Oh, Rick Riordan

I first discovered Rick Riordan when I was in college taking a young adult literature course.  For one of our assessments, we had to choose 10 books and write a letter to their author(s).  Me being the enterprising soul that I am, I decided to read the first few Percy Jackson and the Olympian books, since the first three had been released, so I could write fewer letters.

I fell in love immediately with the son of the sea god, and with Riordan’s hilarious writing.  When I began researching Riordan to do my assignment, I discovered that like several of my favorite authors (Andrew Smith, Stephen King), Riordan was a former English teacher.  Ahh, a man after my own heart!  My assessment wound up being love letters rather than the engaging discourse my professor was probably looking for.

I was quite taken with both Riordan and his books for many years.  (Except the times he crushed my soul with his plot twists and cliffhangers.)


I have compulsively read almost every other Riordan book since then–the whole Percy Jackson series, the follow-up Heroes of Olympus series, the Egyptian gods series, the Norse mythology series, and now I’m starting the new Trials of Apollo series.

While habitually wasting my time doing stupid stuff while Ruthie napped today, I started poking around on Riordan’s GoodReads page.  I discovered that Riordan has based all of his characters on former students of his, especially the diverse characters he gets so much praise for.

Swoon again!!

After I finished giggling about that, I opened The Hidden Oracle  to the page I’d left off and laughed aloud at Riordan’s signature overblown metaphors (“that man was so square, you could cut yourself on his corners, you know?”), his hilarious modernizations of ancient gods and goddesses (Rhea wearing purple glasses, a peace symbol, and a macrame belt), and his funny characterizations of little-known demigods (Ozzie Osbourne and Joan of Arc, on this page).

It is always so delightful to fall in love with a good book–and its author.  😉


10 thoughts on “Oh, Rick Riordan

  1. Emily Culbertson says:

    When I began to read The Lightning Thief, I was heavy into my masters course work, and gave up on it. My oldest son has read ALL of his books, like you, and just had to get permission to check out the new one, The Hidden Oracle. It is labeled a YA novel and the middle school has the kids get permission before being allowed to check them out.
    After his rave reviews and your rave reviews, I think it’s time I give Percy Jackson another shot. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Shana Karnes says:

      Oh man. I just finished it, and I really can’t see it being labeled YA. I think it’s totally appropriate for middle grade!!!

      I hope you do give ol’ Percy another go. He’s one of my all time favorite characters in literature–a great blend of strength, vulnerability, awkwardness, and humor. Your son obviously has great taste!!!! 🙂


  2. Elisabeth Ellington says:

    I love introducing him to my students–especially my students who aren’t that excited by reading. One student who insisted he would NEVER be a reader fell in love with The Lightning Thief and spent his semester reading the entire series! That’s far short of the total number of books I invite students to read in Children’s Literature, but it was totally an A effort!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Shana Karnes says:

      Heck yes it is! I am so glad that kiddo got addicted to Riordan the way I did. And I love your use of the word “invite” here, by the way…it’s so much better than “make” or “force” or “require” or so many other mean verbs I hear teachers use sometimes. Thanks for being awesome!


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