On Percy Jackson and the Olympians

Why Do So Many Monsters Go Into Retail?

And How Come They’re Never Selling Anything a Demigod Really Wants?

By Cameron Dokey

It’s not easy being a young demigod.

Just ask Percy Jackson. He can tell you.

Always assuming he has time to catch his breath between pursuing a quest or being pursued by the forces of evil hot on his trail, sometimes literally breathing down his neck right behind him.

In Shakespeare, there’s a stage direction that reads: Exit, pursued by a bear. (I am not either making this up. You can look it up for yourself if you want to. It’s in The Winter’s Tale, Act III, scene 3. And you thought Shakespeare was just some stuffy dead guy.)

But my point, and I do have one, is that the character in Shakespeare had it lucky. At least he knew it was a bear behind him. Whenever Percy Jackson flees the scene, he never knows what shape the thing after him might take. That’s one of the challenges of being chased by monsters. And that’s not all. Equally challenging may be the fact that Percy also never really knows what’s up ahead. Friend or foe. Battle or temptation.

Which pretty much brings me to the topic of this essay: Just what is it about monsters and shopping?

There are a lot of monsters in Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. There are also a surprising number of opportunities for shopping. Action, adventure, Greek gods, retail therapy. Not your ordinary combo. Not that much about Percy falls within the realms of the usual.

An ordinary demigod? I just don’t think so.

But on almost every quest Percy  …

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