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Rick Riordan: A Primer

Rick Riordan: A Primer

Just who is Rick Riordan, and why is he worthy of a primer? Well, Rick Riordan is an amazingly prolific author of novels aimed at tweens and teens. He's won all kinds of awards and has even had one of his books turned into a movie. If you're at all interested in mythology and like fast-paced stories, you should take a closer look at Riordan's work.

  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians: If you've heard of one of Rick Riordan's series, this is it. Percy Jackson is by far Riordan's most famous character. The first book, The Lightning Thief, was turned into a movie (which wasn't that great), but a book-to-film conversion of the second book in the series is currently in production. If you want to read Rick Riordan and don't know where to start, this is it. The series has five books, each easy to read and engaging, and it's been finished for awhile, so you don't have to worry about waiting for the next book in the series
  • The Heroes of Olympus: This is the series Riordan started after he finished Percy Jackson. The first two books - The Lost Hero and The Son of Neptune - are already out. The next is scheduled to come out this year. The story continues adventures at Camp Half-Blood (which was introduced in Percy Jackson, a camp for the half-human, half-immortal demigod children of Greek and Roman deities), but from what we can tell, it's a series that stands on its own. So if you'd rather start with Riordan's newer series without reading the one that comes before it, you should be good to go.
  • The Kane Chronicles: If Greek and Roman gods aren't your thing, how about Egyptian gods? That's what The Kane Chronicles centers around. Two siblings discover they're the distant offspring of the legendary Egyptian pharaoh Ramsses the Great. Their father accidentally lets out the Egyptian gods from their stone prison, and well, you can imagine that everything goes crazy. Fast. The Kane Chronicles are actually a trilogy, and the last book, The Serpent's Shadow, released in May.
  • Tres Navarre: What about adult novels, you might be asking yourself? Well, Rick Riordan's done those as well. He actually started out as an adult crime fiction author before trying his hand (and finding amazing success) in the YA world. It features Tres Navarre, who has spent the last few years in California, but has returned home to Texas to investigate the murder of his father. It's fast-paced, with realistic characters. Riordan seems to enjoy writing a few mysteries in between his YA offerings; no telling when (or if) the next book in the series is going to come out, but there are seven so far, and the last one (Rebel Island) was released in 2007.
  • The 39 Clues: This is an immensely popular series for the tween audience , with each installment written by a different popular author. Riordan wrote the first book in the series, as well as crafted the overarching story arc, so it's worth mentioning.
  • Norse Mythology: In case you didn't think Riordan was already prolific enough, according to his F.A.Q., he's working on an as-yet-untitled series that focuses on Norse mythology. The first book is set to release in 2015.

Which Rick Riordan book is your favorite?

Tags: percy jackson, reviews, books-and-comics, rick riordan, the lightning thief

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About the Author
Swapna Krishna

Swapna is a Washington, DC-based freelance editor who loves all things space and sci fi. You can find her book reviews at S. Krishna’s Books ( and on Twitter at @skrishna.

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