Does it actually seem like true representations of figures from Greek myth? Or do people who have read these books never read anything remotely mythical besides those?
I'd like to know before i start reading.
I first started reading Percy Jackson because I am a bit of a mythology fan myself, and so I decided to try it. The accuracy is a large part of the storyline; the names of the gods and goddesses are correct and their powers and patrons are the same. However, the books, being humorous, represent the gods in different ways and give them human personalities (for eg. Zeus is depicted in a suit, Poseidon in a Hawaiian shirt and shorts, Dionysus drinking Diet Coke XD). So in a way, the figures from Greek myth are kind of the same in terms of their place in mythology, but viewed in a more humorous, satirical take on the original myths. I thought they were good books, though I personally wouldn't recommend the Heroes of Olympus ones afterwards, the storyline gets a bit too cheesy and unrealistic by then....
Growing up, I never really heard of any of the Greek gods, except Zeus and Athena. The main gods I had ever known about was Anubis (Egyptian), and Neptune (Roman). When I got older I began learning about the Greek gods. I'd read a lot of things and even did a project about them before I'd read the Percy Jackson books.
But to me, the books make things more kid-friendly and lighter, if you know what I mean. Greek myths are weird, and it gets some things wrong, but yes - I would say the books are lighter, especially in terms of the gods' personalities. I could see the arrogance, but not the lightness. Like Apollo and his obsession with rhymes or haikus? It's been a while since I read them. Generally speaking I do like the myths themselves better . . . they aren't "watered down" or very "friendly". =/
The series is mostly acurate Rick Riordan does change a few little things like the god's looks, or adds things like Zoë Nightshade isn't really Atlas's daughter, but other than that everything is true, the stories, the gods, the whole story is accurate once you get past the few things not accurae, and besides I study Greek mythology outside of the books, just to make shure its accurate look it up online, it will help alot. :)