Favorite Greek Gods (Inspired by Percy Jackson & the Olympians)

So, purchase if you haven’t been paying attention to my Twitter updates or my Goodreads statuses, page then you probably do not know — that I have deemed Percy Jackson and the Olympians the BEST children’s series that I have ever read! Up until last week, cialis 40mg I hadn’t read any of the books and I kept wondering why people were giving me weird looks. What was the big deal about this series? Was it really worth all of the hype? And who the heck was Rick Riordan?! Clearly, I hadn’t lived, people. Clearly, I hadn’t lived.

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Well, I am proud to say — I have read ALL 5 books in less than 2 weeks. And I am changed. I have seen the light and it is beautiful! I have no idea how I could have slept on these books for so long. But NO MORE!

Percy Jackson and the Olympians has changed how I view children’s literature forever. I wish that I had something like this when I was a child. The Harry Potter series didn’t debut for me until I was almost 13 years old, I was on my way out of children’s lit, so it’s not the same…

Greek mythology has always been one of my favorite subjects to study when I was in school. The Iliad and The Odyssey were normal pieces of literature that I constantly surrounded myself by. I fell in love with the world of myth and the lessons that they taught. I thought (and still do think) that they were brilliant!

So it’s safe to say that Percy Jackson has become my new obsession — and I want to share some of that obsession with you. What better way to do that, then to give you my all-time favorite Greek gods & goddesses!

** I’m going to use a mixture of photos from the Percy Jackson films and the Disney film Hercules because I appreciate humor, so enjoy!**

1. Apollo

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Apollo is the Greek god of light, music, arts, knowledge, healing, plague and darkness, prophecy, poetry, purity, athleticism, manly beauty, and enlightenment. His twin sister, Artemis, is goddess over the hunt, wilderness, animals, young girls, childbirth and plague. Apollo is automatically my favorite because he’s god of my favorite parts of life — the creative arts. He is portrayed by Dimitri Lekkos, the photo above, in the Percy Jackson films.

I’ve always been really closely connected to the arts, so to know that Apollo (one of the most hilarious characters in the PJ books) is god of it all, makes me very happy.

2. Poseidon

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Poseidon, played by Kevin McKidd (from Grey’s Anatomy), is the god of the sea. Of the rivers, floods, droughts, earthquakes, and the creator of horses. This is why Percy is able to control waters and communicate with horses. He is Poseidon’s son.

Now, the reason that Poseidon is my favorite god mainly has to do with how he was portrayed in the books. I really enjoyed his relationship with Percy. He was, in my opinion, one of the better fathers to the demigod children. Bonus that the hunky Scotsman, Kevin McKidd, plays him in the films!

3. Aphrodite

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Aphrodite is the goddess of love, beauty, desire, and pleasure. She is portrayed by Serinda Swan in the films, but I prefer the Disney portrayal. She’s quite the promiscuous goddess, I guess you can say that’s appropriate. But she is married to Hephaestus, which really means nothing because has affairs with other gods (i.e. Ares and Adonis).

But the reason I enjoy Aphrodite is because she is goddess over two of my favorite elements of life — love and beauty. I don’t necessarily enjoy how she uses those things to her benefit, but I do admire her tenacity and unapologetic nature. She wants what she wants and if you get in her way, she’ll make you suffer. So, lesson here — stay out of Aphrodite’s way. Unless you want to be killed. Or be one of her affairs. Your choice, I guess.

4. Athena

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Athena, portrayed by Melina Kanakaredes (who is Greek), is definitely a favorite for what she represents. She is the goddess of intelligence and skill, warfare, battle strategy, handicrafts, and wisdom. She is also the mother of Annabeth Chase, Percy Jackson’s best friend & love interest. She was a child of Zeus’ mind, meaning that she was not created through sexual means. Annabeth was born through the same process.

In the books, Athena can be a bit harsh in her appropriate to things, but only because she sees through the lens of common sense and wisdom – not necessarily compassion. But I enjoy that about her. For Annabeth, because she is part-mortal, she’s able to practice a bit more compassion than Athena. Which benefits her in the long run.

5. Hades

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Hades is my ALL-TIME favorite god. And no, not because he’s the god of the underworld and the dead. I just think that someone who is surrounded by morbidity every single day forever has to have the best sense of humor possible. And I am right. Especially, if you’ve seen Disney’s Hercules. Hades, pictured above with the blue hair, is constantly sarcastic and I love it. That’s the Hades that I pictured while reading the books.

In the films, Hades is played by Steve Coogan.

6. Hermes

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What to say about good ol’ Hermes, which portrayed by Nathan Fillion in Percy Jackson & the Sea of Monsters film. He is the god of  boundaries, travel, communication, trade, thievery, trickery, language, writing, diplomacy, athletics, and animal husbandry.

Why do I like him? Because he’s the god of travel, language, and writing — which I love to do! But also because of his characterization in the Percy Jackson books. He was humanized so well, that I was able to connect with him in a way I couldn’t really connect to the other gods. By the end of the book series, he became one of my favorite book characters. He was emotional, yet very godly. And it was done greatly. Sometimes I think it’s easy to underestimate Hermes, but Rick Riordan made sure that you didn’t.

7. Hera

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Finally, the lovely Hera. She is the goddess of marriage, women, childbirth, heirs, kings, and empires. She is also Zeus’ wife, which makes her Queen of the heavens. (She’s also Zeus’ sister, but we won’t go there…)

Hera is an elegant goddess. Hera is my favorite for personal reasons. Her story is quite Because she is the goddess of marriage, that is obviously something she holds very sacred, but Zeus (like many other gods) had many affairs, which causes her to become quite the vengeful and jealous goddess. In the books, Hera is not the friendliest to Thalia, Zeus’ demigod child.

In Greek mythology, she becomes so jealous and vengeful due to Zeus’ affairs, that she gives birth to Hephaestus without Zeus being present, which apparently wasn’t the cool thing to do. But Hera deems baby Hephaestus too unsightly and tosses him from Mount Olympus. Hephaestus later returns to seek revenge against his mother. What a horrible thing to do, Hera!

Hey, I said I like what she represents… not who she is! ;)

Well, those are my favorite Greek gods/goddesses! Percy Jackson has gotten me super pumped to re-read some of the great myths and teachings. They’re really fun and quite insightful!

Until next time (which will be for The Heroes of Olympus series),

Christina Marie

Tuesday Top Ten-Fictional Places to Live

Hello everyone! How’s it going? I hope you are all fantastic and happy and all that.

I’m pretty happy. Things have been…just really good lately. I’ve been really working my butt off to do things that I want to do. I am almost done with this semester of school and I feel that I did well in both of my classes. I am working on this blog harder than ever, store working on getting it out there, ed getting my hands on ARCs and getting interviews with authors, doctor and making it as awesome as possible for you guys that read it. I’m also working hard on my third novel, the novel that I really want to be good and successful, because I want to look for an agent this summer and maybe get my book sold :)

Its also going to be my blog’s one year birthday on Thursday, which is SO exciting and I can’t wait to share the super AWESOME giveaway that will be coming your way in celebration of it all.

I also have a really cool interview with Unremembered author, Jessica Brody, coming VERY soon :)

So things are doing good.

But now on to the purpose of this blog post: The Tuesday Top Ten!

One thing that is really great about books is the worlds that they create. Authors have a way of creating worlds that are so real and so believable and you can’t help but just want to be a part of them. You wish these worlds were real because in your mind, they are real. You can pick up a book and escape into these fantastic worlds and these fantastic places and its just awesome.

So here are some of the fictional places that I wish were real!

10. Westeros-Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire

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Okay, I realize that so far, Westeros isn’t exactly the most fun place to live. You have all these people dying and political strife and this crazy weather thing where you have years of summer and years of winter. But I love the world the George R.R. Martin creates in his Song of Ice and Fire series. Because we get such a realistic world but with such fantastical things as well. We have political strife, and castles, and holdings and a kingdom and knights and all those sort of things but we also hive these gigantic wolves and the white walkers and dragons and its just a world that is so dark and sexy and desirable, despite all the bad shit that is going down in these books. Its that knights and castles and kings and queens world that you loved when you were a kid but better because it recognizes the adult world, and that there was famine and diseases and whore houses. I don’t know, I like it a lot because of both the fantasy and realistic nature of it. I’d be super down to live there…except the whole winter thing. I’m not a big fan of winter.

9. The Shire-The Hobbit/The Lord of the Rings

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If anyone makes a comment on my height, I’ll punch them in the face. Especially since I wouldn’t doubt that most hobbits are actually taller than me. How tall are hobbits anyway? I’d probably fit in so well there. I think I want to live in the Shire of all places in Middle Earth because it has such a homey feel to it. I love Rivendell, and how absolutely gorgeous it is but its very…intimidating, I think is the word I’m looking for. Its too much for me to handle. But there’s something comfortable and homey and familiar about the Shire. And the houses are so cute. I would love to live in a little hobbit hole. In the Shire, its all about food and happiness and reading and relaxing and who wouldn’t be into that, especially since I do love reading and I do love food :) It just seems like a very pretty and pleasant place to live. And who knows, maybe I could become best friends with Bilbo or Frodo and go on epic adventures…though I think I’d rather go on adventures with Bilbo and not Frodo. Bilbo had the less scary adventure. And I really want to have a pet rabbit named Bilbo Bunny…okay, I’m getting off topic…

8. Narnia-The Chronicles of Narnia

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I really like Narnia because even when things are going down, its still a pretty and gorgeous world with talking mice and centaurs and beavers and badgers and all that. I’ve already kind of made it clear that I’m not the biggest fan of the books; I understand it was the times but C.S. Lewis had some serious issues with girl characters, especially Susan. And its a little too religious for my tastes. But I do really enjoy the movies and I think they picked some gorgeous locations to shoot the movie. I remember when I watched The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe for the first time and the Pevensie children leave Narnia when they’re older and I’m like “WHERE ARE YOU GOING?!?!” I was so mad. I think Narnia is appealing because its such a magical world. It gives me the same kind of feeling that Disneyland does, that feeling of magic and imagination and that feeling of being a kid again and feeling like anything is possible, like children leaders or talking animals and centaurs and good overcoming evil and that sort of thing. Its nice to disappear into such a wholesome and wonderful world for a little bit.

7. Camp Half-Blood-Percy Jackson and the Olympians

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I want to go to Camp Half-Blood so badly! I want to be a demigoddess so badly! I’ve always been fairly obsessed with Greek myths; there’s just something so fascinating about them. I wish I had been born in those times, those were the kind of gods and goddesses that I could really get behind. But I really enjoy the stories especially when you learn how they are the root of some of the words we use or the myths and superstitions that we know now and things like that. They’re really fun stories, especially since these gods and goddesses…they aren’t these perfect beings, they make mistakes too. But anyway, I’d be pretty stoked to have a god/goddess as a parent and have these super cool powers and go on adventures and live in this super cool camp with all these other children who have god parents too. I mean, sit around at home, watching TV and basically do nothing on summer vacation or go to this cool camp where you learn to fight and harness your powers and play a badass version of Capture the Flag and all that? I think you know which one I would pick. I would really like to be Artemis‘s daughter too. I know, not possible, since she swore to be a maiden, and to abstain from men and she would never have a child but…Artemis is such a badass. I remember wanting to name a pet “Artemis” once and my mom was just like “Seriously?” Yes, seriously. Greek myths are awesome and Camp Half-Blood would be a super cool place to live.

6. Enchanted Forest-Once Upon a Time

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I LOVE fairy tales and I would love to live in the Enchanted Forest, where all the fairy tale characters come together and basically live in one spot, especially since Once Upon a Time makes all the girl characters super awesome and kickass. I mean, Snow White? I love her and all but in the Disney movie, she’s SO annoying and she’s SO incredibly dumb in the original story. Ginnifer Goodwin‘s Snow White is super awesome and battle ready and just as strong as the Prince Charming she comes to love. Belle is whip smart, and ready to do what she needs to do to help her father and her kingdom. Red Riding Hood is a werewolf, who learns how to harness her transformation and use it as a tool of survival and battle. Ella (Cinderella) is a whole lot stronger in the show, and is ready to do anything to preserve her family. All of the characters are so different in this show than any other adaptation we see of them. And I’d love to live in this place where magic and fairy tales are real but in a way that I can enjoy them and in a way where I can learn from these seriously amazing and strong female characters. Even though Regina, the Evil Queen, is an evil character, you can still even empathize with her and you can still see her as a strong character. Again, its one of those magical worlds that you’d love to live in.

5. The Queendom of the Fells-Seven Realms Series
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I think a big reason why I would love to live in Cinda William Chima‘s Queendom of Fells is because…well its called the Queendom! The lineage passes through the women of the royal family, not the men, which I find to be VERY interesting and something that we don’t see often. I love that the reason behind is because they worship the first woman of the line, Hanalea, who was their savior. Throughout the year, they hold steadfast confidence in Hanalea and her line of successors and even when things start to get rocky, there are still so many people who are by Raisa‘s side and helping her and supporting her, even though she is only a sixteen year old royal. I also like the diversity that Cinda creates in her kingdoms especially between the people of the capital and then the wizards and the clans. We don’t get this straight across the board sort of country but a country that is full of diverse people. She creates kind of your typical white kingdom with royals and nobles and balls and that sort of thing but she throws the clans in there, and I love the clans because they have such different feels to them. I feel like they have some Native American to them, maybe some African, even some of the Asian cultures as well. I’d be really interested in exploring the very corners of this realm.

4. Tortall-Song of the Lioness, The Immortals, Protector of the Small, Trickster series, Beka Cooper series

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I would absolutely positively die to live in the Tortall realm. Tamora Pierce has written five series that take place in the realm of Tortall (although, admittedly, one mostly takes place in the Copper Isles but the main character is FROM Tortall), and she has created five extremely strong female main protagonists. You have Alanna who disguises herself as a boy for eight years in order to earn her shield and become a knight, the first female knight in a hundred years. You have Daine who has an incredible magical ability to communicate with animals, heal them and to shape shift into any animal of her choice and who is incredibly brave and intelligent and uses it to defend the country she loves. You have Keladry who is the first female to openly try out for her shield to become her knight and to earn her place rightfully. You have Aly, who earns her place as a rebellion spymaster to restore a country’s rightful owners back in place and overthrown the tyrant rulers. Then you have the prequel stories of Beka, who is a soldier of the Provost Dogs, who is fantastically intelligent and brave and able to solve crimes and bring the bad guys down in a time, long before Alanna and Daine, and the rest were even alive. Add in magic, fair and just king and queens, knights and dragons and griffins, fancy dresses, adventures, horses and all sorts of awesome stuff and who on earth wouldn’t want to live in a place like this?

3. Idris-The Mortal Instruments/The Infernal Devices

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Idris. Alicante. The City of Glass. The home country for Shadowhunters, their Jerusalem. A small country nestled in Europe, unnoticed by all us mundanes, its a place of beauty and of a world that holds on to the past in looks, while the bustling world goes on around them. In a world where we have square, boring builds, traffic and smog, there’s Idris, a small beautiful country where the Shadowhunters can be themselves and hold a little bit of Mother Earth’s beauty to themselves. And there’s something so appealing and magical about a place that is called the City of Glass. It is very old school. It reminds me of an old French town or Venice, Italy. I imagine canals and little houses and shops and this beautiful private community of extraordinary people. I want to be a Shadowhunter only less than I want to be a wizard or a Jedi and I think the fact that they have this small hidden away country is so awesome. I would love to grow up there, have a country home where I could have a horse to get around and I could learn what it took to be a Shadowhunter and go to dances in Alicante and feel safe and at home. It just seems like a wonderful place to live.

2. The Universe-Star Wars/Doctor Who/Star Trek/Etc. 

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I know, Sara, way to narrow it down there. I mean the universe, the galaxy, as in Doctor Who or Star Wars or even the new Star Trek. There is something really amazing about the fact that there is SO much out there, so many planets and stars and galaxies and there could be absolutely anything out there. There’s so much out there to explore. I wish I lived in a world like Doctor Who or Star Trek where they can explore these worlds and learn new things and see what else is out there besides just us. We are so centered on this planet, we think of ourselves as so important and big but we are so tiny in the grand scheme of things. There is so much out there that we don’t know about and I think it would be an amazing thing to have a TARDIS or a Millennium Falcon or an Enterprise to take us around to see these new worlds and to go on adventures and see the other beauties of the universe. I’m not going to lie, I think I’d be pretty scared at the idea of open space but also incredibly excited as well. The possibilities of the universe are absolutely endless. And when you’re with the Doctor or the Rebel Alliance, you really have the chance to make a difference, to save lives and have incredible adventures.

1. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry-Harry Potter series

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There is literally no other place in the world, both real and fiction, that I would rather be than this school. When you’re 9/10 years old and you’ve just moved from a roomy house to a house with your grandparents where you are sharing a room with your five brothers and sisters and your parents are fighting all the time, and you go to school and you’re teased all the time because, let’s face it, you’re not very girlie and aren’t really sure how to dress yourself properly and you have your nose in a book all the time and reading just isn’t cool, and life just seems to SUCK all the time…and you pick up this book and you find this incredible, amazing world…who wouldn’t fall in love? I would love to go to Hogwarts. I would love to learn magic and explore this ancient and fantastic castle and learn about hippogriffs and unicorns and make crazy potions and all of those things. These books have taught me more than anything else has and Hogwarts was the home that I would go to when reality just seemed to suck too bad, and its where I continue to go when life sucks and I’ve had a bad day. There’s a line in Deathly Hallows where Harry is looking up at Hogwarts castle and recognizing it as his home, as the home of Voldemort and Snape, the abandoned boys. That part gets to me every single time. Its a home for all of us, JKR created a home for us all. “Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home” is what she said at the Deathly Hallows Part 2 premiere and she is so right. There is no place I’d rather be than at Hogwarts :)

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I hope you all enjoyed this week’s Top Ten! What fictional places would you like to live or hang out at? Let me know in the comments!

Don’t forget to check out the previous Top Ten Lists I have made!

Check back in the next couple of days for exciting things, like an interview with Jessica Brody and a HUGE giveaway for my blog’s first birthday!