I'm a bit on the fence with this one.
like the three short stories, but not completely. I'll admit, I'm still very much sore at the artificial romance that was forced upon Percy and Annabeth, and since the stories contain suggestions towards it, I would be bound not to like them. That having been said...Percy Jackson and the Stolen Chariot
provides an interesting and much needed deeper glance at Clarisse, daughter of Ares. It was the one I liked the best. Ever since [b:The Lightning Thief|28187|The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)|Rick Riordan|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1400602609s/28187.jpg|3346751] Clarisse has been a very interesting character, one that could mature into a fascinating player in this game between gods and titans, but, overall, was very underused. I was afraid Riordan would just give up on her potential and relegate her to being the "official bully" cliché minor character, so I was very happy at this reviving. The only problem I had with this, and with the other stories, was the same I have had with all the books too: he makes the characters' feelings and motivations too obvious, always spelling out why they're doing things. I would appreciate a bit more subtlety, and I'm sure his work would be much improved by it.Percy Jackson and the Bronze Dragon
is the heaviest on romance, and (understandably) also my least favorite. Ironically, it is the most subtle about the characters' feelings (but still far from well done in this sense). It *almost* manages to sell the romance between Percy and Annabeth. It only doesn't because, put in context with the rest of the books, the very idea is just laughable. I actually think that the reason why the romance is so believable in this story is because the two of them don't bizarrely display feelings towards each other, but everybody else expects them to, and keep pushing them together. It portrays the situation perfectly: none of them wants to, but the romance is forced upon them by others.Percy Jackson and the Sword of Hades
, I suppose, is the most recent one in the internal chronology. It is a nice adventure, and it ends with quite a few loose threads to be tied in the last book of the series. It feels a bit rushed towards the end, but otherwise it's quite fun to read.
I did not
like the "extra content", like the interviews with the characters. They were histrionic and condescending, very badly done, with awkward attempts at humor that will make you cringe. Because of them, I would say this particular book doesn't fit into the "young adult" age grade; it would have to be "juvenile" or "children's". Still, they are less than a quarter of the whole book, with the stories occupying much more space, so it's far from a complete loss.