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Demigods and Monsters is a compilation of comprehensive essays about anything related to the world Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. It features the insights of eight famous authors (Rosemary Moore, Cameron Dokey, Paul Collins, Carolyn MacCullough, Ellen Steiber, The Gods Among Us, J&P Voelkel, Jenny Han, Sarah Beth Durst, Hilary Wagner, Hilari Bell, Elizabeth E. Wein, Kathi Appelt, Sophie Masson, Nigel Rodgers) regarding the series. And guess what? Rick Riordan himself wrote the introduction. That was just WOW.
I really appreciated what Rick wrote in the Intro that it served as my fire of inspiration to read through the whole book. Mind you, I’m not a sucker for overly technical papers that you’d just die of boredom. But this has totally changed my whole perspective of reading essays and of looking at books on a general note. I just couldn’t believe that these authors could come up with a lot of takes with a supposed-to-be straightforward series. You know what, the book actually gave me this feeling of being with a wizened man and he is telling me, “ You are only seeing the outside… Look closer…read closer.” I hope you get what I mean.
From now on, I am most certain that I will look at books at a different level. It’s like stepping outside of your comfort zone and just absorb the most extraordinary things that could happen. And then finally, putting it into writing. The essays that have been featured in this book cover the following:
• Newbie guide to recognizing a monster
• Monster in the retail world- Why should one take caution even when buying a donut?
• Fulfilling a heroic destiny even when one is suffering from a handicap
• Choosing between a life of being forever young and immortal; or being old and wrinkly
• Valid reasons of choosing an almost mad god to run a kid’s summer camp
• How gods and goddesses affect our daily lives?
• How would Percy Jackson fare when faced with other mythological monsters
• Do you really want a god or a goddess to become one of your parents?
• Evaluation of the parental skills of the gods and goddesses
• Just because one rules the World of the Dead doesn’t mean he is wholly bad
• A comparative study between the heroes of the past and of today
• Having a handicap could very well mean that one is destined to fulfill extraordinary things
• The dangers of foreseeing the future- Do you really want to be a seer?
• Stories of the past would always be alive if we continue to believe in it… influenced by it
• Comprehensive glossary of ancient greek myth
How good is that? And the good thing is that the essays did not give any lifeless accounts of the author’s views. Instead, I was treated to amusing reminisces of the PJ scenes that I love and provided me with equally hilarious new stuff to think about. My favorite essays from this compilation would that be of MacCollough about being a hunter for Artemis and that of Wagner’s take on Hades’s and Nico’s side of heroic goodness.
Would I recommend this book? ABSOLUTELY! This book is a perfect enlightenment for those who want to look closer, to imagine beyond the realms of what was written in the pages. If you are an aspiring book analyst, book reviewer, or a student cramming to get his/her books essays right, then this book is a must.