Harry Potter versus Percy Jackson

HarryvsPercy

artemisiconYes, I’m going there. These two series, for one reason or another, always go hand in hand. I think I even made that reference on an older review. So, in this blog, I’d like to see how these two powerhouse book series hold up to each other.

Harry potter is a coming of age story about a young Wizard who attends a magical school. Percy Jackson is a coming of age story about a young demi-god who attends a summer camp for other half-bloods. So, broken down to the bare bones these two series are practically identical.

I think to really illustrate the differences we need to look at the writers. JK Rowling is, a woman. Not only that, she was a mother down on her luck. Even though it is a kids book, a lot of issues and feelings she had went into the book. And the more the series went on, the stronger those themes became. Rick Riordan, a man. Normally I don’t bring gender into play (unless it’s a feminism thing) but getting a female and a male look at very similar topics is interesting. Riordan based Percy on his son, who was dyslexic, so his son could see proper representation (I do believe, I heard this YEARS ago so I’m hoping my memory isn’t too fuzzy), and Percy’s attitude and humor are very male. I don’t know how to explain it better than boys around age 10 can see themselves, and/or someone they can idolize. His earlier books are also “light and fluffy” compared to the feet first dive Rowling took into angst. This difference in style, to me, is what made both books interesting in their own rights. Riordan grew throughout his series and can pack in the feels just as well as Rowling our Queen.

Another big difference is with Harry Potter we got a nail biting 7 books, but with Riordan we got 17 and counting. So Riordan gets to tell MORE of a story, build his world, bring in other character, other mythologies. In the case of Rowling, she told her story, and that was that. In this aspect I think Riordan’s is stronger because he has a cash cow and an audience to keep growing with. While Rowling’s story was phenomenal, the story is said and done, and even though we get fantastic beasts and where to find them movies – those aren’t books.

And speaking of movies, the Harry potter movies are some of the greatest book-to-movie adaptations, and I know I’m wearing a big “FIGHT ME” sign for saying this. But, Rowling had a hand in everything to do with the movies, and any change had to go through her. So if she’s okay with the movies, then that’s good enough for me. Percy Jackson movies …we don’t talk about the Percy Jackson movies.

Another big difference between the books seems to be their emotional focus. Studies have been done proving that kids who grew up reading Harry Potter are more political, conscious of fake news, accepting of differences, among other great traits. The book has elements of man vs self, but the main story is man vs man. Go over to Riordan’s books and they have elements of man vs man, but it’s strength lies in the man vs self. I’ve talked about one of his newest series, Magnus Chase, about how progressive it is, so if you’d like to read that review it is back in the list! But Riordan brings up topics of betrayal, racism, sexism, transphobia, just to name a few! I’m a big reader, and I’ve never read books that cover THIS many issues. And this well! On this topic, I believe BOTH series need to be read for a well-rounded view.

One note, prepare for a Greek History enthusiast. My boyfriend’s daughter is a huge Percy Jackson fan and spent $50 on a giant hardcover Greek Mythology coffee-table book.

Both books are incredible (stay away from the Percy Jackson movies, as much as I adore Logan Lerman, just no.) and deserve a read, both for their big differences, and their similarities.

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