Bestsellers to Blockbusters: The Demigod Edition

I apologize for the delay in posts.  But better late than never, right?  This time around, we’ll look at Percy Jackson and the Olympians.  This series infuses the modern day with Greek mythology creating a unique world where the ancient gods are in fact real.  The books have been widely successful spawning a sequel series called The Heroes of Olympus, and a another series set in the same world but with Egyptian gods called The Kane Chronicles.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians; Books: 2005-2009, Movies: 2010, 2013

Percy Jackson Movie Poster

Percy Jackson is a twelve-year-old boy struggling with school thanks to dyslexia.  One day he finds out he’s the son of the Greek god Poseidon, and his life changes forever.  He is taken to Camp Half blood where he meets other children of the gods, and is subsequently accused of stealing Zeus’s lighting bolt.  Percy and his new friends set on a a journey to prove Percy’s innocence and catch the real thief.  In subsequent books Percy and his friends go on several adventures culminating in a final battle.  Full of adventure, humor, and even a little mystery, the books have something for everyone.  While I can only speak for The Kane Chronicles (I know, I know shame on me, but I prefer Egyptian mythology and since the library had all three of them and didn’t have all the Percy books, I chose them first), I feel Riordan knows how to craft a compelling and memorable story with relatable and believable characters.  Even the gods had their own distinct personalities.   Any series that can make me root for the heroes, want to laugh and cry, can throw in a reference to Dr. Who, and make Bastet into a cat suit wearing, friskies eating, dagger wielding, acrobatic doing woman and make it believable is great in my book.

When the announcement that Chris Colombus was going to direct the first movie, people had high hopes for it.  The trailers looked awesome, and I looked forward to seeing it and having the opportunity to read the books. When I did get the chance to see the movie, I really liked it, and could see the appeal for kids and teens.  I do know that they Annabeth is supposed to be a blonde, but in the first movie she has brown hair, and Percy and Annabeth are supposed to be 12 be are clearly in high school in the movie.  I enjoyed seeing famous and well known actors as famous figures from Greek mythology.  However, the first movie didn’t break even.  Which lead myself (an others since I found it listed on a failed adaptation list) to believe that the next ones would never be made, until I found out Sea of Monsters was scheduled to come out in August of this year.  I’m not sure why there was a delay, but it seems Annabeth is back to being a blonde.  I did not see as many trailers leading up to the release of the second movie as I would have anticipated seeing, perhaps because it was released around the same time as City of Bones (post to come).  Again, the movie didn’t do as well as expected and did not break even.  I also haven’t seen this one yet.

I think it’s a shame that this series wasn’t well received by fans or critics in it’s movie form.  I know Riordan is a great writer, he really knows how to write something that kids can connect to.  But it seems, they prefer the books to the movies on this one.  I do think that the first movie could have been better than it was, there was something lacking that I can’t seem to put my finger on, and perhaps once I read them I will figure it out.  This is just an adaptation that will have to classified as neither a failure or a roaring success.

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2 thoughts on “Bestsellers to Blockbusters: The Demigod Edition

    • Yes, I forgot to mention that. I don’t go to the movies that often, last time was to see Beautiful Creatures, so that one will be a proper comparison. I really like Riordan’s world and writing, and I wish they had done these movies a bit closer together and more accurately, then perhaps they’d have been more successful. I was unable to find how much say Riordan had in them, sometimes that makes a difference. But the characters were clearly a few years older than they were supposed to be, and with the skipped years, they actors have almost aged out of the roles.

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