My Favorite Fictional Characters!

Sodapop Curtis from The Outsiders: After I finished reading the book (The Outsiders), I was absolutely obsessed with it! I loved all the characters very much, but Soda is, by far, my favorite. He’s kind, funny, friendly, and most importantly, he’s a good brother. He protects and stands up for Ponyboy, and does everything he can to help Darry to pay the bills.

Fred Weasley from Harry Potter: (*Spoilers!) Don’t ask me why it’s Fred and not George cause I have no idea why. I do love George too, but for some reason, while I was reading the series for the first time, I decided that Fred was my favorite character. Mind you, I had decided this before I had finished the series, so I was completely heartbroken when he died in the seventh book, as I’m sure everyone was. I just love the twin’s constant bantering and jokes. Despite the fact that I’ve read the series a million times, they never fail to make me laugh.

Percy Jackson from Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Percy Jackson and the Heroes of Olympus: I think it’s safe to say that this is the only series wherein my favorite character is the main character! I love Percy so much! In a way, I grew up with him as I read the books, and I think that really helped me grow to love him even more. Percy is so endearingly humorous, likable, and just… a fun guy! Even though he’s a very powerful demigod and his father is Poseidon, he acts, for the most part, like a normal teenaged guy.

Newt from The Maze Runner: (*Spoilers!) A Glader, and second-in-command to Alby, Newt is kind yet firm, and grows to be a good and loyal friend to Thomas. Perhaps not as fiery as Minho, Newt brings a more leveled personality to the story and is a very prominent character whom I grew to love and care about while reading the series. I was devastated when Janson (a.k.a. the Rat Man) read out the list of munies and Newt was not on it. It was very sad to see him lose his sanity, but I think he did contribute a lot to the team, and was sorely missed.

Azriel from A Court of Thorns and Roses: Quiet, dark, brooding, and mysterious, he doesn’t talk much, but when he does speak up, everyone pays attention because they know that whatever he has to say is important and significant. He’s an Illyrian warrior! Skilled in combat, he would make a deadly enemy. But he also has a sweet and gentle side. He’s very caring and respectful and enjoys having a laugh with his brother, Cassian, once in a while.

-Elina T.

The Trials of Apollo: The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan

The most modest, kind-hearted, expert haiku poet of a god- yes, I am talking about the one and only Apollo! Honestly, who doesn’t love him?

Well it looks as if Zeus isn’t particularly fond of him- because, well you probably wouldn’t throw someone you’re fond of off of Olympus and strip them of their godly powers.

Apollo finds himself in a repulsive garbage bin in a New York alley when he awakes in the form of the utterly powerless, weak, and completely mortal Lester Papadopoulos. Because he is so accustomed to his godly privileges and reverent treatment, being sent to Earth with absolutely no powers hits Apollo pretty hard. Quite literally:

“Hoodlums punch my my face,

I would smite them if I could,

Mortality blows.”

-Apollo (The Trials of Apollo: The Hidden Oracle Ch. 1, Rick Riordan)


Although this is a new series, it’s also, in a way, a continuation of Percy Jackson and the Heroes of Olympus. It’s set in the same world, and some questions that were left unanswered in The Blood of Olympus (the last book in The Heroes of Olympus series) are finally explained. I won’t specify which ones so as not to spoil anything, but I will say that I was very happy that I finally found out what happened (I died after I read The Blood of Olympus because I didn’t think there would be any more books). Additionally, some characters from The Heroes of Olympus series are represented in this book, so I was also happy about that. But of course, new and lovable (and some not so lovable) characters are introduced in this series.

I was absolutely ecstatic when I heard that this book was coming out and was not, in any way whatsoever, disappointed when I was finally able to read it. Apollo has always been one of my favorite gods but, after reading this book, I can confidently say that he is my favorite.

I love how Rick Riordan portrays Apollo and brings out so much personality and humor. The book is narrated by Apollo, and it really feels like it’s the god narrating because of the language Rick uses in this book. Apollo is very eloquent (most of the time), and speaks in a different manner than we do today in modern society.

Greek and Roman mythology has always interested me, and so has the history from these cultures, as the two are so closely related. I really admire how much historical content Rick is able to weave in to the story, along with the mythological and fictional aspects.

If you’ve read The Heroes of Olympus series, I definitely recommend this book (the second one is also out: The Dark Prophecy). Although, if you haven’t finished that series yet, I’d wait until you finish reading it because this book will probably spoil something.

This is definitely one of my favorite series, and I can’t wait until the third one comes out!

-Elina T.

The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.

Authors We Love: Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan was definitely one of my favorite authors.  He is the writer of the Percy Jackson series, the Heroes of Olympus series, the Kane Chronicles, and the Magnus Chase series. Riordan’s books take ancient mythology and weave it into modern-day stories of adventures.

The Percy Jackson series, which was his first series, revolves around a boy named Percy Jackson who learns that he is a demigod — a son of Poseidon. You follow Percy and his friends, Annabeth and Grover, as well as others, in adventures while learning about Greek Mythology. Placed in a world where Greek Mythology is fact, Riordan does a fabulous job writing this series. When you start reading, you aren’t going to want to put the book down. I think that this is one of the best series of books he has written.

The Heroes Of Olympus series is, in a way, a continuation of the Percy Jackson series. However, it adds new characters and involves both Greek and Roman mythology. This series was just as great as the Percy Jackson series and had me intrigued till the end.

The Kane Chronicles revolves around Egyptian Mythology and a brother and sister, Carter and Sadie. Though, out of all the series’ Rick Riordan has written, this is my least favorite, but it is still good. To me, it was just not quite as captivating as some of his other pieces of writing. I would still recommend reading it, though, because it still a really good story.

The Magnus Chase series is about a boy named Magnus Chase and Norse Mythology. It is a really cool series, especially because you get to learn a little bit about Norse Mythology — something that you really won’t know much about other than the fact that Thor and Loki are Norse Gods.

All of Riordan’s writings are a great way to not only get lost in a book, but to learn about ancient mythology in a new and exciting way. All of his books are pretty easy to read, but they can entertain you for hours. Overall, he is just a fabulous writer and I would recommend any of his books.

-Ava G.

Magnus Chase: The Hammer Of Thor by Rick Riordan

magnuschasehammerthor_rickriordanRick Riordan has done it again: with the second installment of his retelling of Norse mythology, he brings out the laughs and slightly more mature elements that add the modern world to the books. All in all, these elements add to a tale that is fun to enjoy and interesting to read once again.

First, the laughs. We see Thor again, with more arrogance and goats. We get more sass from Jack, and Sam hilariously trying to find her way through her to be marriage and her Valkyrie job. There are many new characters and Riordan rewrites old legends in his way, including one where Thor had to wear a dress.

Finally, for the mature elements, we have to remember that usually, these books are meant for 8-12 year olds. However, with his more recent books, Riordan has tapped into the LGBTQ community, like when he revealed in Percy Jackson: Heroes of Olympus series that Nico was gay and the introduction of a (literal) gender-fluid kid named Alex. While this stuff may be mature for some people of this age group, I am quite happy that the author is bringing them up front, especially as loved main characters, and not putting them on the back burner like most YA authors of this time would.

All in all, it was a worthwhile sequel for this series, and even a wonderful book for those new to the Riordan fandom, even if not many have heard of the legends of Norse mythology.

-Megan V., 11th grade

Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It is also available to download from Overdrive and Hoopla

The Trials of Apollo by Rick Riordan

apollo1_riordanApollo Haikus
Uncle Rick can do no wrong
Camp Half-Blood Part 3

After the battle with Gaea, Zeus put all the blame on Apollo. Why, you might ask? Because Gaea duped Octavian, a half-blood son of Apollo, and Zeus’ logic dictates Apollo should be punished by casting him out of Olympus and turning him into a teenage boy with acne. For the sun god, there is no worse punishment.

One of the primary characteristics of Apollo is his constant need to complain. Which, in the first few chapters in understandable. He has lost everything that defined him. His godly powers are pretty nonexistent. He is entirely mortal, even weaker than his demigod descendants. Eating ambrosia or drinking nectar won’t help him ease his pain. It’s rough for the sun god to no longer be the center of attention. It does get annoying at times, but I think it will work in showcasing Apollo’s growth over the series.

Just like Magnus Chase had cameos from his cousin Annabeth Chase, the Apollo Trials has cameos from Percy Jackson. Plus, learn about what all the rest of the half-blood gang through dialogue! Most of them are in college or preparing to do so. Even the storyline with a certain boy-who-lights-himself-on-fire’s storyline gets continued. It lets other characters like Will and Nico and other new friends get a chance to shine.

The best new face brought to this story is Meg. Don’t even think about calling her Margaret. She lives off the streets of New York and is one of the first demigods Apollo encounters. She’s a tough twelve-year-old but still is pretty naive. She’s unaware of what happened in the previous books, as would readers who haven’t finished The Blood of Olympus. There are some pretty major spoilers in this book about that one. As for her godly parent … I always find it fun to try to figure that part. But as a hint, it’s a god or goddess we haven’t heard much about. Meg has claimed Apollo to her service, the person he has to serve to prove to Zeus he’s learned his lesson. But Zeus has turned Apollo mortal twice before. Hopefully, his third strike doesn’t mean Apollo has struck out.

Filled with the great humor we have come to expect from Rick Riordan as well as hilarious haikus to open each chapter. Back at camp, everything isn’t going great. The oracle isn’t giving prophecies which makes it impossible to go on a quest to figure out why the oracle isn’t giving out prophecies. Communication isn’t working, campers are going missing, and no one knows what to do. It’s up to Apollo, Meg, and their friends to uncover and stop a conspiracy to rid the world of Olympians once and for all.

-Nicole G., 12th Grade

The Hidden Oracle, the first book in the new Trials of Apollo series, is available for check out from the Mission Viejo Library.

Teen Read Week: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

swordofsummer_rickriordanWhen I first heard about this book, my brain zeroed in on the last name Chase. Related to Annabeth Chase, perhaps? Rick Riordan doesn’t fail to disappoint. Magnus Chase is her cousin (first cousins on their human side) and she is spotted immediately in the first chapter. I got so hyped about a new series from Riordan that ignored a minor oversight: I had little to no knowledge about Norse Mythology.

Fortunately, Uncle Rick understands. There are some clues leading up to the reveal of which god Magnus is the son of. (Here’s a hint: it isn’t Thor) I just didn’t see it because I don’t speak runes. Most of the mythology stuff is explained to go with the plot and never seems like a history lesson. I’m not sure how accurate it is by saying dwarves listen to Taylor Swift, but I’m sure other ideas like the nine worlds is there.

Expect some of the great humor that you know and love. The renaming of a sword to Jack. Ancient gods or goddesses referencing pop culture. First person internal dialogue with just a bit of sass. And the chapter titles. If I wanted to explain what the book was about, I would just display the table of contents because even though they seem random and bizarre, the chapter titles accurately describe an aspect in what happens next.

I really don’t want to spoil any of it, but don’t expect another Percy. No one will ever live up to him anyway. This is a new kid, with a new personality, and a new story to tell. Is it better than Percy Jackson? No. But is it still worth the read? Absolutely.

-Nicole G., 12th Grade

Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer is available to check out from the Mission Viejo Public Library

Book Review: Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods by Rick Riordan

percy-jackson-greek-godsWelcome to the ancient myths you know (or vaguely remember) from Percy Jackson’s perspective. It is completely biased with Percy directly stating which gods he loves, which gods he hates, and which god should build him a golden llama (come on Hephaestus!) So why should you read this book? Are some of Greek names so hard to spell, much less pronounce, that you want to make fun of? Do you wonder what Percy would do in an ancient greek myth situation? Have you ever thought about how the Greek myths affect everyday language? Do you enjoy your public service announcements such as drugs are bad and alcohol is for adults? Well, all of those are included here (even the last one; Percy needs to cover his legal bases when talking about the god of wine).

A lot (but not all) of the Greek myths are covered, everything from Zeus’s many affairs, to Hades kidnapping his niece, to Hermes first theft, and so much more. I really don’t want to ruin too much more because it’s fun to just discover what crazy things the gods are up to next. Well, in the past, but you know what I mean.

The only thing left to wonder about is when Percy had the time to write this book. He mentions Annabeth is his girlfriend, so it has to be after the first series. Then he mentions Piper is a vegetarian, so probably after the second series, too. Maybe around the same time he encountered Carter Kane, Egyptian magician. Speaking of which, this is a great book to get you ready for the third book in the Percy Jackson & Kane Chronicles Crossover that just came out– The Crown of Ptolemy. It has Percy (his perspective) , Annabeth, Sadie, and Carter against a magician trying to harness Greek and Egyptian magic to become a god. Can’t wait!

– Nicole G., 11th grade