The comeback of Percy Jackson and the Olympians

Written by: Claire Phillips | Entertainment Editor

History was made on June 28, 2005, when Rick Riordan first published “The Lightning Thief.” In the last year, the author of “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” has released two new books belonging to the original beloved book series. Over the last 18 years, the series has grown to be 17 books long in addition to two trilogies that take place in the same universe.

To date, the “Percy Jackson” series has been adapted into two movies and a television series that is scheduled to air on Disney+ on Dec. 20. The series stars actors Walker Scobell as Jackson, Leah Sava Jeffries as Annabeth Chase and Aryan Simhadri as Grover Underwood. Trailers for the show depict the trio embarking on epic adventures, accurately mirroring the first book in the series.

Fans have ultimately been more receptive to the casting of the show than the original two movies, though the characters don’t exactly match their book descriptions. Lovers of the book series were disappointed by previous adaptations of the book series to see plot points erased and the characters inappropriately cast in the movies. 

As Riordan continued to expand his universe, he added more diversity to his book by including POC, LGBTQ+ and disabled characters. “Percy Jackson” fans are excited to see this diversity has carried over into the series as well.

Since the original “Percy Jackson” pentalogy was released in the 2000s, Rick Riordan has continued to write bestselling novels. “The Heroes of Olympus” continued the “Percy Jackson” story with a new cast of characters in the 2010s, and “The Trials of Apollo” took the point of view of one of the Olympians the previous series discussed. “Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard” and “The Kane Chronicles” followed Norse and Egyptian mythology, and were also adored by loyal Riordan fans, who dubbed their favorite author Uncle Rick.

Though Rick Riordan has claimed he is finished writing books in the “Percy Jackson” series, he released two new additions in 2023 — “The Chalice of the Gods” and “The Sun and the Star”. “The Chalice of the Gods” follows Percy as he navigates his senior year of high school. “The Sun and the Star,” co-written with Mark Oshiro, is the treacherous tale of demigods Nico di Angelo and Will Solace as they venture into the underworld.

“Percy Jackson” has continued to thrive due to its healthy mix of nostalgia, a connected fanbase and incredible writing throughout the years. Fans are expecting a bright future for both the books and the show. 

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