The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Review | ‘Percy Jackson and the Chalice of the Gods’ reintroduces readers to beloved heroes

Author Rick Riordan releases his newest “Percy Jackson” adventure almost a decade after the last book.
Bob Hallinen/Anchorage Daily News/MCT
Piper Sage carries off an armful of Rick Riordan books with her mom, Charla Sterne. The author, left, signed his new book the “Serpent’s Shadow,” the final book in the Kane Chronicles series, at Barnes and Noble bookstore in Anchorage, Alaska, on Saturday, May 5, 2012. Riordan is the author of Percy Jackson, Kane Chronicles and Heroes of Olympus books for young readers as well as the award-winning adult Tres Navarre mystery series.

When I first heard that Rick Riordan was writing another book in his famous “Percy Jackson” series, I was instantly excited. Having read the first five novels growing up, as well as the sequel series “Heroes of Olympus,” I considered Percy Jackson to be one of the stories that helped me fall in love with reading.

Published on Sept. 26, Percy Jackson and the Chalice of Gods tells the story of a 17-year-old Percy Jackson during his senior year of high school.

As the son of Poseidon, Percy is used to going on dangerous quests and saving the world. However, this year, he simply wants to tackle the arduous task of college admissions and leading a normal life.

Unfortunately for him, the Greek gods have other plans. Almost immediately, Percy is literally flushed into Poseidon’s palace and told that he must complete three quests to earn college recommendation letters from the gods.

These crazy — and often unlucky — situations are common for Percy, but one does not have to be a fan of the original books to enjoy this one.

Sure, there are small jokes and name-drops here and there that serve as callbacks to prior novels, but the humor, friendship, and themes of the book can be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of any Olympian background knowledge.

While Riordan does write in the “middle-grade” genre, his writing is still well-received by all kinds of readers, including myself. I delighted in diving into this adventure just as much as I did in elementary school.

Percy’s willingness to grow up and accept change, even when he is unsure of his own future, is a recurring theme in the novel. He must also deal with the repercussions of his past choices — in this case, refusing Zeus’s offer of immortality at the end of the original series.

Through all of this, Percy remains a funny and sarcastic protagonist with a clear narrative voice. It was always clear that this was his story from his perspective.

Annabeth and Grover are a huge part of Percy’s journey as well. This trio depicts a healthy and supportive group of friends who will do anything to help one another, even volunteering to help Percy on his quest, though helping the gods is proven to be dangerous and, sometimes, deadly.

All in all, “Percy Jackson and the Chalice of the Gods,” was a funny, thought-provoking, and relatable read that I highly recommend for readers of all ages.

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About the Contributor
Riley Dunn
Riley Dunn, Arts Reporter
Riley Dunn is a first-year student at the University of Iowa majoring in English and Creative Writing and Journalism and Mass Communications. Prior to her time at the DI, Riley interned for Swimming World Magazine.