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Monday, July 15, 2013

Poseidon: Earth Shaker, written and illustrated by George O'Connor.First Second, Macmillan. Raincoast, 2013. $10.99 ages 12 and up

"He is a creature of my niece, Athena. Not her creature in the sense that he is her child. Athena has no use for children, and the making of children. He is her creature in that he has a great mind, and is a hero. Athena collects heroes like my brother Hades collects names. This man, Odysseus, became a hero in the Greeks' war against the Trojans..."

This is the fifth in a series of graphic novels created by the incomparable George O'Connor concerning the Olympians. There are sure to be fans in most intermediate and middle grade classrooms. Once read by one, they will be passed from reader to reader. They are epic adventure stories!

The Percy Jackson books by Rick Riordan have upped the interest for many, and the diehard mythology fans are sure to find this set of graphic novels intriguing and informative. Four others have been published prior to this one: Zeus, Hera, Hades and Athena. It's a great way to be introduced to them. I hope there will be more!

 It is not an simple story as Poseidon is a complicated and complex character. In an author's note, George O'Connor describes his process for creating him and admits it was not an easy task:

"As a narrator, Poseidon never spells out what he's thinking directly, but I think you can get what makes him tick. He's a middle child, sandwiched between a distant older brother, and a younger brother who gets all the glory....Never doubting himself, he nonetheless feels keenly that he doesn't belong, and he can't place a finger on why."

There is a perfect match between fantastic art and O'Connor's ability to tell an impressive story full of suspense.  He has set the bar high in previous books and he assures that this one is a most welcome addition to the set. While there are references to characters from others in the series, there is no need to have read them before embarking with Poseidon in his undersea world. His love for his sons is emotionally evident throughout...those who cross them are sure to feel the wrath of the father!

If you love graphic novels and you are looking for suspense, you have come to the right place!

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