On Percy Jackson and the Olympians

The Gods Among Us

By Elizabeth M. Rees

What You Can’t See Might Harm You

Living in New York City, just under two miles from what became Ground Zero, I witnessed the events of 9/11 all too close to home. It was a scene to gladden the war-mongering heart of Ares, the Greek god of war. The smoky, fiery image of the Twin Towers was surely one lifted straight from Hades’ wildest dreams.

Although I am old enough to know Superman is make-believe and that James Bond is just a character in books and film, I actually found myself wondering, “Where are they?” Why didn’t Superman soar onto the scene and snatch a plane in each fist a second before they struck? Why had James Bond’s trademark derring-do failed when his valiant deeds were most crucial?

What a foolish part of me expected was larger-than-life action taken by one of our own pop culture demigods (Clark Kent) or heroes (Bond). What I and the rest of the world got instead was a reality check: heroes and demigods sure don’t exist in real-life New York.

But subsequent events proved me wrong. Mr. Emerson says if divinities are here, we don’t know it, but he might better rephrase it: We just don’t recognize the gods and demigods and heroes that surround us in our daily lives.

Every emergency worker who raced into those buildings that terrible day or worked to help victims or labored over recovery of any possible survivors was a hero ten times over. It was as if they reached inside the deep  …

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