Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Percy Jackson is cooler than Hercules - By Stephanie Burkhart

Logan Lerman as "Percy"

 I'm serious. Percy's hip. His father is Poseidon. Percy can bend the water to his will, and his sword, Riptide, shrinks into the smallest ballpoint pen ever. His mentor, Chiron, is half-human, half-horse, his best friend, Grover, is a satyr, Annabeth, his friend, is a daughter of Athena, and there's always a quest lurking around the corner.

I've read the first 3 books in the Olympian Series: The Lightning Thief, Sea of Monsters and The Titan's Curse and I've enjoyed them all.

So how did I get hooked on Percy?

I was looking for a book for my 4th grader to read that would challenge him and entertain him at the same time. Someone on the Amazon boards (believe it or not!) suggested Percy and loaned me The Lightning Thief. I gave it a try and I was hooked. What I loved about Percy was how he always rose to the occasion. Percy confronted his problems with honor and nobility in a way that my 4th grader could relate to. Percy was brave, courageous, adventurous and had a sense of humor. Percy also values his friendship with Grover and Annabeth and I liked how the book shows what having a true friend is all about.

Percy has ADHD and is dyslexic, but works hard to overcome those challenges in the "mortal" world. (In his demigod world, they are an asset.) These are challenges my 5 year old can related to with his sensory issues.

I bought the movie and sat down with the boys. They loved it. Andrew, my 4th grader, wanted to read the book so I got it for him. The Lightning Thief was the first book he devoured. When he was done, he told me the book was better than the movie. Here's hoping the 2nd movie, Sea of Monsters, (due out in March 2013) follows the book a bit more closely.

I also love the aspect that Percy Jackson has brought the Greek gods to a new generation of young readers in a fresh way to inspire their imagination.

Anastasia Steele, "Annabeth"

Question & Giveaway: Have you read Percy Jackson? Seen the movie? Have a favorite character? Can you guess who played "Zeus" in the movie?

Leave a comment with your email and I'll pick one lucky poster to win a PDF copy of "Danube in Candlelight." Just like Grover and Percy are best friends, so are Max and Adam from Danube in Candlelight. Enjoy this excerpt!

Adam turned toward the voice. His friend, Max Földi, sat underneath the awning of the Café Incognito, a known haunt for fine arts students. Adam had known Max since starting his studies at the university. Max was a tad shorter than Adam, with tight brown curls and hazel eyes. He was sharp and easygoing. Adam smiled and joined his friend at the table. The Dumas' bookstore was just a block north of the café.

"Max, what are you doing here?"
"I couldn't resist."
"Resist what?"

"I want to meet the woman you asked to lunch. I could tell from your voice that this one
is special."

Adam waved his hand in the air. He had dated several women over the past few years,
but none of them had made their way into his heart like Morgan had. "You are shameless. I haven't seen Morgan in years, so I expect you to find an excuse to let us have lunch -- alone."

"Oh, I will. I'm just curious about who this girl is."

The waiter approached. "What would you like, sir?"

Adam checked his watch. He still had another twenty minutes before he met Morgan. "I'll
have a cheese plate and some seltzer water."

"Are you looking forward to starting at the construction company?"

Adam raked a hand through his hair. There just was not enough time in the day. "Yes, but
I want to get an apartment here in the writers' district. I want to be closer to the feel of the city." "What do your parents think?"

Adam frowned. "I haven't mentioned it to them yet. I want to start my job before I tell

The waiter returned with Adam's cheese and waited while Adam paid him.

Max sipped his water. Something past Adam's shoulder caught his attention, and Adam
turned around also.

Zoltan Kristos strutted down the street, moving with purpose. The wind tousled his dark
brown hair. He wore a suit with a white shirt and a gray jacket. His eyes with the golden rings around the irises stood out. Eyes like Adam's.

"Say, isn't that Zoltan Kristos?" Adam sipped his water.

"The Minister of Reconstruction? I gather so," Max said. "I wonder what he's doing down here."

Max shrugged. "Maybe he's on his way to Parliament." "Or he's leaving. Horthy called a meeting today."
Max arched an eyebrow. "Interesting."

"What? The meeting?" Adam nibbled on some cheese.

"Horthy only calls for impromptu sessions when something needs his immediate

"I'm sure the papers will report on it soon."

Adam caught the scent of burning wood and glanced up.

"Do you smell that?" he asked.

Max wrinkled his nose. "Smoke."

"Or a fire." Adam turned around.

Smoke filtered out of the second story windows of the nearby Duma bookstore. "Oh,
no..." he whispered. His stomach knotted.


5 Stars, Reader's Favorite:
This story is the closest I have ever come to reading a book that feels like a movie!

4 Hearts, Sizzling Hot Book Reviews:
Once again, Stephanie Burkhart has touched my imagination and with her writing brings 1922 Hungary to life. Danube in Candlelight is a very romantic, yet spicy read. This is a must read if you enjoy the paranormal werewolf stories or even if you merely enjoy a great romance.

3.5 Stars, The Hope Chest Reviews:
Danube in Candlelight was a pleasant, easy read. Ms. Burkhart has created an interesting world with a mythology that is a little different than any other werewolf stories I've read to date, and the historical settings make them more intriguing to me than many contemporary paranormal stories.

5 Lips, Two Lips Reviews
I found the setting for Danube in Candlelight intriguing.The 1920 period Ms. Burkhart chose for this story lends it a wonderfully dynamic tempo. The discerning reader will not want to miss reading Danube in Candlelight; I highly recommend it.

Book Trailer on You Tube:










  1. Percy Jackson is WAY cool, Steph. My 4th grade nephew loves PJ stories. We're in the process of reading the second series of Olympian books and rereading the Sea of Monsters.

    BTW, Sean Bean plays Zeus and my favorite character is, naturally, Annabeth. She's so much smarter than Percy. LOL!

    1. Keena, you're a little ahead of me, but we'll catch up. hehe.

      Sean Bean makes a great Zeus. I have to admit, it's a great cast for the gods - Kevin McKidd as Poisden, Melina K as Athena, I was impressed. I'm looking forward to the 2nd movie, just hoping it follows the book a little better.


  2. Looking forward to the read, Steph. Thanks for sharing this book.

    1. Thanks for popping in Neecy.

  3. These sound like fantastic books and I can't believe this is the first time I've heard of them! Maybe because I don't have kids at home anymore, but I'll certainly be looking out for them x

    1. Suzie, the Percy books are a great read - even for fun. I enjoy them.

  4. Steph, I never heard of Percy, but then I don't have small kids. LOL But I love Stehanie Burkhart's books and agree with your great reviews. I haven't read Danube yet.

    1. Thanks for reading, Mona. Can't wait to get your thoughts on Danube. Keep Percy in mind for when your grandkids get a bit older. They'll really like Annabeth and Thalia.

  5. I loved the Percy Jackson books. I have read them all and I am enjoying the new "Roman" series that continues the stories. What initially drew me to the books was Percy's voice. I fell in love with his semi-sarcastic voice and the way he described his world. I think he is my favorite character from the books.

    I found the movie gravely disappointing. I didn't expect it to follow the book, but the adaptation captured nothing of the special attraction of the books. Usually I can find in the movie adaptation a least one ember of what originally drew me to the book, but I couldn't in this one.

    Sean Bean played Zeus, which I found interesting until I watched the movie. :/

    anavrea at yahoo dot com

    1. Rachel, I'm up to book #4, the Labrinth in the 1st series. I'll pick it up once I finish some books in my TBR pile. I want to read the 2nd series and the Egyptian one. And Riordon has plans for a Norst one that sounds really interesting!

      Yes, the movie, for me, was disappointing. The only "nice" thing was the great cast they selected to play the gods. I'm crossing my fingers the movie for Sea of Monsters is more interesting!


  6. I haven't seen Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, but it sounds like something I would adore. I see that several people supplied Sean Bean's name as the actor who portrayed Zeus. I enjoyed your excerpt and was sad to hear of any bookstore burning, even a fictional one!

    1. Maggie - Sean Bean was also "Eddard" in Game of Thrones. He did a great job in both roles hehehe.

      Yes, Katherine's "dream" to own and run a bookstore burns down. It's very sad. Katherine has to rebuild. The novel has a rebuilding theme. I tried to do a bunch of fire and shadows metaphors with the book, but I don't know if I was as successful as I would have liked to have been.


    2. Thanks all for popping in and sharing your thoughts on Percy. I'm always reading to gab about Percy and the Olympians so feel free to send me an email. :) Congrats to Rachel, winner of Danube in Candlelight.