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The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 3)


The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 3)

THE TITAN'S CURSE, Rick Riordan's third Greek mythology-inspired novel (after THE LIGHTNING THIEF and THE SEA OF MONSTERS) featuring teenaged Percy (short for Perseus) Jackson and his friends, starts off with a blast. Grover, Percy's best friend and one of the satyrs responsible for identifying other half-blood kids --- the half-mortal sons and daughters of the Olympian gods and goddesses --- sends out a plea for help to Percy (son of Poseidon), Annabeth (daughter of Athena) and Thalia (daughter of Zeus).

Grover has discovered two new half-bloods at a military boarding school and needs his friends' help to protect them. It turns out, though, that the principal of the school is not what he seems, and he's not eager to give them up so easily. It will take not only the half-bloods, but also Apollo, Artemis and her crew of Hunters --- the eternal virgins who accompany the maiden huntress --- to bring the kids back safely to Halfblood Hill.

Artemis, though, suspects that the monster guarding the school is only a shadow of the new evils that the Titan Lord Kronos and his minions (like Percy's old enemy Luke) have let loose upon the world. When Artemis disappears --- and when the Oracle's cryptic messages lead the kids to head into danger to help rescue her --- Percy and his friends might be headed into their most dangerous adventure yet. This time, even though Riordan's trademark humor remains (revealed partly in chapter titles like "We Visit the Junkyard of the Gods"), the kids' choices take on new importance and have real implications for the future, both personally and cosmically.

Rick Riordan's Olympian adventures have gained great popularity thanks to their combination of humor, adventure and a winning hero (who has dyslexia and ADHD but can still kick some monster butt). The books also stay true to the Greek mythological figures yet reinvent them in creative --- and sometimes hilarious --- ways. Apollo, for example, in addition to being dazzlingly handsome, also has an ego the size of the sun, displayed in the poems he writes: "Green grass breaks through snow. / Artemis pleads for my help. / ...I am so awesome." Readers who are familiar with ancient mythology will enjoy Riordan's tongue-in-cheek approach; those who aren't just might be tempted to go to the original sources to learn more.

Kids who were concerned that Percy's adventures might be limited to a trilogy have nothing to fear --- compelling new characters and a cliffhanger ending leave no doubt that Percy will be back for more!

Reviewed by Norah Piehl on May 1, 2007

The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 3)
(Percy Jackson and the Olympians #3)
by Rick Riordan