“The most dangerous flaws are those which are good in moderation.”
Disclaimer: This post contains spoilers for the first three books in Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series (The Lightening Thief, The Sea of Monsters, and The Titan’s Curse). If you’re planning on reading these, but haven’t yet, steer clear.
First thing’s first: I loved The Titan’s Curse so much more than its predecessors. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the first two books. But The Titan’s Curse kept me rushing back to it on work breaks, eager to see what happened next, in a way that the previous books never managed. Rick Riordan’s plotting and characterization improve more noticeably with each book in this series, and this installment truly nailed in my love for Percy Jackson.
The Titan’s Curse immediately throws readers into the action, opening with Percy on a mission to retrieve two new half-bloods Grover has discovered. He, Annabeth, and Thalia are supposed to bring the siblings to Camp Half-Blood, but the plan goes awry when Artemis shows up and Annabeth gets kidnapped. Though the goddess Artemis promises to save Annabeth, she soon goes missing as well. Based on a prophecy from the Oracle, the camp elects five people to travel across the country to save her, and if you’ve read this, you know the rest!
The first thing that really struck me while reading The Titan’s Curse was that it feels much less predictable than Riordan’s past books. The plot is paced well, and it kept me guessing more than I expected it to. I enjoyed trying to determine which parts of the prophecy applied to which characters, and it made the journey feel like a puzzle to be put together.
Character development in this installment is also top notch. We witness Percy’s growth, eventually accepting his fate and attempting to take control of it. We watch Thalia and Zoe morph from semi-unlikable characters to ones we’d 100% cry over at the end. We even see a glimpse of Luke’s humanity, when he won’t kill Annabeth, a moment I thought was extremely well-written. All of these scenes come together to make Riordan’s cast feel less like stereotypes and more like real people. I’m beyond invested in their stories now.
That said, I still found some of the characters’ actions to be less than believable. Bianca’s immediate willingness to leave her younger brother, whom she’s looked after for years, struck me as a tad unrealistic. And Percy’s relationship with his mother always leaves me with an off feeling, though I can’t place exactly what about her feels unnatural.
The ending of The Titan’s Curse gives readers a lot to think about, and on that count, I thought it was pretty fantastic. We finally meet all of the gods when Percy visits Olympus, probably one of the best scenes in the entire book. And the twist about Nico being a son of Hades is a well-played one, one that will probably influence the rest of the story somewhat dramatically.
That’s really all I have to say about The Titan’s Curse! I gave it a 4 out of 5 star rating on Goodreads. I’m looking forward to finishing these books, though Tower of Dawn is taking up most of my time currently. Have you guys read this book? What did you think of it?