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Book review: 'Camp Half-Blood Confidential' brings fans into the Percy Jackson world

Posted May 7

"CAMP HALF-BLOOD CONFIDENTIAL: Your Real Guide to the Demigod Training Camp," by Rick Riordan, Disney-Hyperion, $9.99, 192 pages (f) (ages 8 and up)

Any fan of Rick Riordan’s Lightning Thief series has probably wanted to wake up one day and find themselves a demigod, being swept away to the legendary Camp Half-Blood to be trained for a quest. Riordan’s novels have created a place where children can feel a sense of belonging, alongside the knowledge that, if you’re different, that likely means you are special and meant for something bigger than your peers.

“Camp Half-Blood Confidential: Your Real Guide to the Demigod Training Camp” offers itself to readers as a vehicle to dive even further into Percy Jackson’s world. In this companion book to the Lightning Thief series, Percy and Chiron, the immortal centaur advisor of the camp, commission several campers from throughout the series to explain different elements of the camp to incoming demigods.

According to Percy, previously the only orientation given to campers was a ridiculously over-the-top theatrical tour video that was written, produced, directed by and starred Apollo himself. However, apparently the video ended up being more of an ode to Apollo’s beauty and grace than a camper orientation, so Percy and Chiron decided to make a booklet to help new campers navigate both the video and Camp Half-Blood.

Several characters from across Riordan’s books offer commentary. Pete the Palikos, the geyser spirit from Riordan’s new series, the Trials of Apollo, provides campers with realtor-like descriptions of the various buildings and sites of interest, from the Big House to the Athena Parthenos. Rachel Elizabeth Dare, the newest Oracle of Delphi, explains what her role is and what her transition was like. Annabeth Chase gives a tour of the new cabins she designed, while several other characters tell personal stories, share camp legends and spill Half-Blood secrets.

This guide is a fun read that is perfect for any Riordan fan. It pulls you in and makes you feel as though you are a part of the action. It also tells more of those signature modern-day twists on Greek god stories that weren’t included in previous books. Tying together the Lightning Thief with various spin-off series, in this book, the characters give a new view on Camp Half-Blood because they speak to readers as friends and companions. However, because of those tie-ins, the guide is best suited for those well-read in Riordan’s works.

Though it is a bit over the top with sarcasm and humor (especially when featuring scenes with Apollo), “Camp Half-Blood Confidential” is a fun spin on the demigod universe that any Percy Jackson lover will enjoy.

This book contains no profanity or sexual content, and only mild references to violence.

Email: mhulse@deseretnews.com

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