Percy jolted awake, resurfacing from another nightmare. His heart his hammering in a chest that felt too tight, the darkness of the cabin making it difficult for him associate the walls as anything but the depths of Tartarus.
He couldn’t breathe, gaping like a fish out of water. Sweat trickled down the side of his face, his panicked breathing leaving him lightheaded—
Wild-eyed and frantic, he scanned the encompassing darkness, searching for the source of the voice. It sounded comfortingly familiar, but even Tartarus played tricks with the strongest of minds.
“Breathe, Jackson. You’re at Camp Half-Blood, and you’re safe.”
Suddenly Nico appeared, as though from the blackness itself. He sauntered over and seated himself on the side of Percy’s bed. His skin was pale in the faint moonlight, his eyes as dark as the rings beneath them. “Better?” he asked, reaching out and stroking Percy’s cheek with the back of his hand.
Percy nodded, breathing deep to return his heart rate to normal. He was still shaky, but that was always a residual side effect and would fade over time. “Sorry,” he said, sounding sheepish.
Nico shrugged. “It happens.”
“It’s gotta be late. What are you doing up?” The quicker Percy could find a safe topic of conversation to distract him from the memories the better.
“Sleep is for the weak. I took a walk,” Nico added before Percy had a chance to ask.
Percy interpreted that as Nico having his own misgivings about the belly of the Underworld, finding an outlet to kept his anxieties at bay. But he looked exhausted, and Percy knew Nico had had sleeping problems in the past.
“Lie down with me. I’m cold.”
“It’s the fever,” Nico said, tucking back a sweat-dampened strand of Percy’s hair.
“Nicooooooo.” Percy drew out the last syllable far longer than necessary. “I’m sick and I’m cold, and you need some sleep.”
With an argument like that, how was Nico to refuse?
He is literally an author that give Tumblr diversity in popular books and yet it go mostly ignored. He has featured:
-Gender fluid characters
-Characters with disabilities (mental and physical)
-Children from abusive homes
-Characters with PTSD
-Characters with depression
-Representation of different cultures and religions
-Talks about racism
-Talks about the horrible nature of parents kicking out their non-hetero-normative children
-Talks about abusive parents in general
-Talks about the importance of religion to someone’s beliefs
-Talks about how family is important
-Talks about how you are not your family
-Talks about how you can make your own family from the friends that support you
That is probably not every single one but thost are the ones I can think of off the top of my head. Rick Riordan makes these concepts important in his books and honestly makes the more complicated ones easy to understand. I know some may consider his books a bit more childish but it’s important to show young readers the different types of people in the world. It’s important to show them that heroes can come in every type of person.