On the hunt for more great books like Percy Jackson and the Olympians?
The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series have been best sellers for nearly two decades (The Lightning Thief was first published in 2006). The adventures of a young boy who discovers he is the son of the Greek God, Poseidon, have thrilled and enchanted readers young and old.
Mixing ancient Greek legends with modern sensibilities has awoken a passion for Greek mythology and magic in many readers. The books have spawned two movie adaptations and millions of fans and the popularity shows no signs of slowing.
If you’ve already absorbed Percy’s adventures and are looking for book series similar to Percy Jackson, we have compiled some suggestions below.
18 Books like Percy Jackson & The Olympians
Akata Witch, by Nnedi Okorafor
Books similar to Percy Jackson don’t just deal with western fantasy tropes. Akata Witch is written by the supremely talented Nnedi Okorafor.
The book follows Sunny, a 12-year-old girl born in New York, now living in Aba, Nigeria. Sunny is albino and her sensitivity to the sun makes life a challenge. Yet, when she befriends Orlu and Chichi, Sunny is exposed to the world of the Leopard People, a magical group whose powers make your worst defect your greatest power. Sunny and her friends are soon on a mission to hunt Black Hat Otokoto, a man who has been taking and maiming children.
This book is filled with wonder and magic, and I was sad when it ended. Just reading about a juju-powered bus called “the funky train” had me grinning from ear to ear. If you are bored with the same-old western interpretations of magic and sorcery, add Akata Witch to your reading list today.
An Epic Series of Failures, by Chris Rylander
Firmly in the stable of books to read if you like Percy Jackson, comes The Legend of Greg. This is the first novel in the An Epic Series of Failures collection and if you don’t have a smile when you finish reading just one of these treats, well, there’s nothing I can do for you.
The story is amusing from the start. Greg Belmont is a risk-averse boy who likes being ordinary and keeping to himself. The trouble is, Greg isn’t ordinary. He’s a fantastical Dwarf who has to go on a quest after his dad is kidnapped by a very murderous Bro-Troll.
Greg is very relatable to any pre-teen, and his antics will raise a smile on many an adult reader too. Fast-paced, funny and filled with Elves, Dwarves, magic and more Elves and Dwarves, fans of Percy Jackson should fall in love with this series.
Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky, by Kwame Mbalia
Books similar to Percy Jackson like to instil tragedy as well as wonder in the reader. Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky introduces us to seventh-grader Tristan Strong, a boy who feels terribly weak after failing to save his best friend when they were both in a bus crash.
Sent to recover on his grandparents’ farm in Alabama, Tristan chases after what looks like a rag doll when it steals his friend’s journal. Trying to wrest the journal away from the doll, Tristan punches a tree and accidentally rips open a hole into the MidPass.
Filled with iron monsters, a burning sea and haunted bone ships, Tristan is pulled into a battle that has nearly exhausted the black American Gods, John Henry and Brer Rabbit.
To save the world and get home, Tristan and his new friends have to convince Anansi, the God of weaving (also known as the spider God), to come out of hiding and fix the hole Tristan made in the MidPass sky. Fans of Percy Jackson will love Tristan. Unsure of himself every step of the way, he is a more believable and flawed protagonist than most.
Filled with African mythology, and rooted in the stories told by many slaves brought to Europe and the US against their will, Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky is a book that needs to be read.
The City of Ember, by Jeanne DuPrau
Taking a slightly darker road than other books similar to Percy Jackson is The City of Ember (Book of Ember 1).
Ember was an underground city created by ‘the Builders’ hundreds of years ago. It contained everything needed for human survival. Except now, supplies are running out, corruption is rife and the lights are going out.
Lina and Doon are two children who discover an ancient parchment that may lead everyone out of Ember. But will anyone listen?
This tightly written novel will appeal to readers young and old. The focus and POV is kept on Lina and Doon, both of whom are engaging. They make mistakes. They get angry. They laugh and cry and do everything real children (and adults) do in the real world. This is a great beginning to a wonderful series.
Aru Shah and the End of Time (Part 1 of the Pandava Quartet), by Roshani Chokshi
More books to read if you like Percy Jackson include everything from the Pandava Quartet. The first book Aru Shah and the End of Time introduces us to 12-year-old Aru, a girl who tends to stretch the truth in order to fit in at school.
Whilst her peers are jetting off for exotic holidays, Aru spends her time in the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture. When three of her classmates show up to catch her in a lie, they dare Aru to light the supposedly cursed Lamp of Bharata.
Aru thinks, “What the hey!” but accidentally releases the Sleeper, an old and powerful demon who plans on waking Kali, the God of destruction. With her classmates and mother all frozen in time, only Aru can save the world.
Two things make this series stand out, the fist lies within its depiction of Hindu cosmology and folklore. The second is within the character of Aru herself. Saving the world is only ever as much fun as the people you’re spending time with as a reader.
Aru is a great character and the supporting cast really make Aru Shah and the End of Time a joy to read.
The Storm Runner, by J.C. Cervantes
Books like Percy Jackson often employ a clever blend of magic and strong characterisation. The Storm Runner follows Zane, a young boy nicknamed “Sir Limps a Lot” by other kids at school.
Zane spends most of his time exploring the dormant volcano near his home. It is only when Brooks, the new girl at school, tells Zane that he’s destined to release an evil god from an ancient Mayan relic that the story heats up.
Publishers are calling for more stories that depict underrepresented groups in society. Cervantes delivers in the character of Zane, a disabled Hispanic protagonist. This book has been championed by Rick Riordan as part of his “Rick Riordan Presents” series, and when you read it, you can see why.
Magical creatures, an interesting and likeable protagonist and perilous situations. It is nice to see a book series similar to Percy Jackson that isn’t afraid to take a few risks.
Addison Cooke Series, by Jonathan W. Stokes
Described as “The Goonies meets Indiana Jones via James Patterson’s Treasure Hunters” comes a series like Percy Jackson that begs to be read.
Addison Cooke and the Treasure of the Incas introduces us to Addison, a smooth talking clever 12-year-old boy with a high knowledge of history and archaeology gleaned from his world-famous uncle and aunt researchers.
The adventure begins when Addison’s uncle is kidnapped by a shadowy organisation. Up steps Addison to outsmart the kidnappers, save his uncle and perhaps find an ancient Incan treasure… all with the aid of his friends.
These books are tailor-made for the action-adventure crowd but have more than a drop of ancient myth and legend about them. Guaranteed to plant a smile on any young reader’s face.
Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, by Rick Riordan
Some books similar to Percy Jackson make no bones about where they draw their inspiration. The Sword of Summer introduces us to Magnus Chase, a young boy who’s been through more than most boys his age have. Living rough and alone on Boston’s streets, he survives on his wits.
When Magnus’s uncle Randolph tracks him down to ramble on about Norse history and Magnus’s own birthright, Magnus starts remembering things from before. Which is of course when a fire giant begins attacking the city leaving Magnus with a choice: safety or the lives of his fellow citizens.
The world-building of the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series has attracted so many readers to Riordan’s work. Magnus is the right side of snarky teenager but there are more than enough funny moments in the novel to keep you reading.
The Wizards of Once, by Cressida Cowell
Cressida Cowell is well known for the How to Train Your Dragon series of books, but The Wizards of Once is a delightful middle-grade series that will appeal to any fan of Percy Jackson.
Xar is a wizard boy who hasn’t come into his magic yet. Wish is a warrior girl Xar captures accidentally whilst hunting for a witch to steal magic from. They soon realise they have to work together if they are to have a chance of saving their land by facing the evil queen at Warrior fort.
This is a simple story with a lot of heart and tons of magic thrown in. It is filled with humour, has some interesting twists and whilst a little generic in places, is written with a joy that is just adorable. A fun series of books to read that are similar to Percy Jackson in terms of wonder and delight.
Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman
There are books like Percy Jackson for adults too. Anansi Boys follows Fat Charlie Nancy as he goes from learning of the death of his father (who dropped dead on a Florida karaoke stage) to the fact that his dad was a god. Oh, and he has a brother called Spider who’s just shown up on his doorstep.
Many people see this book as a sequel to American Gods, but Gaiman himself has said otherwise. Set in the same world and with characters recognisable from the earlier novel, Anansi Boys is a thrilling, magical and funny ride-along with Fat Charlie and Spider as things go from bad to worse. I personally feel Anansi Boys to be a superior read to American Gods, but I realise I may be in the minority opinion wise.
Nevertheless, if you’re looking for similar titles to Percy Jackson told from a slightly more grown-up perspective, Anansi Boys is one to read.
The Immortals (Olympus Bound 1), by Jordanna Max Brodsky
Another series of books like Percy Jackson for adults is the Olympus Bound series from Jordanna Max Brodsky. Murders. Manhattan. Gods. That alone was enough to sell me on the first book.
The protagonist is Selene DiSilva, a literal loner who prefers her own company (aside from her dog) to anyone else’s. However, when Selene finds the body of a young woman, the discovery ignites her own ancient rage, because Selene isn’t just another human loner. Greek Gods literally walk the earth in this series and have been with us for a very long time.
The arrival of science and technology have drained their powers somewhat, but the goddess of the hunt is on the murder case, making for a thoroughly entertaining and believable story. Read it now!
Knights of the Borrowed Dark, by Dave Rudden
Books similar to Percy Jackson often pit a seemingly ‘normal’ boy against almighty magical beings and powers, only for the normal boy to discover his own power. Knights of the Borrowed Dark plays with this trope, but in a slightly different way.
Denizen Hardwick is an orphan who discovers a connection to an ancient order of knights who keep monsters from the shadows at bay. But are the knights everything they seem? And is Denizen right to doubt their claims that it is his destiny to join them?
A darker fantasy than Percy Jackson, Knights of the Borrowed Dark enjoys setting expectations before subverting them. Well worth a read.
The Wingfeather Saga Series, by Andrew Peterson
The Wingfeather Saga is another book series similar to Percy Jackson that is well worth looking at. Pirates, monsters and wonder are rife throughout these books. The Igibys are three children who live with their dog, Nugget, in a cottage above the cliffs on the Dark Sea of Darkness.
Together they will need all their gifts and love to stay ahead of the Fangs of Dang, an evil race who have crossed the sea to rule the land. The Wingfeather Saga can be seen as a war story. Character’s lives get thrown into chaos as an invading force arrives.
There are humans and other creatures giving the whole thing a sort of Middle-Earth vibe (minus a magical ring). This is great to give to any young reader who wants a slightly grittier read.
Guardians of the Gryphon’s Claw (Sam London 1), by Todd Calgi Gallicano
Another book series similar to Percy Jackson is the bright action adventures of Sam London. This is a fantastic set of novels that all take place in famous national parks.
Sam London is our protagonist, a young boy drawn into a magical adventure. It all starts when Sam has a dream about a mythical gryphon that leads him to uncover an ancient secret. Recruited by park ranger and zoologist Dr Vance Vantana, before being whisked onto an adventure spanning the globe, Sam discovers another world that lives alongside our own.
Many readers have described the Sam London series as Harry Potter meets Lord of the Rings, and it is easy to see why when you read the books. Sam discovers government departments dedicated to ensuring the human world doesn’t get too impacted by the magical one and there are plenty of nods to Middle Earth.
The result is an action-packed and very enjoyable series of adventures that many 12-year-old boys would enjoy.
Akarnae (Book 1 of The Medoran Chronicles), by Lynette Noni
Who hasn’t dreamt of stepping through a magical doorway into another world? That is exactly what happens to 16-year-old Alex Jennings on her first day at school. Stranded in the fantasy world of Medora and desperate to get home, Alex learns that only the mysterious Professor Marselle can help. There’s just one problem: he’s missing.
In the meantime, Alex begins attending Akarnae Academy, a boarding school for teenagers with extraordinary gifts and discovers something very sinister is going on. At turns both silly and thoughtful, The Medoran Chronicles is another set of books like Percy Jackson that benefit from not taking themselves too seriously.
A good read for fans of Mr Jackson’s adventures.
The Relic of Perilous Falls (Will Wilder 1), by Raymond Arroyo
Some books similar to Percy Jackson revel in their comparison to Rick Riordan’s work. When the jacket of a novel proudly advertises itself as being for “fans of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson”, you know what you’re getting.
Will Wilder is a cheeky and headstrong 12-year-old with the ability to see dark creatures that are encroaching on his hometown of Perilous Falls. Things go very wrong when Will “borrows” an ancient relic that has protected the town for centuries, and it’s up to Will to do the right thing before more wrong things happen.
Will himself is not as instantly likeable as other protagonists are. He is disobedient but does pay for the mistakes he makes, endearing him to the reader. Playing with religious mythology (specifically Catholic traditions), the Will Wilder series is well worth checking out.
Gregor the Overlander (Underland Chronicles 1), by Suzanne Collins
More books to read if you like Percy Jackson include the Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins. Collins is now best known for The Hunger Games trilogy, but did you know she also wrote for 90s show Clarissa Explains it All? In any case away from all that fame, lies this series of darkly thrilling novels beginning with Gregor the Overlander.
Gregor is a boy that falls through a gate in his laundry room to a secret underworld beneath New York City. Whilst there, he discovers a prophecy that claims Gregor has a role to play in Underland’s future and it is all tied up with his father’s disappearance.
This is easily accessible to fans of Percy Jackson and has some crossover appeal to the adult reader too. Eagle-eyed readers who’ve read Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere (first published in 1996) will spot many similarities between the two novels, but they are different enough to warrant reading.
Neverwhere is firmly aimed at the older reader, whereas the Underland Chronicles are targeted for a much younger middle-grade/YA audience.
Artemis Fowl, by Eoin Colfer
At first, you really want to hate Artemis Fowl. He’s a 12-year-old millionaire genius and a criminal mastermind. However, his overconfidence makes him endearing, especially when he bites off more than he can chew by kidnapping a very dangerous fairy.
In Artemis Fowl, the fairies aren’t the same as they are in bedtime stories making Artemis’ attempts to hold onto the fairy both amusing and exciting.
Multiple parties including the LEP (Lower Elements Police) attempt to get the fairy back from Artemis, presenting the reader with a lot of magic, humour and adventure.
If you enjoy books like Percy Jackson, then you really should pick up the Artemis Fowl series.
Have you already read this series? Check out our list of books like Artemis Fowl!
Gods. Magic. Adventure. Plucky protagonists. All can be found in the above recommendations. There is a good chance that if you enjoyed Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, you’ll find at least one book here to enjoy. Don’t take our word for it though. Let us know if there are any titles you feel we’ve missed out!
Are you searching for more books like Percy Jackson and the Olympians? Have any recommendations that didn’t make the list? Let us know in the comments!