People have compared this book to the Percy Jackson series. That's like saying Sabrina Teenage Witch is comparable to Buffy The Vampire Slayer. The difference between those two shows is that while they both have supernatural elements, they're really entirely different shows-- and so too is Juggler and Percy Jackson. Percy Jackson is an action/adventure series with an emphasis on the physical. Juggler is a journey of the soul. There's a fight scene, but it's a metaphysical fight that's more about inner turmoil than outer. Juggler moves its plot forward through the internal growth of the protagonist, not through external violent forces, and I actually found that really refreshing.Internal growth, however, means the book has to go slowly if it wants to be successful and realistic, and so Juggler is a little molasses-like. I'm not sure how well it'll hold the attention of younger readers, but my second-best friend from middle school, who loved Tolkien and Greek classics, would have been a prime candidate, so I suppose it depends on the kid. I personally didn't mind that it was slow-- not much, anyway-- because I could see the character growth (and I LOVE character growth) and knew that the bigger plot points would resolve themselves by the end of the series. You have to be patient with this book, I guess, and with the story. But it's worth it!For some reason Juggler kept reminding me of my teenage years, when I was into pagan stuff and read a lot about nature and the spirit and whatnot. It's not a spiritual book, not in the more usual sense of spiritual, but it does promote introspection, self-evaluation, and knowing who you are on a more...a more basic level, maybe? Something like that. And that sort of thing is the sort of thing I associate with my teen years because that's the same stuff I was reading and doing! And I think it was really a good thing to have in a book, actually, especially when you compare Randy, who by the end knows much more about himself than he did at the beginning, and the Greek gods, who have spent so much time as other people they've forgotten who they really are. To reiterate: it's a good book! It's slower than most YA books, and by the end not a lot is solved re:wth these Greek gods are doing in a circus with weird human names. I do wish it had been longer, if only to get a bit more plot in there. But I guess I must have been in a really good mood when I read Juggler in the Wind, because where normally I think slow plot and small developments would have annoyed me I was perfectly fine with it here. If you'd like something a little more thoughtful and a little less dependent on fight scenes to move plot along, try Juggler in the Wind. Note: I received this book for review from the publisher. Review originally published at Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog.