The Party Ponies Invade
I’m a little late on posting this entry, mainly because I wasn’t sure quite how to go about it. I’ve definitely enjoyed reading the Percy Jackson series so far. I’ve especially loved seeing another writer’s take on Greek mythology in the modern world. Yet this particular chapter just didn’t work for me. Don’t hate me, but I’m about to get all complainy. (Yeah, I said “complainy.” I’m makin’ it a word and you can’t stop me!)
Was I just in a bad mood when I read it and judged it harshly? I’m not sure. I can say that the “party ponies” are a big part of why I didn’t like it. I realize that Chiron did mention at the beginning of the book that he was headed to Florida, but their use here really does feel like a deus ex machina. Granted, even a deus ex machina can sometimes work, but in this case I felt a little cheated.
Okay, so I get that Percy and the gang can’t get out of everything on their own, especially at this stage. Might I have complained if they managed to escape from Luke and his goons on their own a second time? When I ponder that question, I’m forced to answer that yes, I probably would have, and so, rationally, I know that it’s not really fair for me to complain that they get rescued. And yet, here I am.
Maybe part of it is that I just don’t really like the “party ponies” themselves. The term itself is something of a joke, and their portrayal as being party/stoner types just made it hard for me to take them seriously, which made their storming what’s essentially Luke’s stronghold feel incongruous and cheap.
Maybe I’m being hypocritical here. After all, I’m the guy who wrote a book where a giant sundae god named Baskin battles Ares at one point. (See right.) But that question could probably take up an entire post, so I’ll let it be for now.
The rest of the chapter just felt a bit bland. (Again, it’s possible my mood at the time I read it may have affected this.) It’s always nice to see Chiron. But aside from some exposition, there wasn’t much there. I was, initially, a bit surprised at the reveal that Kronos is Chiron’s father, as I didn’t know that. I admit that I know very little about Chiron from the mythology, so it could be mythologically accurate; or a detail Riordan just tweaked for his own purposes. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that! I’ve done such tweaking myself after all. Stories evolve.)
But that surprise, for me, was short-lived. Even if Kronos is Chiron’s son, in the world of Greek myth that doesn’t really count for much. Sons and fathers aren’t guaranteed to get along. Look at Luke and Hermes. For that matter, most of the pantheon is related to Kronos. Zeus is Kronos’s son. So is Poseidon, which makes Percy Kronos’s grandchild along with all of the gods spawned from Zeus’s generation. You can see where I’m going here.
On the other hand, in the context of why people might have suspected Chiron for poisoning Thalia, it’s at least a valid reason, even if it is somewhat circumstantial. Yet to end the chapter on that revelation seems to imply that it’s meant to be a shocking, Vader-is-Luke’s-father moment (er, different Luke), and in that context it seems a little lacking.
And on the heels (hooves?) of the party ponies, it just didn’t work for me.
I really hate being this negative. I really do like this series! Maybe having enjoyed the series so much up to this point just made me raise my standards? Perhaps I’m judging too harshly. Just know that it doesn’t at all diminish my eagerness to get to the next chapter (I need more hours in the day!), to see how the book finishes up, and to find out what’s next for this series.