What’s Next For Rick Riordan?

070517_LightningThief_vmed_11a[1]Note: This post has not been endorsed by Rick Riordan, his publishers, or anyone of the sort. That’s probably pretty obvious, but I don’t want anyone seeking official information about Riordan’s next projects to think I have all his secrets, since the title does seem to indicate that. I can’t read his mind, alright?

All readers probably have at least a few memories of starting a book that eventually became a favorite. I know that I do. I remember, with ridiculous clarity, beginning Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, The Hobbit, and The Importance of Being Earnest. And I remember beginning Percy Jackson and the Olympians Book I: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. I curled up in a comfy chair down in our basement and fell into the world of demigods. Here was a book that was funny, had a protagonist exactly my own age, and featured the Greek mythology I’d thought was cool since I was little. I think you can tell that I loved it.

Do I love it now? I’m not so sure.

When I think of some authors, certain phrases come to mind. For example, Christopher Paolini makes me think, “Just because you can get published in your teens doesn’t mean you should.” OK, OK. I made that saying up. But seriously, “Too much of a good thing can be bad for you.” makes me think of Riordan.

The biggest reason I loved The Lightning Thief was the concept: the Greek gods and goddesses are real and still alive today, and sometimes they have children with mortals. I still think it’s a brilliant concept. As far as I know, no one else wrote about that before Riordan.

But Riordan didn’t end such stories with Greek mythology. The Heroes of Olympus series thumbnailCAN2GP5Xdeals with Roman mythology while the Kane Chronicles is about Egyptian mythology.

He keeps recycling the same idea of “the gods are real”, so what is next for Rick Riordan?

Well, he plans to release the first book in his Norse mythology series, title yet unknown, in 2015. Thanks to the recent movies about the superheroes from Marvel comics there’s a lot of nerd-kid interest in Thor and Loki, gods and brothers in Norse mythology, so I’m sure his new series will be quite popular. I admit that I’ll probably read the new books because I’m interested in Riordan’s version of Thor and Loki’s relationship.

But what will Riordan write about after Norse mythology? Several mythologies spring to mind, but the only one that seems likely is Celtic mythology – and I don’t think most people are very interested in that, or even know much about it. I know almost nothing about it aside from some stuff I learned in Maggie Stiefvater’s books and in some short stories about leprechauns. So why is that the only possibility? Because the other options would not be politically correct. The bits and pieces I’ve read of Chinese, Native American, and Hindu mythology are interesting, but it gets tricky because people still believe in those mythologies. It’s one thing to fictionalize a Greek god and write that Apollo has a bright red convertible; it’s quite another to make stuff up about someone’s cherished religious beliefs. Even if Riordan didn’t intend to make fun of them, it’s still dangerous ground. What’s next is that he’ll run out of possibilities.

In addition, I think that as they get older and find other, better books, Riordan’s fans will start to become disenchanted with his books. It’s pretty obvious to anyone not quite so invested in the series that they’re all repeats of what came before, with just the characters’ names and settings changed. Then again, that means you can’t be totally in love with his books because if you are you won’t want to hear any criticism against them. Sometimes I feel like I don’t have a lot to talk about book-wise anymore with my friend McKenzie, which is ironic considering that a mutual love of reading was what brought us together. She thinks Riordan is the bestest author ever and can’t understand why I don’t. (Meanwhile, I can’t understand why someone who loves high fantasy even more than I do has no interest in reading Tolkien’s books.)

7624272Oh, Mr. Riordan. Look, I think you have a lot of good things going for you. You’re very talented at retelling the stories of heroes as well as “updating” the gods to make them fit into our world better. You have a great sense of humor. But my gods, dude, move on already! I don’t think you’re going to like what happens next, because people will get fed up of reading the same story over and over.

I would love it if Riordan announced that he was writing something not about mythology at all. Before he wrote for kids, he wrote the Tres Navarre mystery series for adults, so maybe I’ll give those books a try someday because they’re different from his usual.

And now, fittingly, I’m off to finish a book called Mythology by Helen Boswell, which is thankfully not about convertible-owning gods and boys with pens that turn into swords.

This entry was posted in Books and Reading!, Nevillegirl's Adventures!, Non-Neville Posts, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to What’s Next For Rick Riordan?

  1. cait says:

    I only just read Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief (shockingly late, I know). I enjoyed it and I’ll probably snoop my way through the rest eventually, but I can understand the dilemma of just (re)writing the same concepts over and over. Of course, new generations of kids will grow up and sink their little teeth into his various series. I felt this way about John Flanagan and his Ranger’s Apprentice series (which was brilliant) as opposed to his Brotherband series (which was Ranger’s Apprentice in a different setting).

  2. Darell Frogknife says:

    Wow! You’ve been busy. I haven’t been here for awhile. Great pictures! You have an interesting perspective. Harriet says “meow!!!”.

  3. thehobbitauthoress says:

    Wonderfully written post! Thoroughly enjoyed reading this.

  4. Wren Ayola says:

    I really like all his books, but I can definitely see your point. I think of them as good, slightly fluffy books that I read when I need a laugh. It’s also interesting to study his technique, since I need to learn to smoothly work humor into my novels. While I disagree that his books are the same story every time, they do follow the same format and archetypes. They may be recycled ideas, but they’re fun to read, though sooner or later I agree that it’ll dry up for him, but by then he’ll be beyond rich. I’m also interested to see if he’ll write something other than mythology.

    • nevillegirl says:

      Yes, they’re good if you need a laugh. “Fluffy” is actually a good way to describe them – they keep you amused but they don’t make you think much.

      I wonder if he’s as rich as J.K. Rowling… *googles*

      • Wren Ayola says:

        Unlikely. J.K. Rowling is one of the richest people in the world, or so I’ve been told.
        I think I need to read fluff once and a while. All the books I read are so deep these days that I need a break. I

    • nevillegirl says:

      Me too. The Odyssey is interesting, definitely, because I like Greek mythology, but it’s nice to read something light too. (I have to read it for a school thing.)

      You… what? Some of your comment was cut off.

  5. Charley R says:

    He’s doing the Norse myths, eh? Well, I might just have to read them to have a go – I’ll be well out of Riordan’s age range by then, but I thought “The Lightning Thief” was fun (never quite got around to the other books, though, after the third one. My bad).

    That said, I know all the REAL myths. I’ll be able to pick him up on all the horrible inaccuracies (presuming there are any, he did pretty well with the Greek ones).

    I sound like Moriarty planning to absolutely shred the series at the next chance I get don’t I? I don’t, honest! I’m just on your side – too much of a good thing can be a bad one.

    Still, let’s give this Norse series a go, eh? We can snarl or squeal about it as we please!

  6. YESSSSSSS! First commenter!!!! … Ahem.

    I liked the Percy Jackson series. It was very exciting, enjoyable, and witty. I liked the characters a lot (especially Annabeth and Grover) and I really like Greek Mythology a lot more now that I’ve read that series.

    However, I didn’t like his other series. The first Kane Chronicle book was only OK for me and the other series (The Heroes of Olympus or something like that) was the same for me. He was recycling the same idea he used for Percy Jackson, he was trying too hard, and it got really old for me.

    Cool post! I wonder if his Norse Mythology book will be more of the same.

    • nevillegirl says:

      (Actually, more like the sixth or seventh! 😛 I’m just now getting around to approving all the comments…

      I think the Kane Chronicles are decent, but haven’t gotten any farther than about five chapters into the first Heroes of Olympus book. I still think he recycles ideas far too much, but at least Egyptian and Greek mythology aren’t too similar. Greek and Roman are have so much in common.

  7. I loved Percy Jackson, and I actually enjoyed the Kane Chronicles more(possibly because it’s main characters are more my age). However, it’d be nice to read something other then gods from him.
    And I’m going to try to read MYTHOLOGY. It sounds awesome!

  8. thewhisperingbook says:

    Dude, we are so on the same page about Riordan. PJO was good. Really good. Heroes of Olympus is lousy beyond belief (I only follow the series because I love Leo. Don’t even get me STARTED on the other characters. I don’t even like Annabeth and Percy in HoO!). I haven’t even read Kane Chronicles and I don’t want to. Riordan needs to go to a quiet place and meditate on an idea he hasn’t already used fifty trillion times before. (Norse gods? SERIOUSLY?)

    • nevillegirl says:

      I only read as much as I did of HoA (admittedly, only five chapters of the first book) because I liked Piper, but then the other characters got on my nerves so I stopped.

      • thewhisperingbook says:

        Sorry. I absolutely must get this off my chest. Don’t be insulted, I don’t mean it personally.

        Piper is a Mary-Sue. I cannot stand that (insert horrible word here). Jason, her darling boyfriend, is a Gary Stu. I cannot stand that (insert horrible word here).

        There. I feel better now. Sorry. Not really an opinion-insulter but some characters really aggravate me.

        XD

        • nevillegirl says:

          *isn’t insulted anyway* I still kind of like her… I don’t like her with Jason, but Leo just seemed like Percy all over again.

          • thewhisperingbook says:

            Did he? Leo seemed quite different than Percy. Percy is a heroic character. Leo’s more of a Sad Clown. Percy isn’t half as insecure as Leo is. That’s why I like him; Leo’s very real and convincing.

      • nevillegirl says:

        I think It just ticked me off that he was so hyperactive too. Not that it’s a bad thing – it’s just like, gods, Riordan, move on to something better!

  9. Liam, Head Phil says:

    Yep. Yep, yep, yep. Yepyepyep. Yipyipyip! *has unknowingly turned into a chihuahua*

    I agree. Riordan is a very good author, with a lot of very good ideas, but his stories fall into a formula too much for my liking. I have no doubt that the first three or five books of the Norse series will be reruns of the most famous stories from that time period, all about Asgard and Valhalla and the Valkyries and Thor and Loki. It won’t be different from his former works in anything but name. It will be funny, interesting, and unoriginal. He will continue to write well, but he will continue to write the same stuff he always has, and that’s a problem. I’d love to see him branch out a little, as, I think, would you. Good post.

    • nevillegirl says:

      *feeds Liam a doggie treat*

      I wondered what you thought of this post, since according to your About Me page he’s your favorite author. I’m glad you feel the same way. His books are OK in moderation, but if you were to read a bunch of them at once you’d start to go, “Whoooooa. Wait. Isn’t this what happened in the last book?”

  10. Pingback: Of Wizards & Demigods: In Which This Story Begins | The Fantasy Central Channel

  11. Pingback: Percy Jackson & The Olympians – The Sea Of Unexpected Character Revelations (And One Impressed Fan) | Musings From Neville's Navel

  12. Pingback: Third Time’s A Charm | Musings From Neville's Navel

  13. Cú Meala mac Morrígna says:

    “the only one that seems likely is Celtic mythology – and I don’t think most people are very interested in that, or even know much about it. I know almost nothing about it aside from some stuff I learned in Maggie Stiefvater’s books and in some short stories about leprechauns. So why is that the only possibility? Because the other options would not be politically correct. The bits and pieces I’ve read of Chinese, Native American, and Hindu mythology are interesting, but it gets tricky because people still believe in those mythologies. It’s one thing to fictionalize a Greek god and write that Apollo has a bright red convertible; it’s quite another to make stuff up about someone’s cherished religious beliefs.”

    First, there is a very large demographic that is quite knowledgeable about Celtic mythology–a demographic that has an expressed interest in popular fiction in which the gods of polytheist religion are treated with on equal footing to monotheistic religion. Second, to assert that no one these days has “cherished religious beliefs” regarding the Theoi Hellenismos, the Dei Romana, the Netjeru, the Aesir and Vanir, or the Sidhe is to express either ignorance of or cultural prejudice against the entire Pagan community, many of whom enjoy Riordan’s novels, even where the theology or portrayals of deity is problematic (it usually isn’t–even at his most comedic, Riordan usually does his homework, and generally captures the spirit of the gods quite well, and in some cases, actual religious practice–such as the ritual fire sacrifice performed at mealtimes at Camp Half-Blood).

What do you think? Share the musings from your navel!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.