The Son of Neptune Is Out Today. Percy Jackson Is No Harry Potter Ripoff

Categories: El Jefe
eljefe.png
Okay, so I admit it. As an old dad, I love Percy Jackson.

None of that dark literary stuff. Just an action hero who is a kid and who is dyslexic. He is a hero to my 11-year-old dyslexic son. 

So this morning, we started reading the newest book, Heroes of Olympus #2: The Son of Neptune, just out on Kindle....and I was transfixed by the big fight in the Berkeley Hills. I used to ride my bike there. Percy's giving it to the Gorgon as he looks out over the San Francisco Bay and ponders his demise. 



The question that has bothered me throughout this series, though, is whether Percy Jackson is just a Harry Potter ripoff. Kid hero growing up with magical powers and all.

I think he is more. The writer, Rick Riordan, salts his work with lots of classical references -- and his books are wittier, more American, and less dark than those of J.K. Rowling, his richer, more popular contemporary. 

In some ways, the success of this most recent novel will likely cement Riordan's status one way or the other. I for one really like the guy -- and delight in the influence he is having on my kids.

Follow Cultist on Facebook and Twitter @CultistMiami.


Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
19 comments
Goku
Goku

I'm sick of people comparing books to such a mediocre book like Harry Potter.  It's annoying because of how much I read and how I've read so many fantasy novels that Harry potter just seems dull and unoriginal in comparison, the characterization sucks (seriously) the writing style is meh, and the setting is unoriginal and corny.  The book tries to bring adult themes in but it seems forced and obvious, the bad guys are evil for no reason and have no good in them (ever read George r.r. martin? his bad guys are realistic, you see them from one view and hate them and then see it from their perspective and it confuses the heck out of you, now those are good villains that really draw you in, realistic ones with motives and pasts and personalities.)  anyway while I read huge books in the dozens I've always found it to relax sometimes and read smaller novels like Narnia or works of Lloyd alexander, but my favorite kids/smaller series is easily riordans book series. Mostly because of how quickly he is able to get unique character personalities across and how he can fill a whole setting in ones mind with just a sentence, this makes his books fast-paced and exciting while leaving plenty of room for all the many tied in themes of his series.  It is truly a masterpiece of letting the readers imagination take hold and fill the book with it's own imagination and get into each scene right up close.  Plus I like returning to that essence of a "hero" story with an original spin on that classic feel that I like in Lloyds works so much.  Anyway if you're a harry potter fan I would recommend reading further into the fantasy genre, trust me I've read HP and it's alright, but if you really want to discover whole new worlds, amazing characters and get so stuck in a series you lose track of time and soon it's like you're not even reading the events are just happening before you and you are in the book. Just give it a try, I really don't want my generation to be remembered as the "harry potter generation" it's very degrading.

Scruffs
Scruffs

I really love Rick Riordan's books too. And the Son of Neptune was great though I hated that he lost his invulnerablitily

Mary
Mary

I'm 13, and I absolutely loved both Rick Riordan's and J.K Rowling's books. I think that because both of these series were originally meant for kids, I might see this whole thing in a better light. Harry Potter and Percy Jackson are not the same. Rick Riordan copied as much  from J.K Rowling as much as she copied from every other author before her. I hate it when people say one author "copied" another, because really, all literature ends up being "copied" at some point or another. Every book has similar parts, but not because of copycat authors, simply because of human nature.           Harry Potter was a highlight of my childhood. I loved to read about Harry's adventures from the second I learned to. I fell in love with Luna, and I still think we'd be best friends if she was real. Harry always seemed so heroic, so brave and loyal, everything I wanted to be when I grew older. Hermione inspired me to try my best in school, and because of J.K Rowling's brilliant writing, I was the best, most avid reader in my preschool. That is, I was the only avid  reader in my preschool. Ron always made me laugh, and I constantly hoped I would find a friend as good as he was. I'm sad to see the movies end now, but alas, it was Harry's time. I think the Harry Potter series will inspire generations of readers still to come.          On the other hand, The Lightning Thief was one of my favorite childhood books as well. I read the whole series (five books) in five days. I was in fifth grade.  My teacher was so impressed with how fast I devoured the series, she started to read them herself. The other day, she thanked me for introducing her to these books and told me that her son had read them just as quickly as I did and loved them. I felt closer to Percy Jackson than I have with any other series so far. Sometimes, Harry would do things that I would never, or he would back down when I would keep fighting. Never with Percy. Every single decision he made, I completely agreed with. I think Rick Riordan understood kids more than J.K Rowling did, but both series were so good, it's hardly fair to compare them to each other.            So basically, both of these series steered me towards being the reader I am today, and I think making comparisons is foolish and disrespectful to both of these amazing authors. I loved BOTH Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, and they will always stay in my heart.

kevin
kevin

This isn't the best analogy, but I think it kind of works. Riordan vs. Rowling is like comparing the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. They are both great at what they do and contribute to the genre, but their styles are markedly different.

It is inevitable that Riordan "copies" Rowling. He's not copying Rowling anymore than Rowling copied Tolkien or Leguin. All fantasy/fiction writers use archetypes like the hero's journey and such.

I personally think the Harry Potter series is more resonant and powerful than the Percy Jackson/Olympus books. I think Rowling is very creative and her character development is excellent. She has created a unique world with very detailed and complicated characters. She touches on very controversial and dark issues, such as slavery, death, and the fear of otherness, but she doesn't simplify these issues for her audience even though they are children.

At the same time, I give a lot of credit to Riordan for integrating classic mythology into the modern world. My younger sister's interest in Greek and Egyptian mythology has grown because of Percy Jackson. Riordan also deals with dark themes in his books. He highlights what it feels like to be different, and he also retells classic Greek and Roman parables in a modern context while retaining the original morals.

I don't think it's fair to either author to rank them. I think both write material that challenges young audiences to grapple with complicated themes, but at the same time, both series are fun and exciting. They should be appreciated as resources for education and as modern day classics.

Amz
Amz

Oh get a grip. The mans entitled to his opinion and his reasons behind that. J.K Rowling is a great writer and so is Rick Riordan in their OWN WAY. Cmon please. They're different. Whoopdeedo. End of story.

Stephanie
Stephanie

C.K. Rowling? Seriously? Might want to re-read what you've written before hitting publish.

Andrea
Andrea

I find this article to be rather ignorant, to be honest. It's quite disrespectful of all J.K. Rowling's done for children's books as well. You're entitled to your opinion, yes, but it baffles me how you can compare the two authors' writing styles and insinuate that Rick Riordan is better because he's "wittier, more American and less dark".

J.K. Rowling is British, after all, and Rick Riordan can't be deemed better simply because his writing style is "more American", a statement I found to be rather condescending. Harry Potter may be darker in tone, compared to Percy Jackson, but I find that that gives him more substance as a character. Harry doesn't just suffer superficial wounds, physically and emotionally. He *is* going through a war, after all. It can't be a glitzy, glamorous affair with cool action scenes like much of the Hollywood-ized movies you see today.

Humour in Percy Jackson can't technically be called wit either; it felt too forced and wooden, in my opinion. J.K. Rowling may not be the wittiest person alive, but she has written some of the most humorous and inspirational statements in her books.

I respect Rick Riordan as an author and I read the Percy Jackson books as well, including the new Heroes of Olympus series, but Harry Potter is way out of Percy Jackson's league.

anastaskalaitchev
anastaskalaitchev

@Goku Percy Jackson is the most inaccurate book. Perseus is a son of Zeus not Poseidon. Hestia is one of the twelve Olympians. ALL HIS BOOKS ARE UNACCURATE AND WILL NOT READ 

Poseidon818
Poseidon818

Thank the gods, for Zeus's sake, I agree with Goku Harry Potter is a little dry and would have had a better touch if it wasn't so ... what's the word... badly written. No offense to J.K. Rowling or Harry Potter fans but witches and wizards every time you read about them you get the same thing, wands, magic, bad guys it just all the same. But I haven't seen a great amount of writers write anything with gods in it and even if they have it doesn't bring out the things that Rick shows.

Annonymous
Annonymous

Thank you so much for writing this! I completely agree

titin
titin

i guess both of them are magnificent books..

Goku
Goku

you're an idiot, Get some real fantasy novels by real master writers like George r.r. martin and Robert Jordan and then tell me your opinion on books.  Harry potter was a poor character and none of the characters in the series were even close to being realistic or even mildly interesting.  In percy Jackson the characters are given depth by personal internal and external conflict and they fight with the choices of right and wrong, and gee they actually make mistakes sometimes (unlike some "perfect" goody two shoes) and then work to overcome them, while doing this riordan manages to keep the tone of the story fresh and interesting for kids while giving some of the characters humorous personalities to provide comic relief.  You're just like everyone else in the world who adores big time movie actors like they're the best when the real masters are practicing their art on broadway while you blindly pretend something that is terrible is the best there is.

Kat
Kat

I'm a fan of both Harry Potter and Percy Jackson (though I will admit that Harry Potter is and always will be my favourite book series), and when I read this article I didn't get the feeling that he was saying one series was better than the other. It seemed like he was just saying that Percy Jackson is not a ripoff of Harry Potter.

I don't think he meant that Percy Jackson is better because it is 'more American'. He was just highlighting the differences between the two, the things that make the Percy Jackson books unique instead of a Harry Potter ripoff.

To be honest, your reply seemed to be a lot more disrespectful to Rick Riordan then this guy's article was to J. K. Rowling. Or at least that was my interpretation. But like you said, you're entitled to your own opinion.

Kaya
Kaya

Okay. I think what BOTH of you said is true and not true. I am a child here. I am 11 years old so I think because it was meant to be written for CHILDREN I can look at this in a BETTER. I LOVE HARRY POTTER AND PERCY JACKSON THE SAME! Stop this stupid fight. Your so like little kids grow up! I am 11 and I love them the same and it is fun and great. You need to eccept that not every one thinks the same for gods sake! I am now going to go read The Son Of Neptune bye peoples

vickky
vickky

@Goku 

bitch please, look up the facts. Rowling is a   genius writer, one of the best ever. She writes better than George martin and lets not forget that George's  game of throne  series fell apart with the later books that were mediocre. Rowling manage to write the 7 HP books WELL.

As Stephen King said. JK Rowling has a  mind that possesses a superior imagination. 

Game of thrones is loved for the SEX SEX SEX.

Rowling has also proven herself as a great author with the cuckoss calling. a book that was highly  critical acclaimed and  called one of the best crime books of all time.

HP has been listed on countless book lit as one of the best book series of all time. Game of throes is not  always on the list.

Annoymous
Annoymous

Hey,that was out of line.Rick Riordan is a great author I give him that. I wait for the next book to come out with baited breath just like every other fan of the series but NO ONE disses J.K. Rowling. She is an amzing author. Her characters ARE realistic AND they ARE interesting! Harry Potter struggles through everything. The most prudent is in the 6th book when he wants to go out with Ginny but won't because she is Ron's sister Ron is his best friend. That shows that he can think And that is a very realistic choice. I'm sure most fans were interested to see if something happens. The stories are both great so neither of them needs to be dissed. If you don't understand the depth of Harry Potter and you choose to focus on just one of the many great sagas out there that's your choice

Kaya
Kaya

Oh and I forgot to say PERCY IS BETTER THAN HARRY! Sorry but I kinda like percy better folks LOVE YOU PERCY!

anastaskalaitchev
anastaskalaitchev

@Kaya Percy is Perseus a son of Zeus not Poseidon. Read up your Mythology. Rick Riordan is inaccurate and very bad plot. It is a such simple plot.

Scruffs
Scruffs

I so agree with you there

Now Trending

Miami Concert Tickets

Around The Web

From the Vault

 

Clubs

Loading...