Saturday, June 27, 2009

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


When Percy Jackson receives an urgent distress call from his friend Grover, he immediately prepares for battle. He knows he'll need his powerful demigod allies at his side; his trusty bronze sword, Riptide; and... a ride from his mom.

The demigods race to rescue to find that Grover has made an important discovery: two new powerful half-bloods, whose parentage is unknown. But that's not all that awaits them. The Titan lord, Kronos, has set up a devious trap, and the young heroes have just fallen pray.

Hilarious and action-packed, this third adventure in the series finds Percy faced with his most dangerous challenge yet - the chilling prophecy of the Titan's curse.
In this third installment, the battle for Olympus and Western Civilization picks up momentum. Kronos and his army, led by Percy's old friend, Luke--son of Hermes-- has gained ground. Luke has been recruiting half-bloods and monsters who have not existed for centuries and are coming back to life. Now they have a mysterious new leader... more powerful than Luke. The General will prove to be a ruthless and a worthy adversary for both heroes and gods alike.

In The Titan's Curse, Percy, his friends, and the gods have their hands full. Our heroes are successful in rescuing the unknown half-bloods they were charged with retrieving from Westover Hall. Joining the fight and their rescue efforts, the goddess Artemis and her Hunters save the day, but not before Annabeth is lost. 

Following a hunch, the goddess Artemis decides to hunt a mighty monster whose scent she picks up -- one she thinks is capable of destroying Olympus. The Hunters and our heroes must return to Camp Half-Blood and wait. Percy just wants to look for Annabeth. He's convinced she's not dead but no one will listen.

So far, we've met quite a few gods and monsters in our adventures with Percy, Annabeth and Grover. In the Titan's Curse, they are all let loose to both our horror and enjoyment. 

"...The Great Stirring is underway."

"The Great what?" I asked. Anything to keep him talking while I tried to figure out a plan.

"The stirring of monsters." Dr. Thorn smiled evilly. "The worst of them, the most powerful, are now waking. Monsters that have not been seen in thousands of years. They will cause death and destruction the likes of which mortals have never known. And soon we shall have the most important monster of all - the one that shall bring about the downfall of Olympus."

This is where Kronos makes his move and the gods, as a whole, take the situation seriously. In the meantime, our friends must follow a prophecy as told by the Oracle - five of them must go West to rescue the goddess Artemis. On their way, one will be lost and one will die by a parent's hand. It will be a difficult quest, full of danger, feats of heroism, and some terrible mistakes. Our heroes take us for a ride through an adventure full of dangerous, funny and sad situations. 

Thalia will confront doubts and danger, and both she and Annabeth will have to make difficult decisions. Grover's dream will come within his grasp but he'll have to let it go, and Percy will come face to face with his greatest weakness and we'll question his judgment. Other heroes will save the day and our friends will learn some difficult lessons. The gods, as always, will be both a blessing and a curse -- a mixed bag, you just never really know those gods.... 

This book really moves the storyline along. The pace is quick and relentless with danger in every corner and at every turn. The darkest book in the series, so far, Rick Riordan still maintains the same level of wit and fun that he established in previous books. Characterization continues to be excellent in this series. The established characters continue to grow in development. New characters introduced in this installment are both rich and well drawn -- some better than others, depending on their importance to this particular story. 

Favorite chapter titles on this one? "Thalia Torches New England," "I Go Snowboarding with a Pig," and "We Meet the Dragon of Eternal Bad Breath." It was a tough choice, there are quite a few great titles on this one. 

In my opinion, this is the best book in this series, so far. Percy and the Olympians just seems to get better and better as it goes along. I'm truly looking forward to the fourth installment, The Battle of the Labyrinth.

You can find the book here.

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