Author: Rick Riordan
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians #3
Date: May 2007
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When the goddess Artemis goes missing, she is believed to have been kidnapped. And now it's up to Percy and his friends to find out what happened. Who is powerful enough to kidnap a goddess? They must find Artemis before the winter solstice, when her influence on the Olympian Council could swing an important vote on the war with the titans. Not only that, but first Percy will have to solve the mystery of a rare monster that Artemis was hunting when she disappeared—a monster rumored to be so powerful it could destroy Olympus forever.
Reviewed by: Mary
The Titan’s Curse is the only book in the series that doesn’t start at the beginning of summer, and it actually starts in the middle of the action in a way that made me wonder if I had accidentally missed a chapter somewhere. Even the introduction of Blackjack (the black pegasus) feels like there was a piece missing in between. The opening feels a little out of place with the rest of the series, but it very quickly comes together and begins to feel like home. Or, rather, feel like Camp Half Blood.
One thing that’s difficult about the series is that there are so many characters, and The Titan’s Curse introduces many more. We met Thalia only briefly so now we’re getting to know her at the same moment that we meet Bianca and Nico Di Angelo, two new halfbloods. There’s also the appearance of several more gods, including Apollo, and Artemis and her hunters. So it’s perhaps inevitable that because we’ve become so overloaded with characters that this is the book where it really starts to get heavy and not everybody makes it to the end of this quest.
The main story of the book is that Annabeth has been kidnapped, and shortly after Artemis is taken as well. Several of the Hunters team up with Grover and Percy to go rescue them. Once again, they have to trek across the width of America in pursuit of their quest, only this time the dangers are a little more dangerous and the series has started to grow a little older along with Percy. Now that Percy has been training and fighting for actual years you can believe everything just a little bit more.
As a resident of the Washington D.C. area, the scenes that take place at the Smithsonian museums were a special treat for me, at least until a battle starts to destroy priceless treasures in Air and Space. Why is it always Air and Space that hosts all the big battles in fiction? I suppose the Hirshhorn isn’t as interesting? Couldn’t we fight over something that could be replaced more easily? Like some of the stuff that’s recreations anyway?
Anyway, this book delves a lot more into the history of the Titans, the beings who ruled before the gods defeated them and set up their kingdom on Olympus. The sources of the conflicts of the series really start to come into focus, and the far reaching consequences of the gods’ actions are explored more fully. The first war between the gods and titans created everything that is happening now, and Riordan takes care to make their choices both good and bad. Percy also isn’t blindly accepting of what the gods do like several other characters, nor does he blindly reject anything either, like the villains. Which is part of what makes him such an enjoyable protagonist and makes this series so addicting.
I’ve been trying to decide which of the books I think is the weakest in the series, and at first I thought this might be my choice because the book really does feel like the middle of everything, which is rarely the most interesting. The villains aren’t as entertaining either, but Artemis, the Hunters, Zoe, and even Apollo are all interesting enough to make me still look back on it fondly.