Yes, I know. Rick Riordan isn’t a book. How can I review him? Well, the answer, plain and simple, is that I can’t choose just one book, so I thought I would compare and contrast his Young Adult series Percy Jackson & The Olympians Boxed Set The Complete Series 1-5 and his wonderful Adult Tres Navarre books, starting with Big Red Tequila.
For about a month now, I have been reading nothing but Rick Riordan. It started because we were reading the gentleman for the October meeting of the Georgetown Mystery Readers. I originally decided to read one of the YAs because I knew most of the group would be focusing on the Adult mysteries, but part of the reason we had chosen him as an author was his versatility.
I picked up The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1) because I like to start at the beginning of a series, and by the time I was four or five chapters in, I had the rest of the series downloaded into my Kindle. These are a great introduction to Mythology in my opinion. Mr. Riordan flirts with us, teasing with bits of myth that sound hauntingly familiar, and yet show us a fresh perspective on old friends. And, honestly, despite a lifelong love of mythology and folklore, some of the creatures he mentioned made me make a mental note to look them up later because I was unfamiliar with them. The ability to arouse a desire to research in a reader is a rare gift. His premise of the Greek Gods moving shop to America as the seat of Western Civilization drifted across the Atlantic was intriguing and innovative. In short, I loved the series and bought all his remaining juveniles as a result. They are waiting in my Kindle, but I took a break to make sure I had read at least one of the adult mysteries before the meeting.
And so I met Tres Navarre. My first intro to Tres was Mission Road (Tres Navarre). This isn’t the first in the series…it is actually number 6 of 7…but one of the beauties of the writing is that you can read them out of order, and when you read the next it fills in gaps. Perhaps because it was the first I read, this one is my favorite. The weaving of flashback and present action; the doling out of information that only later takes on full significance; the character sketches that can bring a person to life in a paragraph or two — all of these skills are what makes Rick Riordan such a fabulous writer.
While I can surely see why his Young Adult novels continue to dominate the charts, I have to admit that I love Tres Navarre even more. So much so that I had to go into an actual bookstore to find the first four volumes that weren’t available for Kindle! 😉
I am currently reading Rebel Island (Tres Navarre), and dreading the end of it because it is the last of the Tres Navarre series. Last time my mother met Mr. Riordan at a Mystery Writer’s event, she scolded him soundly because he had abandoned Tres. I hope it isn’t for long. For now, I’ll have to settle for more mythology. Luckily I have the Roman and Egyptian series to go.
Tres Navarre books in order: