Rick Riordan is the author of the previous books in the New York Times #1 best-selling Percy Jackson and the Olympians series: The Lightning Thief; The Sea of Monsters; The Titan's Curse; and The Battle of the Labyrinth. His previous novels for adults include the hugely popular Tres Navarre series, winner of the top three awards in the mystery genre. He lives in San Antonio, Texas, with his wife and two sons.
This slim volume is clearly intended as a stop-gap product to tide eager readers over until the final volume of the series is released. In addition to three previously unreleased short stories about Percy and his companions, it also includes such filler as interviews with the same, along with word games, portraits of some of the Gods and their half-blood offspring, and the inevitable sneak preview of Book 5. The short stories are the meat of this book, and are filled with Riordan's trademark anachronistic humor. The first one puts Percy and his enemy Clarisse, the daughter of Ares, on the same team as she tries to retrieve her father's chariot, which has been hijacked as a prank by her two immortal brothers. The second story relates an incident that occurred during one of Camp Half-Blood's infamous Capture the Flag games, when Charlie Beckendorf, the camp counselor for Hephaestus, is captured by a horde of giant, poisonous ants, and has to be rescued with the help of a mechanical dragon. The final story brings Percy, Thalia, and Nico, the son of Hades, together at the request of Persephone to help retrieve Hades's stolen sword, the loss of which could be deadly to the Gods, and the resolution of which forms a lead-up to the probable events of Book 5. Despite the fact that this is more of a marketing package than anything else, the quality of and interest in the three stories likely justifies its purchase. SLJ"