This review does not contain spoilers.
But when you’re the son of a Greek god, it happens. And now my friend Annabeth is missing, a goddess is in chains and only five half-blood heroes can join the quest to defeat the doomsday monster.
Oh, and guess what? The Oracle has predicted that not all of us will survive …
In the third instalment of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Rick Riordan manages to maintain the same youthful charm and humour while exploring how Percy has changed and grown since The Sea of Monsters.
Romance is beginning to stir between Percy and Annabeth but Percy is far from an angsty teenager suddenly swallowed by raging hormones. Instead, he’s a regular kid learning to adjust to his new feelings, not really ready to voice them or even properly acknowledge them to himself. The majority of the mentions of romance are so deft and light-handed you might think you imagined them.
After The Sea of Monsters, I was worried that the adults and gods were acting like the adults from A Series of Unfortunate Events, wilfully ignoring and endangering the children to the point of farce. But, in The Titan’s Curse, we now see that as Percy matures so do the adults around him. Mr D gets more character development and this new depth and motivation makes him seem almost—but not quite—as if he might be someone likable. Sometimes. On good days.
Riordan continues to introduce new characters while ensuring that they feel familiar to his readers instead of overwhelming. With the aid of a few strong recurring characters, Camp Half-Blood comes to life easily on the page and I find myself looking forward to seeing how characters are doing when their paths next cross with Percy.
The Titan’s Curse, as the halfway point in the series, swings like a pendulum between the relatively cheerful and easy adventures of Percy’s first two years at Camp Half-Blood and the introduction of dangers greater than he has ever faced. Rick Riordan is ushering both Percy and his readers into the perils of adulthood and he’s doing it fantastically.