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377 pages, Paperback
First published July 28, 2005
Chiron looked surprised. “I thought that would be obvious enough. The entrance to the Underworld is in Los Angeles.”As someone who has worked in Los Angeles, I can tell you that this is completely accurate.
Nancy Bobofit appeared in front of me with her ugly friends—I guess she’d gotten tired of stealing from the tourists—and dumped her half-eaten lunch in Grover’s lap.Nancy Bobofit is not a major character in the book. I have to mention her because her character resounded with me. I had my own Nancy Bobofit back in grade school, only her name is Mimi. Nearly 2 decades later, the memory of her horrible face still makes me shudder. But I digress.
“Oops.” She grinned at me with her crooked teeth. Her freckles were orange, as if somebody had spray-painted her face with liquid Cheetos.
"Another time, Athena and Poseidon competed to be the patron god for the city of Athens. Your dad created some stupid saltwater spring for his gift. My mom created the olive tree. The people saw that her gift was better, so they named the city after her.”Not your best moment, Percy.
“They must really like olives.”
“Oh, forget it.”
“Now, if she’d invented pizza—that I could understand.”
“I said, forget it!”
“About sixty years ago, after World War II, the Big Three agreed they wouldn’t sire any more heroes. Their children were just too powerful."A lot of people would think it was pretty cool to have such a powerful dad...not really.
Now that I was declared a son of one of the Big Three gods who weren’t supposed to have kids, I figured it was a crime for me just to be alive.Not only does Percy have to struggle to fit in at Camp Half-Blood, but there's some shit going on in Mount Olympus. The gods are fighting again (when are they not)...
"During the winter solstice, at the last council of the gods, Zeus and Poseidon had an argument. The usual nonsense: ‘Mother Rhea always liked you best,’ ‘Air disasters are more spectacular than sea disasters,’ et cetera."...and consequently, like a brother playing a prank on his younger siblings, someone's stuff was stolen. And Zeus thinks that his bro, Poseidon, put Percy up to it.
In his pocket was a set of reed pipes his daddy goat had carved for him, even though he only knew two songs: Mozart’s Piano Concerto no. 12 and Hilary Duff’s “So Yesterday,” both of which sounded pretty bad on reed pipes.It's going to be a loooooooong trip to the Underworld.
Annabeth nodded. “Your father isn’t dead, Percy. He’s one of the Olympians.”And apparently, the habit runs true for both male and female goddesses.
“Is it? What’s the most common thing gods did in the old stories? They ran around falling in love with humans and having kids with them. Do you think they’ve changed their habits in the last few millennia?”
“What? You assume it has to be a male god who finds a human female attractive? How sexist is that?”The existence of Greek gods and goddesses themselves are well explained, and believable.
“Come now, Percy. What you call ‘Western civilization.’ Do you think it’s just an abstract concept? No, it’s a living force. A collective consciousness that has burned bright for thousands of years. The gods are part of it."I had my doubts about the execution of the premise of Greek mythology, and all my doubts have been destroyed. his book does great justice to the Greek gods, it is the most faithful rendition than I have ever read.
"Did the West die? The gods simply moved, to Germany, to France, to Spain, for a while. Wherever the flame was brightest, the gods were there. They spent several centuries in England. All you need to do is look at the architecture. People do not forget the gods."
I didn’t know what else to do. I waved back.He doesn't really want to do anything big. He's pretty stupid sometimes (Auntie Em, geez), he's not exactly heroic. He only does the heroic shit when there are no other options.
“Don’t encourage them,” Annabeth warned. “Naiads are terrible flirts.”
“Naiads,” I repeated, feeling completely overwhelmed. “That’s it. I want to go home now.”
“All right,” I said. “It’s better than being turned into a dolphin.”I loved Annabeth, she is all I could want from a female supporting character. I can't say that I'm fond of Grover...but I can't help feeling that we'll be seeing more of him in the future.
“But a quest to . . .” Grover swallowed. “I mean, couldn’t the master bolt be in some place like Maine? Maine’s very nice this time of year.”Overall: a fantastic book. A good middle grade book makes you feel like a child again, and this book did just the trick. I found myself giggling throughout the book, and an hour after reading it, there's still a smile on my face that can't be wiped off.