So I finished the True Blood book the day of my husband's surgery, and I moved onto reading the first book in the Percy Jackson series. I really like it--it's a fast read, and I can't put it down. However, just knowing this series came after Harry Potter makes me think Percy's author took quite a few ideas straight from J.K. Rowlings.
1. Percy Jackson is a boy who doesn't fit in. His Mom dies trying to save him, and she's this pure, lovely woman (just like Harry's mom Lily). Percy's step dad, Gabe, whom Percy's had to live with for awhile, doesn't like Percy. He treats him like garbage, making him sleep in bad accommodations when Percy comes back home from boarding school. (The Dursleys are written all over this.)
2. Percy is a half-blood (mudblood). While Harry wasn't actually a mudblood (that was Hermione), the concept is the same in both books. One parent who has special powers and one parent who's plain human.
3. There's a wise man watching out for Percy. (Dumbledore in HP).
4. There's a prophesy about Percy's fate. (same as in HP with those crystal balls). The prophesies in both tales have double meanings and can't be taken at face value.
I'm not saying one book is better than the other, and I actually enjoy reading something that reminds me of HP. But I will say that I know what the author and publisher were doing, riding off the coattails of a loved HP series about a mishap boy who is destined for something big. I'd like to say I'm smart enough not to fall for this clear marketing tactic....but...I've fallen...and I plan to read all the Percy Jackson books.