Just over a month ago, I wrote about Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. I said it was a great series to read post-Harry Potter and commended Riordan for his writing and creative take on mythology.
And then I read his sequel series, Heroes of Olympus, and was bored out of my mind.
I originally read book one, The Lost Hero, shortly after my first reading of the PJO series, but I couldn't remember a dang thing (except that there are also - spoiler alert - Roman demigods). Reading it again, I can see why I abandoned the series last time. There are a lot of elements that feel like they've been regurgitated from the original series, and, even though the premise is fascinating, I thought the execution was okay. The multiple POVs weren't equally engaging for me (I skimmed most of Piper's parts).
I loved the differences between the Greek and Roman demigod camps, and thought the explanations of the different godly aspects was cool, but I just couldn't connect with most of the new characters in this series. While Leo eventually grew on me (but it literally took me until The House of Hades to like him), I could not care less about Frank and Hazel, and Jason, while a nice guy, was pretty "meh" for a hero. And then we had Piper who was the worst kind of YA heroine - pretty and powerful but spent the majority of her time griping because her boyfriend DARED to be interested in another girl before they ever met. (That other girl, by the way, Reyna? SHE WAS SO MUCH COOLER THAN PIPER).
Technically, this series is YA whereas PJO is middle grade, but the only difference was that there was a hint more romance. While I was all for the Percy/Annabeth moments (especially in The House of Hades) Frank/Hazel seemed weirdly intense considering their age (Hazel's thirteen), Jason/Piper were even more boring together than they were on their own, and Leo is the seventh wheel until the end (his romantic plotline is really cute, though, so that's okay). And then there's Nico (who I've always liked) whose character development was one of the most interesting parts of the series' latter half.
While Heroes of Olympus are a decent read, they felt like a chore to get through because they're huge and they drag forever, but they also give us a glimpse into the lives of PJO characters after the battle against Kronos, and for that reason, I'd say give them a shot.