Tor.com content by

Mandy Pietruszewski

Moral Ambiguity in Percy Jackson and the Olympians

If you’ve read a book in the Young Adult section recently, you might have noticed that moral ambiguity is a common theme. In the Hunger Games trilogy, Katniss knows beyond a shadow of the doubt that the Capitol is evil, until faced with the reality of her “saviors.” In Across the Universe by Beth Revis, Amy knows instinctually that the Elder/Eldest system is oppressive, until she unravels the Godspeed’s secrets and finds the rationale behind the system. In YA lit, teens are constantly searching for their destiny and the right path, but discovering that right and wrong aren’t so easily defined. The same generally isn’t true for Middle Grade fiction—the stories aimed at middle school and younger reader. These stories tend to have firmly delineated lines of good and evil.

[Spoilers ahead for all five books in the Percy Jackson series.]