My Experience with this World:
My mom used to be very by the book and structured with our homeschooling. We used official curricula books from various Christian companies such as Rod and Staff, Christian Liberty Press, and Alpha Omega. About six years ago, she decided to try something new - for history at least. Instead of using curriculum books that rehashed the same history year after year, we'd start at creation and read books, both non-fiction and historical fiction, until a subject was exhausted. Me being me, I went slower than my sister, since I wanted to soak up every last bit of history I could get.
When we went to the library, she would give us a huge list of books that were about the historical period we were studying, and turn us loose.
When we got to Greek history, The Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan was on the list. It looked interesting, so I picked it, and The Demigod Files up and brought them home. (Actually, my sister picked up one of them, but I don't remember which and she found it boring so it ended up in my box.)
I really enjoyed them, but anyone who's read the series knows that The Demigod Files is supposed to be read between books 4 and 5, so I had a lot of dots to connect. So back to the library I went and picked up The Sea of Monsters and I preceded to devour.
It wasn't until after I finished the first series that I realized that it was famous (but that did explain why it was so hard for me to get a hold of some of the books). I have, however, read every single book of the sequel series that have come out thus far, including the Demigod Diaries, but I have not seen the movies, and I'm not sure I want to. I would like to read the Egyptian series, but haven't gotten around to it yet.
See my post on mythology.
Percy Jackson's America looks exactly like normal America ... to the mortal eye. To clear-sighted mortals and demigods and other creatures, it looks ... different. For instance, Mt. Olympus is at the top of the Empire State Building (600th flour) and there's a door to the Underworld in a building in California. Random other places in the U.S. are important, but I can't call them off the top of my head.
The two most important locations (other than Mt. Olympus and the Underworld) are Camp Half-Blood in New York and Camp Jupiter in California. The first is for Greeks and the second is for the Romans. Both train young demigods for battle against the monsters, though in rather different ways. Camp Jupiter is also connected to New Rome, which is basically just what it calls itself.
However, we normal humans are blissfully unaware of all of this because of the mist, which translates anything out of the ordinary into something ordinary to our eyes. If that makes any sense.
Peoples and Culture:
Most of the main characters of Rick Riordan's Greek/Roman series are about demigods. They have one human parent, and their other parent is a Greek/Roman god/goddess. Each has special abilities depending on who your godly parent is (for instance, Percy is the son of Poseidon, and can manipulate water, talk to fish and horses, and has perfect bearings on the sea), and usually has ADHD and dyslexia. (Hum ... I have ADHD and dyslexia ...) However, they also have a strong "scent" that attracts monsters.
And then you have the fauns/satyrs. Hope that you find a satyr, not a faun, since they're more responsible.
And there's naiads and dryads. And Chiron and the other centaurs.
And we can't forget about the gods and goddesses. Who are constantly fighting.
And the monsters, all of whom want to eat the demigods.
What I like about this world:
The way that it is layered in and around our own world. I am, quite honestly, kinda out of touch with the modern world, so I really respect any author able to wrap epic adventures into the world around us.
I love how much care and research that is obviously put into these works. I have to admit that I raised an eyebrow at Annabeth being the daughter of Athena in book 1, but once it was explained in book 4, it made sense and I let it be. I've spent a good deal of time researching mythology myself, and I can't help but grin every time a new one pops in. I especially enjoyed it when Echo and Narcissus showed up in the latest book. I don't know if I've mentioned this or not, but one of the Cloud Sprites of Bookania is named Echo.
And, of course, I can't pass by this lovely book without mentioning the coolest thing of all. The author's name.
First of all, Rick is, I'm fairly sure, short for Richard, and I would have been named Richard had I been born a boy, and thus it is one of my favorite names. (I have, oh, four or five guys named that so far. I may have more tomorrow, check back.) And Riordan has to be the most perfect name an author can have. You see, it means bard. BARD! As in those travelling singers/storytellers of days gone by. Can any more fitting name for an author exist?
What I don't like:
Greek mythology is contradictory to Christianity, so there is a caution there. Also, since these books are about the results of the gods giving babies to humans they're not married to ... so, exert caution there too.
What I learned from this world:
It is possible to layer a world into the natural, normal world. Not only that, but it's fun, too.
I haven't done this with any of my worlds, yet, but with all these weird ideas that I have in my brain, you never know.