1. InkDream
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    InkDream Senior Member

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    Percy Jackson and the Olympians?

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by InkDream, Feb 3, 2010.

    Just wondering what the skinny is on these books. With the movie coming out soon they're everywhere.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I haven't read any of them. From what I have seen, the series does look to be capitalizing on the Harry Potter phenomnenon, with the first of the books having been published in 2005.

    There is a wealth of information about them within Google's reach.
     
  3. Ree
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    Ree Member

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    The movie trailer looks great! I started The Lightning Thief the other day but got side tracked with On Writing. Hope to pick it up again next week.
     
  4. Moggle
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    Moggle Member

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    I've read all the books. They're a poor man's Harry Potter, and not quite on the maturity level of those books.
     
  5. Marcelo
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    Marcelo Contributing Member

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    A poor man's Harry Potter? Well, they are similar, but at the same time they're so much different. One is about a kid who enters a school of magic, and the other one is about a Demi-god's adventures set in a world where Greek mythology is real. I've read both series, and both are an easy and enjoyable read.
     
  6. Irish87
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    Irish87 Contributing Member

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    Admittedly, I have not read any of the books. Neverheless, I am prepared to my an entirely biased judgment which will make me look like a complete jerk. Meh. It looks like a Harry Potter clone, one made to make more girls squeal rather than little kids in general. Also, I hate the name Percy. Percival is fine, but Percy goes beyond my tolerance.

    Maybe I just don't get this sort of fiction.
     
  7. Twisted Inversely
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    Twisted Inversely Senior Member

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    Haven't read them, probably never will.

    Not for the reason that it's a knock off of a certain boy wizard (I wouldn't know, see above), it's just I have issues with taking ancient mythologies, most of which are completely child unfriendly in any case (and yes that does include the Bible), and using them as a base for children's fiction. To me it just seem like a betrayal of the original source.
     
  8. Marcelo
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    Marcelo Contributing Member

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    You've just described the movie. Percy is supposed to be 12 years old, and instead someone much older is interpreting him. And, well, his name isn't Percy nor Percival, it's Perseus. :p
     
  9. Irish87
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    Irish87 Contributing Member

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    Wouldn't it be Persy then? Bah, it doesn't matter. The movie will be a hit and young girls everywhere will be embarrassing their fathers by having them buy Percy Jackson novels at the store. Speaking of which, Jackson seems like an odd surname for someone related to Zeus. At the very least they could have went with a Greek surname.
     
  10. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    It's a good thing that books like this exist though...without them, and the hundreds of millions of dollars they bring to bookstores, distributors and publishing houses worldwide, serious literature wouldn't be published.

    Rick Riordan et al., we salute you, despite (or perhaps because of) your lack of literary talent.
     
  11. Moggle
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    Moggle Member

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    I'll say this for Rick Riordan. He gets a thumbs up for being the first to jump on the Potter bandwagon. I can't honestly say I've seen any other books attempt to rip off Rowling and certainly not as spectacularly as he has done.
     
  12. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    What?? This isn't a Twilight ripoff, and not exactly a Harry Potter one either. The primary audience for this book is elementary and middle school boys. The writer was a middle school teacher, now retired to work solely as an author, lucky guy.

    My brother was totally into these books when he was younger. He's not a bookworm at all, but these got him reading. The writing is pretty pedestrian, but the plotting is terrific in terms of the audience the story is aimed for.
     
  13. SirSamkin
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    It's a very low level (I mean 4th or 5th grade), but I read them last year because my aunt got me them for christmas. For what it's worth, It has really some really funny dialogue because the boy telling the story is ADHD and dyslexic. I thought the whole idea of the greek gods being real and in america was rather clever. It's not as in-depth as harry potter, but its still an amusing read. (Its one of those things you read after a hard day's work, because theres not much brain power involved.)
     
  14. Ree
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    Ree Member

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    I tried really hard, but couldn't stomach the book. Tonight, I made it to page 65 and put it down. It seems like a HP ripoff to me. Too much talk about half-bloods, plus a Snape-like character. Lost my interest.

    I'll likely see the movie though. The trailer looks entertaining.
     
  15. toker212
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    Don't agree with it being a Harry Potter clone. The writing is different in terms of how the plot develops and how the characters interact with each other. The only common elements are that the kids in both series go off to a school and have to battle a magical force. The rest is different in each book. For example, Potter doesn't know his real parents and lives with step-parents. IIRC, Percy has a good relationship with his mother.

    The vocabulary used is juvenile, but not everyone needs college-level words. I don't mind an easy reading if it can send my brain on a nice trip. The Lightning Thief wasn't the best book I ever read, but we need more books like this. Books that can teach kids and get them motivated in reading at the same time. Harry Potter et al don't teach much at all, if anything, but Riordan's series can educate many otherwise lazy kids about Greek mythologies and foreign cultures.
     
  16. Ree
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    Ree Member

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    toker212 - My 12 yr old niece loved the series and I do think it's wonderful for young kids just like you pointed out. But you can't disagree with the striking similarities.

    Young boys both deemed "trouble" in at the start of the book. (HP wasn't trouble, but the Dursley's thought he was.) They both get removed from their home, find out they have super-human powers, and are surrounded by kids in the same boat to fight evil.

    Of course there's differences. But if you're a HP fan, like myself, it's very difficult to read without waiting for more similarities.
     
  17. Anders Backlund
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    I read the first two books and started on the third before I lost interest and dropped them. In general, I agree with the "poor man's Harry Potter" conclusion. Readable, but mediocre.

    Not sure I would go as far as call it a Harry Potter rip-off, though.

    As for the trailer for the movie, it actually makes it look quite a bit better then I remembered the book to be. (But I guess that's what trailers are supposed to do.)

    Eh. That's like saying there are "striking similarities" between Star Wars and Lord of the Rings just because they both concern a young, naive person living in a peaceful enclave, who discovers a mysterious legacy and is forced to leave home and join a group of diverse companions in a battle to overthrow an evil overlord and bring about the end to an era of darkness.

    Harry Potter and Percy Jackson is built on similar themes and share a basic narrative structure, but that's about as far as the similarities go.
     
  18. Ree
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    Ree Member

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    Point taken. However, Star Wars was written 40 years after Lord of the Rings. Not off the heels of it. That's what bothers me.
     
  19. Anders Backlund
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    Anders Backlund Contributing Member

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    Why would the time aspect matter? It's not like there's a statute of limitation for this kind of thing. (Especially since LotR is still read and loved to this day.)

    Heck, I'm working on a concept similar to HP/PJ right now, and I'd be pretty miffed if someone told me I have to wait four decades before its safe to publish it.
     
  20. Ree
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    Ree Member

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    Well, that's just my personal opinion. Obviously the general public disagrees. And, as others have stated, it's a great book to get kids reading.

    FWIW, I feel the exact same way about romance novels. ;)
     
  21. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Indeed. I haven't read the books, but I saw The Lightning Theif over the weekend. It was a decent movie. Certainly, I would not put it past the publishers to try to use this book to capitalize on Harry Potter, but it's insulting to claim that the author is. The only similarities I can think of were the result of the movies having the same director, or the kind that don't matter because your story will always look like another's in some way, whether you did it intentionally or not.
     
  22. mattattack007
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    I've read the whole series and I find it a nice read. Saying that it is a Harry Potter rip-off is a bit of a stretch, but let's remember that this and Harry Potter are targeted to the same audience.

    Besides, every books at some point "rips-off" others idea, the author just found a concept that wasn't used and made a killing off of it
     
  23. Marcelo
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    Marcelo Contributing Member

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    It's using popularity for your own benefits, and it does not means plagiarizing. Like when Twilight became a best-seller, dozens of 'teen-vamps' novels started to appear on the market. And I really don't know this, but I guess they sell good enough.
     
  24. Ree
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    Alright, maybe rip-off was a little harsh. I'll retract that statement. It's interesting that he addresses the comparison on his website.

    Rei - Have you talked to anyone that saw the movie and read the books? I'm very interested in seeing the movie, even though the writing didn't appeal to me. The special effects look great!
     
  25. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't believe most, if any, of those authors were using Twlight's success to their benefit beyond pitching it that way in their cover letter. Considering how long it takes to write a book, they must have thought of the idea long before Twilight became famous, and did not decide to write it just because Twilight was successful. It's more a case of the publishers choosing them over other submissions for that reason. And there are so few meaningful similarities between Harry Potter and Percy Jackson that there is no way to claim that it had anything to do with it, beyond marketing it as another boy hero.
     

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