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The american version of a greek Percy Potter - ähhh Jackson
am 25. Februar 2012
Well it is kind of hard to argue against the case, that this is Harry Potter doing the Olympus style now. It is all there and the similarities in the details are all too obvious to be overlooked:
- The protagonist, Percy (Harry Potter) seems to be the chosen One - a fact which he has still to prove.
- To his side are two friends. Even the gender is similar, a male and a female. And the age to everybodies surprise is also the same, which makes it an adolescent trio. Needless to stay they save each others lives on countless occasions. Even the trademarks of the characters are the same. The young girl is smart and witty. The Hero shows extraordinary bravery together with a huge portion of sheer luck in the moment of greatest need. And the supportiv one, who is like glue between the two. Isn't that perfect - no shame in copying to the very last detail.
- The human world and the humans (Muggles) don't see the Demi-gods (wizzards) for what they are. They (the humans) do live in comfortable and blessful ignorance to this parallel world.
- But as a good Demi-God (Wizzard) you are not allowed to do any "funny stuff" in the open, let alone against humans.
- Percy / Harry is more or less an orphan. At least the parents are unable to communicate or to help - save a few exceptions.
- Because Percy / Harry is the chosen One certain features come to him naturally, which require otherwise a great deal of expert knowledge or special capabilities, which you see rarely. Like Percy can controle the water - without really wanting to. On occasion he proves to be an expert swordsman, etc. Harry, on the other Hand is fluent in parsletongue and an expert duelist - there you go.
- For that very reason he surpasses impossible odds and in the moment of greatest danger he always wiggles out somehow.
- The evil side remains very much in the dark and may not be spoken out aloud. "He who must not be named" is now "The Kindly Ones".
- Harry and Percy are plagued by dreams, Fortune-Tellers and Oracles which show him dark places and sinister ends, but never really unveil the whole truth, so that a mystery and a slim ray of hope always remains.
- And while Harry atttends Hogwarts School of witchcraft and wizzardry, Pery attends Camp Demi-God.
- There are of course also different teams or fractions in this school and the sorting hat is now replaced by the gods symbol, which hovers glowingly above the delinquents head. I really must say, it is similar if not identical to a degree which makes you almost laugh out laud.
- And while the good staff at school takes all the blame and must flee the scene (Dumbledore / Charion) the idiots and inhuman beaurocrats take over school management (Umbridge / Dionysos and Tantalus). And that of course brings countless problems for our hero.
- Evil is neither dead nor alive, but in both cases becomes ever more powerfull. And the whole community of wizzards / Demi-Gods is split in half as to wich side they pledge their allegiance.
- Ahhh, and the cloak of invisibility is now, since we are in America, the Cap of invisibility.
But now I have to promise myself to stop counting the identical framework because the whole book is basically plagiarism and there is literally no end to it. The fact of the matter is that Mr Rick Riordan took ancient Greek mythologie and knittet it together with J.K. Rowlings succesfull recipe and out came "The Olympians". And when I say "copy" I mean it - word for word almost.
Another thing I came about is Mr Riordans stand on idiology, which is rather obvious if you read between the lines:
He considers the US to be the best Country in the West - therefore, almost naturally the Greek Good nowadays do live in the US (Zeus: Empire State building, Hades: L.A., etc.)
Germany and Russia were influenced by the evil powers of some very powerful demi-goods. How conveniant is that to explain world-politics.
Also Americans and Canadians have a very speciall relationship - they pick on each other quite a bit. When some brutish cannibalistic monsters show up the shortes way to describe them would be to call them "Canadians" - hähähähä. I found this to be really funny.
Also Mr Riodan seems to have grown particularly fond of Mexican food. Some monsters smell like "Skunks, who have fed on Mexican food". Also a good one.
So all the clichees are beeing served properly!!!
But the whole copy critque may sound harsher than it is. The story in itself if funny, smart and in itself not redundant to Harry Potter. And that was in the end what kept me going to put up with this otherwise blatant copy right violation. It must be mentioned thought, that the storyline of the british Harry Potter series is somewhat more mystique and suspensful than his american version.
And there is another interesting story behind the plot. Mr Riordan's son is dyslectic and diagnosed with a severe case of Attention deficit hyperactiv disorder (ADHD). So Percy shares the same traits. In the human world a huge setback and a reason why he gets expelled from every school he attends. In the Greek God-World those symptoms are of great advantage and almost expected if not required of a demi-god. By the way, Riordan is a teacher and guess what he teaches - yes, Greek mythology. This book came about when he told bedtime stories to his son. He worked with what he had at hand, a Potter plot and his knowled of Greek history and mythology. And I guess his son didn't mind the similarities to the Potter plot. By the way, he implemented himself in the story as well - not only his son who can relate to Percy given his medical condition. Rick Riordan is personified by the Centaure called Chiron. A teacher like himself, who made teaching his live-obligation and sacrifided a lot for that. Almost like a swan song - a belief which is also derived from ancient Greek. By the way, this teacher has grown particularly fond of Percy and has become his mentor and saviour at times.
The reason that this american version of Harry Potter is rightfully not remotly as successful as the original story might be the only explanation why Rowling did choose not the sue this american fake version of her story. It would have given Riodan too much attention, which he does not deserve.
To write a book is art. And in that department the human creative process is something which is sacred - legal issues aside. Therefore I do not like Riodan's achievement of blending J.K. Rowlings story into Greek Mythologie. But while the overarching framework is a blatant copyright violation the stories and the events happening in itself seems to be genuine ideas.
The Olympian series is fun to read and adresses pretty much all ages from 8 years on. The writing style is fast paced and the humor is there. Still one notch down compared to the english sibling and therefore it must do with 4 stars, which are solid, though. Because I do despice the stealing of other peoples creative processes I deduct another point. So my verdict stands at 3.