Percy Jackson & the Olympians
The U.K. logo for the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series
|Genre||Fantasy, Young-adult fiction, Thriller, Mystery, Comedy-drama|
|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 Percy Jackson, is a pentalogy of adventure and fiction books written by Rick Riordan. Four supplementary books, along with a graphic novel, have also been released. 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: 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 commenced when Riordan began making stories for his son Haley, who had at the time been diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia. His son had been studying Greek mythology in second grade and requested that his father tell him bedtime stories based on Greek myths. When Riordan ran out of myths, his son suggested that he make up new stories using existing mythological characters and new ones. This led Riordan to create the fictional character of Percy Jackson and create the story of how he travels 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. He visited local colleges looking for good editors until he eventually found an agent. While he left his manuscript to his agent and editor for review, Riordan took his book to a group of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders to read and critique. He gained their approval, and with their help, came up with the name of the book and created the way Percy's sword works. 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 and 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 and was released on June 28, 2005.
One day after returning home from his boarding school, Percy and his mother Sally Jackson, travel to a beach in Montauk. After a series of harrowing incidents, Percy finds out that he is a demigod son of Poseidon the Greek god of water and that the gods are accusing him of stealing Zeus' master lightning bolt. To clear his name and save the world from another war between the Olympian gods, he sets out to find the real thief and retrieve the lightning bolt. Thus Percy Jackson and his companions, a satyr named Grover Underwood and Annabeth Chase, a daughter of Athena, start on a journey to the underworld, facing numerous mythological monsters on the way. After discovering Hades to be a victim of theft as well, they escape and retrieve the stolen goods from Ares. In the end, they learn that Luke Castellan, a camper of Camp Half Blood, and son of Hermes, was the real thief and had stolen the bolt to allow Kronos the king of the titans a chance to rise again, after being defeated by Zeus, Posiedon, and Hades thousands of years ago.
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.
Grover has left on a quest to find Pan yet Percy sees him in a dream, distressed over a deadly cyclops' attraction to him. Percy then finds out that he has a half-brother named Tyson, a cyclops, and that Chiron, the head camp instructor, is accused of poisoning Thalia's tree, which protects the camp's borders from monster attacks and holds the spirit of Thalia Grace, and banned from the camp. The quest to find the Golden Fleece and save the tree is won by Clarisse La Rue, daughter of Ares, in a chariot race, although Percy, Annabeth, and Tyson sneak off to find both Grover and the fleece. After encountering the Sirens and Circe, Annabeth and Percy reach the cyclops' cave. They rescue Grover and Clarisse, and Tyson helps defeating the cyclops. They recover the Fleece located outside the cave and head to Miami. Clarisse returns to camp and the others are captured by Luke. They are about to be killed when Chiron and other centaurs rescue them and take them back to camp. The healing power of the Fleece restores the tree and revives Thalia.
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.
On a mission to rescue half-bloods Bianca and Nico di Angelo, who are children of Hades; Percy, Annabeth, Thalia and Grover are attacked by a Manticore but are rescued by the goddess Artemis and her Hunters. However, Annabeth falls over a cliff as she attempts to defeat the monster. Later, Artemis is captured by Luke's army while on the hunt for the Ophiotaurus, a cow-serpent monster that was foretold to bring the downfall of Olympus when its entrails are sacrificed to a fire. Her lieutenant Zoe (pronounced 'zoey') Nightshade, daughter of Atlas, leads Bianca, Thalia and Grover on a quest to save her. Percy, who was not invited to join the party, follows them and eventually joins their group. They find Annabeth with Luke, and Artemis holding up the sky. Percy then takes it from Artemis and then they trick Atlas into his original position again. Thalia replaces Zoe after Zoe died as Artemis' lieutenant during the gods' summit. Thalia's induction as a lieutenant of Artemis ensures that she never reaches 16, thus escaping the great prophecy and leaving Percy to fulfill it. They return to camp and Percy informs Nico about Bianca's death during the journey. Nico blames Percy of failing to protect her and runs away from camp. The story ends with Percy learning that Hades is Nico's father.
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 (the small of his back). 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. In the second to last chapter Annabeth kisses Percy and they start kissing when Clarise daughter of ares comes up and with the help of her friends throws the two in the lake. Percy creates an air bubble and they stay under still kissing.
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 on 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 was released on 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 the adventures of Thalia, Luke, and Annabeth which precede the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and a first-person narrative from Percy's viewpoint. Set a month after the events of The Last Olympian and before he goes missing in The Lost Hero, Percy and Annabeth retrieve Hermes' stolen staff. One of the stories is written by Riordan's son, Haley, and revolves around one of the demigods who fought for Kronos during the Second Titan War and survived the battle in Manhattan. As a part of the spin-off The Heroes of Olympus series, The Demigod Diaries contain a story involving Jason, Leo, and Piper that recounts their time spent at Camp Half-Blood between The Lost Hero and The Son of Neptune.
Listed are the major characters in the series:
- Percy Jackson: age 12–16; demigod son of Poseidon; the protagonist of the series and appears in all five books.
- Grover Underwood: age 28–32; the satyr best friend of Percy; portrayed as teenager since satyrs age half as fast as humans; appears in all five books.
- Annabeth Chase: age 12–16; demigod daughter of Athena; best friend and (later) girlfriend of Percy; and appears in all five books.
- Luke Castellan: age 19–23; demigod son of Hermes; an antagonist of the series; serves Kronos; sacrificed for the peace of Olympians, appears in all five books.
- 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 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. 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; 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.
- Chiron: centaur and activities director of Camp Half-Blood; trainer of heroes, son of Kronos; appears in all five books.
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, containing new characters that come into play with the series-long plot. 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.
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- 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