Book: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
“You must forge your own path for it to mean anything.”
I absolutely loved the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, and I was super excited to check out Heroes of Olympus since it’s a sequel series. Needless to say, I was not disappointed. (Read: I devoured this 553 page novel in 2 hours. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s only for kids.)
This story takes off with teenager Jason Grace, who wakes up one day on a bus to the Grand Canyon having no recollection of who he is or who his Piper and Leo are, though they certainly seem to remember him. Upon arriving at the Grand Canyon they are attacked by evil storm spirits and are only saved by a satyr that they believed was their human coach. They are soon picked up by a girl named Annabeth and it is soon revealed that none of them are mere mortals. They are demigods, children of the ancient Greek (and Roman) gods, and have special abilities due to their godly parents. Jason, a son of Jupiter, has powers over the wind and sky. Piper, a daughter of Aphrodite, has the persuasive speech power called “charmspeak.” Leo, a son of Hephaestus, has power over fire and incredible mechanically-inclined brain. A prophecy is revealed to them, and they are assigned a quest to save the goddess Hera who has been kidnapped by a giant. In their quest they fight monsters, learn new information about an even larger scheme beyond just Hera’s kidnappers, and create an unshakable bond of friendship.
This book is great for adolescents (and adults too)! It is full of the awkwardness that comes with growing up and making friends. It deals with challenges of how to work as a team, accepting your own faults, and appreciating the strength in others. It is also filled with captivating adventure that teens are sure to enjoy. It is the first book in the sequel series, The Heroes of Olympus, that follows Riordan’s early series Percy Jackson and the Olympians. While PJO is written in first person from Percy’s eyes and coming from the perspective of a middle schooler, HoO is written from a third person viewpoint and each chapter follows a different character. It is written with language geared towards a slightly older audience and has a darker tone as the team is faced with more dangerous and hopeless situations than before. While in PJO there is suspense and danger, there is also always a sense of hope and the knowledge. In HoO, Riordan instills a very real fear into readers about the outcome of the plot and leaves many wondering what could possibly go wrong next. It’s a fantastic adventure.
Beverage: Ambrosia (and a Long Island Ice Tea. Kinda)
I’ll start by saying this: I tried to drink a Long Island Ice Tea. Relevance? Camp Half-Blood, where Greek demigods train, is located in Long Island. So I thought, why not! It was a mistake. A grave and terrible mistake. (*Disclaimer: It could have just been this bar specifically. Don’t go to the Barcade on W. Elizabeth St. for a Long Island ice tea.) It was one of the strongest “mixed” drinks I’ve ever had. I took two sips and gave up, and that’s saying something coming from me.
So I moved onto a drink called Ambrosia! It goes like this:
- 1/4 c. coconut rum
- 2 Tbsp fresh orange juice
- 2 Tbsp fresh pineapple juice
- Splash of grenadine
- garnish with marshmallows and/or cherries
This one was a lot friendlier to the palette with a sweet, fruit cocktail taste to it. I generally don’t care much for orange juice or pineapple juice, but having that splash of grenadine really balances it out. It’s not very alcoholic, so it makes for a good drink to have if you’re out and about and just drinking for the social aspect and not to get schnockered.
So why ambrosia? In Greek mythology, ambrosia was considered to be the food of the gods. In PJO and HoO, we see ambrosia used as a healing food to revive wounded demigods. However, if too much is consumed the demigod could burn up entirely. The past few weeks have been pretty rough on me, so it made sense that a little ambrosia might be a good pick me up.