This... sounds like it could be good, and I'm interested in the characters, and the tagline places agency on Sudasa, buuuuut it also definitely could...moreThis... sounds like it could be good, and I'm interested in the characters, and the tagline places agency on Sudasa, buuuuut it also definitely could come off really racist. I suppose we'll have to wait and see.(less)
To be frank, the author's name on the cover would be enough for me to avoid this, without the obviously over-packed plot or the reviews confirming my...moreTo be frank, the author's name on the cover would be enough for me to avoid this, without the obviously over-packed plot or the reviews confirming my every expectation. At this point I'm just kind of waiting for Fitzpatrick to move to NA, since all the worst parts of her writing (sexism, girl hate, bad plotting, romanticized male aggression and violence) are defining aspects of the genre. Their prose standards are pretty low, too, which would fit well.(less)
Thiiiis is definitely one of those series that I'm sure I would have liked as a kid, but as an adult I can't help noticing a lot of things that bother...moreThiiiis is definitely one of those series that I'm sure I would have liked as a kid, but as an adult I can't help noticing a lot of things that bother me. It's still decent, for middle grade, but there are some patterns that just... don't work for me.
The first is Riordan's characterization of the United States as the center of Western civilization. There are just... too many questions and weird implications to this. If gods are manifest in this world, what about the gods of the many Native American cultures that existed prior to European contact? And what about, you know, actual Greek people? Why America instead of somewhere in Europe that had had direct contact with the Ancient Greeks (or with the Romans who adopted a lot of Greek religion as their own)? For that matter, why is the Greek pantheon manifest but not a Christian deity? What governs which gods exist and which do not? THIS MAKES NO SENSE.
The second is that I don't really like the way Riordan kills characters. Spoilers, for obvious reasons: (view spoiler)[Okay, so neither of them die, but in both books so far he's taken someone out of the plot for an extended period of time to drive Percy's character growth - Percy's mom, in the first book, and Tyson in this one. It nags at me that these two are also 'the only positively portrayed female character present besides the eventual love interest' and 'the character who reads as ASD/developmentally disabled'. Even if they survive the books, it feels like a fridging; and in fact, their eventual returns make it worse, in that if their apparent deaths have no story impact it makes them all about Percy. It remains to be seen if Tyson comes back later to a more major role, but Percy's mom certainly hasn't been significant in the narrative since she was disappeared to motivate her son. (hide spoiler)]
I'd also really like to see the characters expend more effort learning skills. Magic demigod powers are cool and all, but magic demigod powers that don't just come effortlessly are soooo much more narratively interesting.
I mean, don't get me wrong: I can see how that would be empowering and fun to read for kids, but at the same time - as someone who, all my life, has had trouble not giving up at things if I'm not instantly good at them, I place a lot of value on try/fail cycles and showing that skills take time and effort to develop, and I think that's a useful thing to model for young people in particular.
I'll persevere with the series, but that's in large part because I'm hoping Riordan addresses some of the things that bother me at some point. The story so far has definitely been narrowly focused, so I'm not that surprised to still have questions.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)