Friday, July 20, 2012

Percy Jackson, Kane Chronicles

I have heard often enough from people , "but these are children's books". Of course it doesn't help that my nephew who is in the 9th std also reads them. Percy Jackson is his hero I guess. The super cool demi god with powers. I would have loved him too.. when I was in 9th std.

Percy Jackson is a demi god i.e. the son of a greek god and a mortal. Percy is Poiseidon's (god of sea) son and then you have various characters who's parentage includes Zeus (god of skies), Athena (god of wisdom), Ares (god of war), Hades (god of the underworld) etc. They embark on various quests which involve fighting demons, Medusa etc with the ultimate objective of defeating the Earth Goddess Gaia. There is this prophecy you see ..of course.. all these books have to have a prophecy. Have you read any fantasy book that doesn't.. in answer to my own question, I think Golden Compass does not have a prophecy. No, wait, I think it does. So the prophecy is of 7 demi gods defeating the ultimate enemy by uniting with the gods. The "heroes" series is the extension of Percy Jackson series.

Similar to this one is Kane Chronicles which has two central chracters Carter and Sadie, a brother sister duo. They are the last bloodline of pharaohs and born into magic. Here again, many Egyptian gods make an appearance - Horus (god of war), Isis (god of magic), Seth (God of evil), Ra (God of sun), Osiris (god of dead),God of chaos Apophis. And then there are various interesting gods :

God of crocodiles - Sobek
God of knowledge - Thoth who wears a labcoat and looks dissheveled
God of Baboons (they apparently serve Thoth) - Babi who is a giant Baboon
God of Vultures - Nekhbet
God of river Nile - Hapi who is perpetually Happy
God of Dwarfs - Bes
God of Cats - Bast
God of Scorpions - Serquet
etc etc etc. .

Which interesting god would you want to see?
In between these gods, there is a house of life i.e. the magicians.The entire series is about defeating chaos.

Why I like these -

a) I am very interested in mythology. Roman, Greek, Egyptian, Indian.. anything and everything. Which is why I like the angel books too!! 
Gods flit in and out throughout both the series. How cool is that! I mean what more could I ask for!! What I love is the portrayal of these gods. The personality traits are cleverly defined. In the Percy Jackson series, each of these gods almost have a human avtaar. For eg, Dionysis, the wine god, has a punishment posting to look after a demi god camp. Ares, the war god, rides a bike, wears sunglasses etc. None of them are perfect , some have a huge ego, some are prone to anger, some to laziness. It is  really interesting to see the human rendition of these gods.

In Kane chronicles, whilst they dont have a human persona, they can take human form by finding a human / animal host. They are quirky - I find myself unable to define them without repeating what I explained for the Percy Jackson series.I am sure you get the drift.

b)  I quite like Rick Riordan's easy writing style. It is humourous and a very everyday language that you can identify with. Kane Chronicles is a narrative by the brother-sister pair. I do not remember how the other one was now.

c) The characters are etched very well. Well, not as well as Harry Potter (just because it is my first love.. of course) but still. The initial jitteriness, the sense of awe  the confidence building stage to defeating the enemy. It flows easily. And the best part is each character is unique (why do I feel I am repeating what I liked about Potter.. Did you know some guy has written the extension series to Harry Potter.. more about that in the end of this post.) They have their own fears, their own sense of disappointment, excitement. And they are quite normal.. They are shy of the opposite sex, they keep embarassing themselves.. Yeah very similar to HP characters in that sense!!!

d)  Magic and Power entice me. These books are full of both!! It helps me escape the regular hum drum of life.

I think I should write another post on why I like Fantasy books.

e) Everytime I pick up the first book in a series, I hope I will enjoy it. There's nothing better than waiting for the sequel to a book you like!! And Rick Riordan does not disappoint.

I am becoming absent minded these days. Rajesh Khanna's demise put this post right out of my head. I cannot remember how I planned to end it. In any case I hope I am helping you,a little bit, to make up your mind about the so called "kiddie" books.


Scarlett said...

You were going to end this post by writing about the guy who wrote the extension to Harry Potter :)

You're getting me interested in fantasy! Can't wait to read all those books on fallen angels you told me about. But first is the 'Game of Thrones' series...right after I get done with Mr. Grey ;)

Moonshine said...

lol. I should have re-read my post!!!

I am having a hard time deciding what to pick up. I any case I have settled for "I heart" series and "Fallen" by Lauren Kate... I do not know why I did not stick to tried and tested i.e. game of thrones!!!

Bluestocking said...

Oh, I love the Percy Jackson series (there's a spin-off and the third book from Annabeth's POV is out in Oct!!! Yay), though Potter is my favourite. I have always believed that these are not Kiddie books. You got to be kidding if you think so. And I love them for the same reasons as you listed :-) I prevaricated about Kane chronicles but the finally inhaled the series. I would love to see the paths of the Olympians and Egyptians cross.

Bluestocking said...

Oh, BTW, Percy Jackson's first five books are in first person narrative by Percy (Chapter Titles are funny). The spin off alternates between the view points of the seven demigods chosen for the new prophecy

Moonshine said...

@Bluestocking The Mark of Athena right!!!! I am so looking forward to it!! I too inhaled the series.. both of them.

moonstruckmoony said...

Hello!! how are you doing? I am visiting back after a really long time! missed a lot of reading! Hope to be back more frequently.

Moonshine said...

@moony Same here!!! :))