Day Sixty-Eight (Percy Jackson and the Olympians)


For years, I resisted reading this series. Everybody told me that I would love it. It was just like Harry Potter, they said. I would get totally obsessed. So, of course, I refused to read the books. So many people talking about it put me off to the whole series. It was overrated, I claimed. I didn’t want to waste my time. Especially since my best book buddy told me that it was “relatively harmless”. Like, come on. I want a book with heartbreak, emotional rollercoasters, and unforgettable highs and lows. I don’t want a fun little romp with cool adventures. Lame. But, my freshman year of college, I was living with this book buddy and she peer pressured me into trying out the first book. And, on that fateful day, my life was forever changed.

“Relatively Harmless” my ass. I’m sure for most people this book is delightful. Silly. Fun. Goofy. A little drama here and there, but nothing too soul shattering. Well, for me, this book destroyed me. The Saga of Luke Castellan….sorry, I mean, Percy Jackson and The Olympians…was a five part tragedy. I’ll be honest. I can’t even remember most of the series. Unless it had to do with Luke, in which case I remember all of it very well. My backup favorite character was Hermes. Luke’s father. The main source of angst in these five books were focused on the relationship between these two. Just thinking about it now has me upset all over again…

I can’t really talk about this series without talking about Luke. Percy and his adventures were entertaining, but Luke’s story was what got me hooked. I’ve always had a soft spot for the mentor figures. In real life, too. Many of my childhood “crushes” were on camp counselors at my theatre camp. The seemingly perfect older students. When I started my first year of college, I was going on withdrawal from all the people I knew in High School. The moment Luke was introduced, at least five different crushes ran through my mind. When Annabeth showed signs of crushing on Luke, the nostalgia hit me hard. So I immediately took a liking to Luke. Then he turned out to be the evil villain. Weeeell less of an evil villain and more of a horribly misguided cynical tragic anti-hero. Who breaks the hearts of Annabeth, Thalia, and Hermes because of Hermes and his unresolved daddy issues and his unfulfilled need for validation and love. Which Hermes would have given, had it not been for the prophecy. All the while, Luke is slowly destroying himself. Until he goes way in over his head and ends up as a pawn to a much larger evil scheme. Then kills himself to save the world and earn redemption for his mistakes. Really “harmless” story, here. No hearts broken whatsoever.

When I first read this series, I was an emotional wreck. I still think back on it and all the Luke feels return. Last night I listened through the Percy Jackson musical soundtrack for the first time. I’ll have to listen through the soundtrack a few more times to really analyze the nuances. But, for now, the feelings are overwhelming again. Hermes is a legend in my heart, too. I had to roleplay Hermes for a school project in 7th Grade and he’s been my favorite Greek god ever since. I would defend him to my dying breath. So I was very hesitant to see Percy Jackson’s take on him. He could easily have been the dumb comic relief. But, surprisingly, he was just mild-mannered, sweet, and quietly cunning. And so, so, so sad. Great. More feelings are returning.

I did genuinely enjoy all of the characters though. The writing style really reels you in and I love all the snark. I love the creativity too and all the Greek mythology allusions. The modern take on the Greek tales are really cool! I couldn’t put the books down, even when Luke wasn’t around. The chapter titles were clever too. I’m a total Percy and Annabeth shipper. Obviously. I miss this series. I’ve been putting off reading the sequel series again, since I’m unsure if I can handle any more pain at this level again…


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