Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson Series)

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (book 1)
by Rick Riordan
384 pages

“Look, I didn’t want to be a half-blood. If you’re reading this because you think you might be one, my advice is: close this book right now. Believe whatever lie your mom or dad told you about your birth, and try to lead a normal life.”

Summary: Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of yet another boarding school. No matter what he does, trouble seems to find him. After a relaxing trip with his mom, Percy is convinced things will be better, but that is until he finds himself fighting a Minotaur and escaping to some weird hero summer camp. Turns out that not only are all those Greek myths about gods and monsters true, but many of them want him dead. As the son of a god, Percy soon finds himself in the middle a celestial battle, and he’ll have to come to terms with his new world if he’s to stop the gods from starting a war and make it through the summer alive

Review: There was a lot of things I really liked about this book, and there were a few things that I felt were lacking. I LOVED the concept of using popular mythology to create a modern day quest/adventure story. The Greek gods are fascinating to read about; however, at times I felt Riordan expected too much previous knowledge of the myths. For the most part he did a great job of explaining and describing the gods and their stories, but there were a few times I was confused and had to Wikipedia who did what, etc. An appendix would have been helpful. I thought Percy was a great character, and the writing was very accessible to a wide audience. Some of it was a little predictable, but overall I thought it was a great story. It also provided a great basis for a much larger story that will be continued in the series.

You might enjoy The Lighting Thief if you like books with: a lot of adventure and feature a quest, multiple prominent main characters supporting a protagonist, witty writing, mythology and other worlds, Greek history, books in a series.

Other works by Rick Riordan: The Kane Chronicles: Red Pyramid, The 39 Clues Book One: The Maze of Bones, Percy Jackson and the Olympians series (see below for list of books in the series)

If you liked The Lighting Thief you might also enjoy: The Harry Potter Series by J.K Rowling, Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer, and Walking with the Dead by L.M Falcone

Additional Info: there is a Lightning Thief movie

Author website found here.

Rating: W3/4 C3/4 P3/4 O3/4 PP4/4 CR4/4
Grade Level: MJ


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