Book Discussion: Should Authors “Leave Stuff” For Everyone Else To Write?

bd; leaving books rrSo this one is more of a book-and-writing discussion but as I don’t yet have a writing discussion post I thought it best to go for it here. This one springs up from Rick Riordan’s new book, Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer (which, by the way, I am super excited about and I nearly flipped when I got an email from Waterstones saying that my book had been shipped! Eeeeeek!!!! IT’S SIGNED!!! *ahem*).

Riordan has used Greek, Roman, Egyptian and now Norse myths in his humorous and entertaining novels, featuring teenage protagonist and aimed at the YA audience. His books are loved around the world (I completely adore them, too). And to be honest he could churn out book after book and I’m pretty sure most people would read them.

My friend, Jenny, when we were talking about Magnus Chase, said, “I love Rick Riordan, but I wish he’d leave some myths for other people to use.” (Or words to that effect.) I kind of agree. I adore the Greek and Roman histories and myths, and I do kinda wish I’d had the chance to write them, too.

But here’s the thing. There’s countless retellings of Cinderella, countless reboots of old myths, so is there really a problem if an author uses lots and lots of the old myths? Should they have to leave them, too?

What do you think? And do you like re-reading many different myths of the same thing from different authors? Is this topic really controversial? (Probably.)

Book Review: Percy Jackson and the Greek Gods by Rick Riordan

TITLE: Percy Jackson and the Greek Gods (originally Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods)
AUTHOR: Rick Riordan
PUBLISHER: Puffin Books (branch of Penguin)
NUMBER OF PAGES: 404 (not an error)
PRICE: £12.99 (hardback)
ISBN: 9780141355412
PERSONAL SOURCE: Bought from Waterstones

“Heartwarming, how the Olympian family got along.”

I can always rely on Percy Jackson to make me smile, even if the book isn’t a novel, but a “handbook” of the Greek Gods and Goddesses. Each god or goddess of the 12 Olympian gods + two (Hades and Hestia, who don’t have seats in the council but are still major gods) has their own chapter, and the Titans, who ruled the world before the Grecian gods, have their own chapter at the beginning.

One thing you need to know about the Greek myths is that they are just that: myths, and that means there are quite a lot of different variations of the same myth, so Riordan just picked his favourite, I guess.

I love Rick Riordan’s storytelling skills, the humour, the POVs, the… EVERYTHING. These books are just incredible and I honestly don’t care how many of these books will come out from this universe, I will read them all. Eventually. (I think there are 3 short stories and one demigod diaries I have yet to read.)

I mean:

“His big claim to fame was that the Golden Fleece – that magical sheepskin rug I’m related to – ended up in his kingdom, which made the place immune to disease, invasion, stock-market crashes, visits from Justin Bieber and pretty much any other natural disaster.” – I’m currently studying the Argonautica and that makes this about 10x more hilarious.

I love Greek myths and I love Percy Jackson so this book was a 5 star win-win for me. (And the morals are just great, man. Great.) (And these myths are gruesome but this is fine to read to your kids. Probably. I guess it depends on how freaked out they get at daddies eating their children. Which seems to happen a lot, to be quite frank. (Haha, inside Percy Jackson jokes! I make myself laugh.))