Oh gods, I am really going to read this book. I have been avoiding it so hard for so long. Who knows? Maybe it will be good? Maybe it will actually be in the sweet spot that isn’t offensive and actually pretty readable. Time to Dive.
As Intro’s go that is a pretty good one. A serious, intensive warning about awaking something inside you. Well worded and nicely ominous.
Then the story starts. My biggest impression is that I don’t like Percy. This could be bad. More to the point I liked that ominous warning tone, but it is getting twisted by the general tenor of Percy’s inner thoughts.
Wait, this sixth grade has a Latin teacher? He is going to a very expensive school! Man I wish! My options for languages didn’t start until 9th and then it was Spanish, more Spanish and Spanish again. One of the reasons I WENT to collage was to learn Latin. And I am calling it right now, Mr. Brunner is a plant. He is obviously there as a mythical figure. I can’t even really work out which one because it is all so vague, but he gets a paragraph of description so he is obviously important. Thus a Plant.
I did like that Percy accidently blows shit up like once a year on field trips. I wonder if they give a date on that or if it is at the same time every year. That would be a pretty neat detail and would at least partial explain THE MASSIVE chip on this kids shoulder.
I would also like to call it that Grover is a plant as he gets a description and the Tormenting red head does not. I feel like I have cracked some very lazy code. Damn it! Mrs. Dodds as well? Okay so we now have 3 mythical undefined entities hanging around this one very surly and unpleasant kid. This masquerade isn’t going very well. Since I have cracked the secret of the descriptive paragraph I feel I will lose a lot of suspense.
HEH! Grover knows Mrs. Dodds isn’t human and flat out tells Percy who glosses over it. So Grover and Mrs. Dodds are on opposite sides of whatever. Now does that mean Mr. Brunner is neutral?
The plot starts up with everyone going on a field trip and Grover being picked on by a girl without a descriptive paragraph so she is obviously not a mythic character, just a pain in the ass. And she is being stupid mean and cruel for utterly no reason.
On the Field trip Mr. Brunner is showing them a Steele and forcing Percy to tell what it depicted. And Percy goes more off the rails for me here but before that lets look at the Myth happening at us! First mention of Chronos on a Stele the story is oddly conflated with Ouranos. I mean I get why we aren’t going to be discussing castration in a kids book, but there are several other ways of going about this that leaves the two stories separate. I wonder if the author is doing that on purpose (Hopeful) or just didn’t know any better (Cynical).
The dyslexia is mentioned in a very poor me kinda way. I am not liking Percy at all. How DARE someone expect you to be GOOD at something! Or gods forbid even worse, Better! Either Percy is a jack ass OR he has some serious trauma, Emotional Abuse and Neglect would be my guess so far. With his temper… maybe.
I was excited to hear he had Dyslexia when I heard about this story because of a really neat fun fact. The Greek Alphabet is one of the few Alphabets that actually bypasses Dyslexia. It is just pictographic enough that it doesn’t engage the part of the brain where the Latin letters are stored so for decades one of the “treatments” for Dyslexia was learn ancient Greek. And as someone who has it and was introduced to the amazing awesomeness that was learning Greek, I was hoping for a bit more discussion on this as it was one of the few things I knew about going into the story. When I learned Greek it took over my writing style and reading. I still write better in Greek letters than I do in Latin though I will admit I have forgotten most of my greek. ☹ But I was hoping for something a little more nuanced. For some reason.
Anyway back to our story and I am going to go with abused protagonist. Why is he in boarding school? That does explain the sixth grade Latin teacher pretty well. Ms. I-Am-Not-Important is being a world class bitch and tries to get Grover in trouble and Percy gets very mad. Then The water up and grabbed Ms. Not-A-Myth, throwing her to the ground and she blames Percy. Hmmm. I like it as a power introduction. Feels very Harry Potter and the glass at the reptile room to me, but it is a forward things are happening and at least he didn’t drown her.
As punishment Mrs. Dodds drags Percy into the room where the Stele is and proceeds to give a little speech indicating he is in deep shit and if he would just come clean, everything would be fine. Then she morphs and Hey a Harpy! Playing as a Hound of Zeus even! Solid points! The reason I think she is playing a Hound of Zeus is her use of pronouns, that she isn’t really doing any of this of her own accord.
Then Mr. Brunner runs in, throws Percy a pen that transforms into a sword and he manages to kill the harpy with one lucky stroke. Um. Wait. No. Percy is dead. Dead, dead, dead. Harpies aren’t easy to kill at all. Maybe the blade has been coated in Hydra Poison? I can live with that. Anyway the Harpy that was playing Mrs. Dodds explodes into a weird yellow dust (Opens mouth, runs thru arguments in head, repeats the MSTK Mantra, Closes mouth)
After Mrs. Dodds explodes in Sulfur dust (!?!) Percy heads back outside to a world where no one knows Mrs. Dodds existed and there is a cheery Mrs. Kerr instead.
I will admit I am worried about Percy’s Mental Health, Why the hell he is at a boarding school and really really hoping he gets better as I am not fond of being in his head.