Titles I've written about:
Percy Jackson and the Olympians:
The Lightning Thief (2005):
The book's wonderful chapter headings ("I Accidentally Vaporize My Pre-Algebra Teacher", "Grover Unexpectedly Loses His Pants", "I Become Supreme Lord of the Bathroom", "I Ruin a Perfectly Good Bus" and (my favorite) "I Battle My Jerk Relative"), brilliant character descriptions, and fresh and original action descriptions all made me wish I'd gone ahead and bought the sequel for super cheap when I had the chance.
The Sea of Monsters (2006):
Everything I said about The Lightning Thief still goes, and then some. Rick Riordan continues to come up with brilliant chapter headings, I continue to be reminded of the Harry Potter books, but again, only in basic structure. Percy & Co. meet Chiron's centaur relatives, and they are the complete opposite of the JKR centaur -- frighteningly enough, they reminded me of some guys I hung out with during my college years.
The Titan's Curse (2007):
So that's it for me, for now, I think. Until the next one comes out. By then, I'll have probably gotten over myself and I'll be ready for more.
The Battle of the Labyrinth (2008):
There's not a whole lot of emotional depth or character development, but it's a super-fun romp and a real up-swing from Book Three. I enjoyed this installment SO MUCH MORE than the last one. I'm back on the Percy Jackson train, and I'm so happy about it!
The Last Olympian (2009):
Looking back, I find that surprise on page 296 less satisfying. Like the death early on, the identity of the spy felt so calculated -- like the character was chosen specifically so that everything could be wrapped up with a nice big ribbon (and a double funeral) at the end. It didn't sit right with me. And the more I think about it, the more dissatisfied I am.
Heroes of Olympus:
The Lost Hero (2010):
The Lost Hero has the same formula as the early Percy Jackson books: Two boys and a girl on a quest that takes them all over North America; all three of them are fated to be gamechangers, but not necessarily in a good way; the hero—son of one of the Big Three—and the girl have romantic tension while the second boy is the comic relief. Lots of adventure, action, and humor, but the highlights for me, as always, are Riordan's re-imaginings of the Greek (and now, Roman) gods, heroes, monsters and villains.