sky, and they trick Atlas into his original position again. They return to camp and Percy informs Nico about Bianca's death. He blames Percy, accusing him of failing to protect her and runs away. Percy learns that the underworld god, Hades, is Nico's father. Nico and Bianca di Angelo are two young children who join Camp Half Blood. Nico, who's 10, loves this card game with all these hit points and shooting ranges. Bianca, who's 12, says that her brother's game is stupid and when Nico talks about his card game, I recall Bianca saying, "Okay Nico. We don't care about your stupid card game so shut up." Luke's getting stronger and stronger as the trilogy continues.
The Battle of the Labyrinth
The Battle of the Labyrinth is the fourth installment in the series. It was released on May 6, 2008.
After being attacked by monsters, Percy returns to Camp Half-Blood and learns about the labyrinth. During a war game, Annabeth and Percy find an entrance into the Labyrinth in camp. Percy soon learns that Luke will use the entrance to lead his army through the Labyrinth straight into the heart of camp. Annabeth is chosen to lead a quest to prevent it, and chooses to bring Tyson,Percy,and Grover, even though it was traditional to bring only 2 companions on a quest, as explained by Chiron. While in the Labyrinth, Percy and Annabeth become separated from Grover and Tyson. They encounter Nico, who begins to forgive Percy. Percy and Annabeth arrive under Mount St. Helens, where Annabeth kisses Percy. Percy accidentally causes St. Helens to erupt and washes ashore on Calypso's Island. He returns, rather than staying with her, stating that she would always be his biggest "what-if". Then he and Annabeth recruit Rachel Dare to be a guide in the Labyrinth, finding her sight and knowledge useful for the quest. Daedalus is shown to be alive and to have given Ariadne's string to Luke. They find Grover and Tyson and discover Pan, and Grover tells him that he must return to the world. But, Pan says that he cannot come and before dying tells Grover to spread the word that Great God Pan has died. Grover does what he is told. Percy also finds Luke's body in Kronos' coffin, saying that there was a hole where Luke's heart should have been. After Pan's warning, they flee to camp, trying to stop the invasion. Kronos' forces attack the camp but are defeated. After the battle, Daedalus sacrifices himself to destroy the Labyrinth, as its tied to his lifeforce of the time.
The Last Olympian
The Last Olympian, the fifth and final book in the Percy Jackson series, was released on May 5, 2009.
Percy Jackson learns that Kronos' forces are preparing to attack Olympus. Seeking to defeat Kronos, Percy bathes in the River Styx, making his body invulnerable except one small chosen part of his body. Kronos leads a siege of New York City and puts its citizens to sleep. Percy leads the campers, Hunters, nature spirits, and centaurs to protect Mount Olympus from Kronos and his forces. While they protect Olympus, the gods hold down the monster Typhon as he makes his way to New York. Kronos, possessing Luke's body, forces his way into Olympus and battles Percy in Olympus' throne room. Typhon reaches New York but is defeated after the arrival of Poseidon's forces. Luke is able to overcome Kronos. Percy gives him Annabeth's knife, and Luke stabs himself in his mortal spot (as he also was invulnerable from bathing in the River Styx) to temporarily destroy Kronos and save Mount Olympus. The gods reward Percy and his friends, and offer him immortality. He rejects the offer, but they grant him one request. He requests the gods to claim all their children and to have cabins for all the gods, including the minor ones. Rachel Elizabeth Dare becomes the Oracle and recites the next great prophecy. At the end Percy and Annabeth earnestly start their relationship.
The Demigod Files
The Demigod Files, also written by Rick Riordan, is the first companion book to the series. It was released February 10, 2009, featuring three short stories, interviews with the campers, puzzles and pictures. It is set between The Battle of the Labyrinth and The Last Olympian. The book received mixed reviews, with some reviewers criticizing the lack of substantial material and others commenting the writing of the short stories.The stories are Percy Jackson and the Stolen Chariot, Percy Jackson and the Bronze Dragon, The Camper Interviews, and Percy Jackson and the Sword of Hades. At the end of the book, there are portraits on the characters of the series. 
The Ultimate Guide
The Ultimate Guide is a companion book, second to the series, released on January 19, 2010. This book has a magnetic cover and holographic character pictures that change into four different characters. Its 156 pages include trading cards, full-color diagrams and maps. It also includes a dictionary of almost every monster Percy faces in the series, with pictures beside some, as well as various activities. The book tells of Percy Jackson's starting life as a half-blood, a tour of the Underworld by Nico di Angelo, the story of Sally Jackson's parents, and items used throughout the series. There is also a paperback version.
A graphic novel based on The Lightning Thief was published on October 12, 2010. It follows a shortened version of Percy's adventures in The Lightning Thief with full color drawings. A graphic novel based on the second book in the series, The Sea of Monsters was released on July 2, 2013. Another graphic novel based on the third book, The Titan's Curse is schedule to release October 8, 2013. 
Demigods and Monsters
Demigods and Monsters is an unofficial companion book and was released on February 11, 2009. With an introduction by Riordan, it features essays written by various young adult authors that explore, discuss and provide further insight into the Percy Jackson series. At 196 pages, it also contains information on the places and characters of the series, as well as a glossary of Greek myths.
The Demigod Diaries
The Demigod Diaries contains four new stories with character interviews, illustrations of Annabeth Chase and Percy Jackson, puzzles, and a quiz. The four stories include: Thalia's, Luke's, and Annabeth's adventures before the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series began A first-person narrative from Percy's viewpoint as he and Annabeth complete a task given by Hermes regarding his staff which happens a month after the end of The Last Olympian and before Percy went missing in The Lost Hero. It also includes a short story by Riordan's son, Haley Riordan, revolving around one of the demigods who fought for Kronos during the Second Titan War and survived the battle in Manhattan. It also includes a story involving Jason, Leo, and Piper during their time spent at Camp Half-Blood between The Lost Hero and The Son of Neptune. This is part of the spin-off The Heroes of Olympus, also by Riordan.
Listed are the major characters in the series:
- Percy Jackson: age 12–16; demigod son of Poseidon; the protagonist of the series. Appears in The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Titan's Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, and The Last Olympian.
- Grover Underwood: age 28–32; the satyr best friend of Percy; portrayed as teenager since satyrs age half as fast as humans. Appears in The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Titan's Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, and The Last Olympian.
- Annabeth Chase: age 12–16; demigod daughter of Athena; best friend and (later) girlfriend of Percy. Appears in The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Titan's Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, and The Last Olympian.
- Luke Castellan: age 19–23; demigod son of Hermes; an antagonist of the series; allows Kronos use of his body. Appears in The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Titan's Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, and (as Kronos) The Last Olympian.
- Thalia Grace: age 15, immortal demigod daughter of Zeus, lieutenant of the Hunters of Artemis, formerly the tree that guarded Camp Half-Blood. Appears in the end of The Sea of Monsters, The Titan's Curse, and The Last Olympian.
- Nico di Angelo: age 10–12, demigod son of Hades; ignored by Camp Half-Blood due to parentage; Bianca's brother; holds authority over the dead. Appears in The Titan's Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, and The Last Olympian. It is also hinted in "The Last Olympian" that he had already discovered Camp Jupiter when he was in one of Percy's dreams in the California area. Also in The Battle of the Labyrinth Nico wants revenge over his dead sister and he wants a soul to bring his sister back to life.
- Tyson: Percy's half-brother; he is a Cyclops; has an ability to withstand fire and lava; he is skilled with machines; acts like a child. Appears in The Sea of Monsters, The Titan's Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, and The Last Olympian.
- Clarisse La Rue: age 14–18, demigod daughter of Ares; does not get along with Percy; she is very combative. Appears in The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Battle of the Labyrinth, and The Last Olympian.
- Rachel Elizabeth Dare: age 14–16, a clear-sighted mortal girl who assists Percy by seeing through the Mist; later becomes the Oracle. Appears in The Titan's Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, and The Last Olympian. She is introduced in The Titan's Curse, and is an important character in The Battle of the Labyrinth, and The Last Olympian.
- Chiron: centaur and activities director of Camp Half-Blood; trainer of heroes, son of Kronos. Appears in The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Titan's Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, and The Last Olympian.
- Ethan Nakamura : demigod son of Nemesis, comes in the battle of the labyrinth, in which it is revealed that he was there at the camp stuffed in the Hermes cabin along with many other unclaimed demigods and later joined Kronos, at the end of the last Olympian, he helped Percy and later was killed by Kronos.
The Lightning Thief received mostly positive reviews and won awards including the School Library Journal Best Book of 2005. The New York Times praised The Lightning Thief as “perfectly paced, with electrifying moments chasing each other like heartbeats”. Author Rick Riordan said of the various awards:
The ultimate compliment for a children's writer is when the kids like it.
Like its predecessor, The Sea of Monsters won several prizes and received generally positive reviews as well. It sold over 100,000 copies in hardcover by the time it was released in paperback and reviewers have praised the storyline, themes and the author's style of writing. Matt Berman, of Common Sense Media, praised the book, saying “The Percy Jackson series continues to be pure fun, with the author doing nearly everything right to produce a book that few kids will be able to resist.” Kirkus reviewed The Battle of the Labyrinth as, “This volume can stand alone, but no one will be able to read just one […] look no further for the next Harry Potter, meet Percy Jackson as legions of fans already have.”
These films have been made from these books:
Chris Columbus directed and produced Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief for 20th Century Fox through 1492 Pictures. The film was released in 2010 in the United States, Canada and in the United Kingdom on February 12 and in Australia on February 11. Columbus has stated that he was drawn to directing the Percy Jackson movie because it gave him the "opportunity to do a movie that we haven't really seen before for this generation. When I was a kid, there were movies that dealt with Greek mythology, which in terms of visual effects was really primitive. So I thought this was an opportunity to deal with Greek mythology which children and adults all over the world are fascinated by and it was not a new genre but a new avenue, dealing with mythological creatures in a contemporary setting."
To accompany the film, a video game was produced. Michael Splechta gave it a 6/10, saying Percy Jackson & the Olympians might not make a splash when it comes to movie tie-in games, but fans of turn-based combat might find some redeeming qualities in this otherwise bare-bones game."
The Heroes of Olympus
A sequel series, also based on Camp Half-Blood and the Greek mythology universe, was written and the first book released on October 12, 2010. Like the first series, there will be five books. Riordan has also stated that the time between the two occurrences of great prophecies is not as long as Apollo assumes it will be. The series has been named The Heroes of Olympus, and the first book is The Lost Hero. The official website requires a password, revealed as newhero. On June 1, 2010, the site went live. A medal with a password was needed to unlock the first two chapters. The cover was revealed on June 20, 2010, along with the password. The second book in The Heroes of Olympus, The Son of Neptune, was released in October 2011. The third book, The Mark of Athena was released on October 2, 2012. The fourth book, The House of Hades, was released on October 8, 2013. The fifth and final book of The Heroes of Olympus series, The Blood of Olympus, is set to be released on October 7, 2014.
- List of artistic depictions of dyslexia
- From the Files of the Time Rangers – also based on the premise of Greek gods active in the modern US
- Olympians (Marvel Comics) – comics based on the same premise
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- Official Percy Jackson & the Olympians UK website
- Official Percy Jackson & the Olympians US website
- Official Percy Jackson & the Olympians Persian website
- Rick Riordan's website for news about Percy Jackson
- Percy Jackson & the Olympians series listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database