Each season we announce our new titles individually, each in their own post, to give you a little extra background behind the book. If you’ve missed any, you can check them all out here. All of Spring 2013”²s intro posts are here.
Back in 200mumblemumble, when Borders was still alive and kicking (Borders, we miss you!), there was this little middle grade series just hitting its prime, featuring a kid with ADHD that finds out he’s actually the son of a god. That series, of course, was Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians–and we put together a book exclusively for Borders called Demigods and Monsters, featuring YA writers writing about Percy and his world. The anthology covered the first three books in the series–the only ones that were out, back then.
Borders went under; we re-released the book as a Smart Pop title, and the book kept going. And so, of course, did Percy Jackson, with the first series finishing up with The Last Olympian and Percy’s adventures continuing in the Heroes of Olympus. More and more people–kids and adults–were reading it. New readers were discovering it every day.
With Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters out in theaters this August, it seemed like the right time to bring out an update–and an excellent excuse to bring the book up to date through The Last Olympian.
We kept our focus on the first five books (though definitely with later events in mind), but updated the existing essays, and also added three more:
- Hilary Wagner presents an ode to Hades and his demigod son Nico (considering the role of destiny and fatal flaws along the way)
- J&P Voelkel imagines Percy and friends in South America (their books’ home turf!), to see how the skills they learned facing off against the Greek gods and monsters will serve them in battle against Maya ones
- Hilari Bell provides a useful reminder on the differences between demigods in ancient Greece and modern America (you’d much rather have Percy over for dinner than Odysseus)
And that’s on top of essays from writers like Elizabeth E. Wein on how to recognize a monster when you see one, divine parenting skills, why so many monsters go into retail, prophecy, and a lot more–including an introduction from Rick Riordan about reading (and analyzing) literature, reading Percy, and why he wrote the Percy Jackson series to begin with
Whether you’re one of those who’ve come later to Riordan’s books or you’re an old fan–we hope you have as much fun reading Demigods and Monsters as we did putting both the original edition and this updated one together.