The DemiGod Diaries by Rick RiordanAs you all know, I enjoyed marathoning through The Heroes of Olympus series so when I saw a few shorter additions to the Demigod world available on audiobook through my library, I snatched them up. The Demigod Diaries audiobook features a full-cast audio recording of four narrators each getting their turn to narrate one of the four short stories included in this book.
The Heroes of Olympus
Published August 14 2012 by Disney Hyperion
What dangers do runaway demigods Luke and Thalia face on their way to Camp Half-Blood? Are Percy and Annabeth up to the task of rescuing stolen goods from a fire-breathing giant who doesn't take kindly to intruders? How exactly are Leo, Piper, and Jason supposed to find a runaway table, dodge a band of party-loving Maenads (who just might be a little psychotic), and stave off a massive explosion...all in one hour or less? With his trademark wit and creativity, Rick Riordan answers these questions and more in three never-before-seen short stories that provide vital back-story to the Heroes of Olympus and Percy Jackson books. Original art, enlightening character interviews and profiles, puzzles, and a quiz add to the fun in this action-packed collection.
First up: The Diary of Luke Castellan read by Nick Chamian. Nick narrated the last two Heroes of Olympus audiobooks so it was nice to hear his voice again, this time telling us a story that took place before Luke, Thalia and Annabeth made it to Camp Half-Blood. I was never overly sympathetic towards Luke personally, but I still liked getting to know him before he made most of his bad choices. I imagine that people who already felt for Luke were likely affected by him here but I mostly just wanted to get to know Thalia, get a glimpse at a young Annabeth and figure how they were going to get themselves out of the impossible mess they'd ended up in. This was a strong story with some creeptastic monsters and lots of suspense.
Then, there's Percy Jackson and the Staff of Hermes read by Jesse Bernstein. Jesse was new to me as a narrator but I thought he was quite good at capturing Percy's voice. This was a cute story that takes place right after the events of The Last Battle in the Percy Jackson series. It wasn't overly in-depth or memorable but it was fun to see Percy and Annabeth together as a couple and battling side by side yet again. The monster was seriously redundant though. Enough is enough Riordan, I think you're obsessed O.O
After that, there was Leo Valdez and the Quest for Buford read by my favorite PJ narrator, Joshua Swanson. Initially, I'd hoped that Joshua would do the Percy story because he's so quintessentially Percy and I wanted to experience that again. But then I realized that he is also THE perfect Leo and I was happy he was doing this story instead. This story was funny, exciting and showcased Leo as the true hero he is. I also liked hanging out with Jason and Piper before the events of The Blood of Olympus and Riordan turned Piper into something she never really was. I liked the original Piper just fine thanks. All in all, this was my favorite story of the bunch!
And finally, Son of Magic read by Aaron Groben. This short story was written by Rick Riordan's son Haley Riordan and promised to explain the origins of 'The Mist' and what happened to the Demigods who fought for Kronos in the PJ series. Unfortunately, it didn't deliver what it promised in a satisfactory way. Don't get me wrong, for his age, Haley Riordan is a talented writer but the story just didn't match up to the rest of the series. In addition, the narrator was easily my least favorite of the bunch, so this story dragged for me and in all honesty, and I could have done without it.
When it comes to short stories, often times what's lacking is a real emotional connection. In the case of these ones, I'd say that statement holds true. I'd give The Diary of Luke Castellan and Leo Valdez and the Quest for Buford a solid 3-stars. Percy Jackson and the Staff of Hermes would get a 2.5-stars because it didn't have quite enough substance for me. Finally Son of Magic gets 2-stars. All things considered, it was a fun, quick read but the stories were too short to make much of an impact.
My Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Stars