Percy Jackson & the Olympians
U.K. logo for Percy Jackson and the Olympians (as the series is known there)
|Cover artist||John Rocco (from 2006 or 2007)|
|Genre||Fantasy, Children’s Fiction, adventure|
|Publisher||Disney Hyperion (US)|
Miramax Books (US, first edition)
Penguin Books/Puffin (UK, AU, NZ)
|Media type||Print (hardcover and paperback), audiobook, e-book|
|No. of books||5|
|Followed by||The Heroes of Olympus|
Percy Jackson & the Olympians, often shortened to Percy Jackson, is a pentalogy of fantasy adventure novels written by American author Rick Riordan, and the first book series in the Camp Half-Blood Chronicles. Five supplementary books, along with four graphic novels, have also been released. More than 45 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 245 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 (because of the change in the sequence of various scenes and events) from fans around the world. An adaptation of the second book, titled Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, was released in 2013.
- 1 Origins
- 2 Books
- 3 Supplementary works
- 4 Reception
- 5 In other media
- 6 Legacy
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Development for both The Lightning Thief and the Percy Jackson series commenced when Rick Riordan began making stories for his son Haley Riordan, who had at the time been diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia. His son, Haley, had been studying Greek mythology in second grade and requested that his father tell him bedtime stories based on Greek myths. When Rick 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' lightning-bolt. Haley suggested that he should turn that story into a book, and Riordan wrote the book over the next year despite being busy at that time.
Leaving his manuscript with his agent and editor for review, Rick Jordan presented the 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 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 June 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 July 1, 2005.
After a harrowing experience at his school trip, Percy Jackson returns home for the summer vacation, wherein he and his mortal mother Sally Jackson, travel to their cabin in Montauk to take their mind off things and to escape their stepdad. However, the trip is cut short after a series of harrowing incidents, such as being attacked by the Minotaur. Percy finds himself at Camp Half-Blood, a training camp for demigods like him. He discovers that he is a demigod, son of Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea, earthquakes, and father of all horses, (which he made from sea foam). Percy also learns that his best friend, Grover Underwood, is actually a satyr (a half-goat, half-man), and that the Greek gods are accusing Percy of having stolen Zeus' master lightning bolt, the most powerful weapon in the world. To clear his name, save the world from another war between the Olympian gods, and maybe even save his mother, Percy sets out to retrieve the lightning bolt from Hades, who is suspected of being the real thief. Thus, Percy, Grover, and Annabeth Chase, a daughter of Athena, start on a journey to the underworld, facing numerous mythological monsters on the way. After confronting an innocent Hades, they learn that their friend Luke Castellan, son of Hermes, is the real thief who stole the bolt to allow Kronos, the defeated king of the Titans, a chance to rise again.
The book was adapted into a film by Chris Columbus and 20th Century Fox, under the title Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, and was released on February 12, 2010.
The Sea of Monsters
The Sea of Monsters is the second installment in the series, released on April 1, 2006.
Camp Half-Blood is under attack when Thalia's tree, which guards the borders of the camp, is poisoned and slowly begins to die. In order to save the tree and the camp, someone must recover the Golden Fleece, which is somewhere in the Sea of Monsters. At the same time, Percy finds out that Grover, who has left on a quest to find the missing god Pan, has been captured by the Cyclops Polyphemus and that the Fleece is on Polyphemus' island. Together with Annabeth and his half-brother Tyson, a cyclops, Percy sets out to rescue Grover. Meanwhile, Clarisse La Rue, daughter of Ares, is sent on an official quest by Camp Half-Blood to retrieve the Fleece. The trip to the Sea of Monsters is long and hazardous and along the way the heroes encounter several dangers including Scylla and Charybdis, the sorceress Circe, the Sirens and their former friend Luke Castellan. Percy also learns about a prophecy from the Oracle about a child of one of the three most important gods (Zeus, Poseidon and Hades), playing a vital part in the success or failure of the resurrection of Kronos the Titan-King. The heroes eventually retrieve the Fleece and restore Thalia's tree but also unknowingly revive Thalia herself, daughter of Zeus, who had been turned into the tree by her father when she sacrificed herself for Annabeth and Luke to get safely to Camp Half-Blood.
The Titan's Curse
The Titan's Curse is the third installment in the series. It was released on May 11, 2007.
On a mission to rescue half-bloods Bianca and Nico di Angelo; Percy, Annabeth, Thalia, and Grover are attacked by a Manticore and rescued by the goddess Artemis and her Hunters. However, Annabeth falls off a cliff while fighting the manticore and is said to be captured. 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 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 on behalf of Nico Di Angelo, promising that he will do his best to protect his sister, Bianca. The others eventually find Percy, and he joins their group. They become the prey of skeletons, who chase them across the country. Bianca is able to kill one, which leaves the others mystified. Bianca later dies as they make their way across a godly junkyard. They find Annabeth with Luke and Artemis, who is holding up the sky. Percy then takes it from Artemis and they trick Atlas into his original position under the sky. Thalia replaces Zoe, who dies, as Artemis' lieutenant. Thalia's induction as a lieutenant of Artemis ensures that she will become immortal, never aging to 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 for failing to protect her and runs away, only after causing skeletal warriors that invade the camp to fall into the dark void of the Underworld, thus alerting Percy to the fact that Hades is Nico (and Bianca)'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.
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. Poseidon, Percy's father, decides that it is time for Percy to now fulfill the Great Prophecy. Seeking a way to defeat Kronos, Nico di Angelo tells Percy his plan, though Percy doesn't like it, 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, led by Tyson. Annabeth is able to make Luke come back to his senses, and Percy gives him Annabeth's knife. Luke stabs himself in his mortal spot, his armpit (as he also was invulnerable from bathing in the River Styx) to destroy Kronos and save Mount Olympus, dying heroically. The gods reward Percy and his friends and offer him immortality. He rejects the offer but instead requests the gods to claim all their children and to have cabins for all the gods, including the minor ones. The Curse of the Oracle was bestowed by Hades when Zeus took his wife, and Rachel Elizabeth Dare becomes the next Oracle and recites the next Great Prophecy. The book finishes with Percy and Annabeth becoming an official couple, and ominous clouds looming over Rachel's next Great Prophecy. There are other series after this one called The Heroes of Olympus and The Trials of Apollo.
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.The fourth book in the series, "The Battle of the Labyrinth"'s graphic novel was released on October 2, 2018. And the last book of the series, "The Last Olympian"'s graphic novel is to be released on August 13, 2019.
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 characters and more, puzzles, and a quiz. The four stories include the adventures of Thalia, Luke, and Annabeth, and others that 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.
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.” As of February 13, 2016, it has been on the New York Times Children's Series Best Seller List for 379 weeks.
Some critics, especially Christian critics of Riordan have disapproved of the emphasis on pagan gods in his books. Riordan responds to these complaints by reminding his readers that first and foremost, "The Lightning Thief explores Greek mythology in a modern setting, but it does so as a humorous work of fantasy. I’m certainly not interested in changing or contradicting anyone’s religious beliefs. Early in the book, the character Chiron makes a distinction between God, capital-G, the creator of the universe, and the Greek gods (lower-case g). Chiron says he doesn’t want to delve into the issue of God, but he has no qualms about discussing the Olympians because they are a "much smaller matter."
Critics such as The Calico Critic have also disagreed with the fusion of Greek mythology and modern American culture. They have stated that it is difficult to believe "the reality of the tale", claiming that "monsters in the St. Louis Arch" and "the entrance to Olympus in New York" were unimaginable, despite Riordan's explanations of why he chose these certain locations.
In other media
These films have been made from the 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."
Chris Columbus stated that there will not be a third movie any time soon because Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters wasn't the greatest success according to Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. Logan Lerman later clarified saying the films could still continue, depending on what Fox has planned.
To accompany the film, a video game had also been 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."
On January 12, 2017, A Series of Unfortunate Events story editor Joe Tracz wrote a new Off Broadway musical adaptation of Percy Jackson tale “The Lightning Thief. This musical is now going on a national tour.
The Heroes of Olympus
The Heroes of Olympus is a sequel series, also based on Camp Half-Blood and the Greek and Roman mythologies. The first book The Lost Hero was released on October 12, 2010. Like the first series, there are five books. The official website requires a password, later revealed as newhero. On December 1, 2010, the site went live.
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, was released on October 7, 2014.
The Trials of Apollo
Riordan is currently at work on yet another follow-up series to The Heroes of Olympus book series titled The Trials of Apollo, which is a sequel series to both Percy Jackson & the Olympians and The Heroes of Olympus. The first installment titled, The Hidden Oracle (2016), features Apollo and his journey after being cast down from Olympus. The second book titled The Dark Prophecy was released in May 2017. The third book titled The Burning Maze was released on May 1, 2018.The 4th book of the series"The tyrant's tomb" will be released in autumn 2019.
The Kane Chronicles
The novels are set within the same fictional universe as the three previous book series, and is narrated alternately in first-person by the two protagonist-siblings Carter and Sadie Kane. The siblings are descended from the two pharaohs Narmer and Ramses the Great and are powerful magicians. They and their friends are forced to contend with Egyptian gods and goddesses who still interact with the real world. The series includes a trilogy consisting of The Red Pyramid (2010), The Throne of Fire (2011), and The Serpent's Shadow (2012), as well as three crossover books with the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series.
Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard
The main protagonist Magnus Chase, son of the Vanir god of fertility Frey, narrates the novel in first person. He is a cousin of Annabeth Chase, a main character of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians and The Heroes of Olympus series, who links the two series together. The series consists of a trilogy of books, The Sword of Summer (2015), The Hammer of Thor (2016), and The Ship of the Dead (2017).
- 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)/Thor (Marvel Comics) – comics based on the same premise, with both Greek and Norse gods.
- "Percy Jackson". www.penguin.co.uk.
- "Rick Riordan". www.penguin.co.nz.
- "Rick Riordan". www.penguin.com.au.
- "Rick Riordan". Rickriordan.com. Archived from the original on 15 October 2010. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- "PRESS RELEASE: Disney Book Group Launches Rick Riordan's New Five-Book Series, The Heroes of Olympus, on October 12 with a Live Webcast from the Laydown Event for Book 1, The Lost Hero". Fox Business. 13 September 2010. Retrieved 26 January 2011.[dead link]
- "Best Sellers Children's Series Books Sunday, April 29th 2012 – The New York Times Children's Best sellers list New York Times". New York Times. 29 April 2012. Retrieved 2017-11-02.
- "'X-Men: First Class' & 'Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes' Sequels Set For Summer 2014; 'Independence Day 3D' Hits July 3, 2013". indiewire.com. May 31, 2012. Archived from the original on April 20, 2013. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
- "Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters Moved up to August 7". comingsoon.net. 2013-04-06. Retrieved 2013-04-24.
- Williams, Sally (8 February 2010). "Percy Jackson: My Boy's Own Adventure". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
- Riordan, Rick. "Frequently Asked Questions". rickriordan.com. Disney-Hyperion. Retrieved 2016-11-14.
- Riordan, Rick. "An Interview With Rick". p. 1. Archived from the original on 2010-10-17. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
- Rich, Motho (September 1, 2008). "Author of Book Series Sends on a Web Treasure Hunt". The New York Times. p. 1. Retrieved 2009-05-17.
- "Hyperion: Percy Jackson". Hyperion Books. Archived from the original on February 27, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-06.
- "Jesse Bernstein". IMDb. Retrieved 26 February 2010.
- Mabe, Chauncey (May 14, 2009). "Rick Riordan: Percy Jackson vs. Harry Potter". Sun Sentinel. p. 1. Retrieved 2009-05-18.
- The Titan’s Curse on http://www.rickriordan.com/ Retrieved September 2, 2013.
- "The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson & the Olympians, Book 5)". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2009-05-08.
- "The Demigod Files". 5 October 2008. Retrieved 26 February 2010.
- "The Demigod Files (Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series)". barnesandnoble.com. Retrieved 2009-10-18.
- "The Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Ultimate Guide (Hardcover)". Amazon.com. Retrieved 26 February 2010.
- "Demigods and Monsters: Your Favorite Authors on Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series (Paperback)". Amazon.com. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
- "Demigods and Monsters". Myth & Mystery. 28 March 2008. Retrieved 26 February 2010.
- Trevelyn Jones; Luann Toth; Marlene Charnizon; Daryl Grabarek; Joy Fleishhacker (December 1, 2005). "Best Books 2005". School Library Journal. p. 1. Archived from the original on April 22, 2010. Retrieved 2009-05-04.
- Shulman, Polly (November 13, 2005). "Harry Who?". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-05-04.
- Minzesheimer, Bob (January 18, 2006). "'Lightning' strikes with young readers". USA Today. Retrieved 2009-05-26.
- "Mark Twain Award Previous Winners". Missouri Association of School Librarians. Archived from the original on September 21, 2008. Retrieved 2009-05-27.
- Ruth, Sheila. "The Sea of Monsters". Wands and Worlds. Archived from the original on 2009-10-29. Retrieved 2009-09-01.
- Nawotka, Edward (April 23, 2007). "Son of Poseidon Gaining Strength". Publishers Weekly. Archived from the original on November 28, 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-01.
- Piehl, Norah. "Kidsreads.com – The Sea of Monsters". Kidsreads.com. Retrieved 2009-09-20.
- "The Sea of Monsters review". Matt Berman. Common Sense Media. Retrieved 2009-09-20.
- "The Sea of Monsters: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 2. (Brief article) (Children's review) (Audiobook review)". School Library Journal. October 1, 2006. Retrieved 2009-09-20.
- Group, Gray Digital. "An Interview with Rick". www.rickriordan.com. Retrieved 2016-03-10.
- Mugijatna, Sri Kusumo Habsari, Putri, Yunita Ariani (2014). "Rick Riordan's Intention in Writing Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief and the Reception of the Readers". k@ta. 16 (2).
- Brodesser, Claude (June 23, 2004). "'Lightning Thief' strikes Maverick". Variety. Archived from the original on May 15, 2009. Retrieved May 15, 2009.
- Gilstrap, Peter (April 17, 2007). "Columbus struck by 'Lightning'". Variety. Archived from the original on May 15, 2009. Retrieved May 15, 2009.
- "IMDb Release Dates". IMDb. Retrieved 2009-05-15.
- "Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2012-01-30.
- McClintock, Pamela (2011-10-12). "Fox Moves Ahead With New 'Die Hard' and 'Percy Jackson & the Olympians' Films". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2012-01-30.
- Splechta, Michael. "Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on 5 March 2010. Retrieved 26 February 2010.
- Cox, Gordon. "'Percy Jackson' Musical, by 'Unfortunate Events' Writer, Expands for Return Run". Variety. Los Angeles, California: Michelle Sobrino. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
- "The Heroes of Olympus, Book One: The Lost Hero. This book is about Percy Jackson gets lost, It's up to Leo, Piper, and Jason to find him. (9781423113393): Rick Riordan: Books". Amazon.com. 2009-09-09. Retrieved 2010-04-25.
-  Archived August 14, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
- "The Blood of Olympus". Archived from the original on March 18, 2015. Retrieved February 18, 2016.
- "Magnus Chase!". Blogspot.com. Rick Riordan. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Percy Jackson & the Olympians|
- Percy Jackson and the Olympians series site from publisher Disney (readriordan.com)
- Rick Riordan Myth Master at publisher Penguin Books (UK)
- Percy Jackson & the Olympians official Persian-language website percy-jackson.ir (archived 2010)
- Teacher's Guide at Educational Resources from Rick Riordan (rickriordan.com)
- Rick Riordan at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database