Title: Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief
Author: Rick Riordan
Publisher: Disney Hyperion Books
Genre: YA Fantasy
How I Read It: Hard copy from the library.
Synopsis: Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school…again. And that’s the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy’s Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he’s angered a few of them. Zeus’s master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.
Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus’s stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.
My Review: My introduction to the Percy Jackson series was through watching the movie for this book, which piqued my interest enough to get me to read it. Good job movie!!!
The first thing that struck me not too far into the book was how much the movie varied from the original work. After reading the whole thing, this disappointed me quite a bit, because there were a lot of pretty cool scenes in the book that I would have loved to see on screen. I assume that was done to fit the movie into standards that work for the target audience, but it would have been so awesome to see some of these explosions and fights!
This book does a lot to set up potential future conflicts, feeding into the continuation of the series, but in a subtle way that makes you enjoy it more than if it were blatantly obvious that a series was the goal. Percy is a character that you want to see succeed, he’s a great, yet misunderstood, kid and it’s obvious that he’s going to mature into an interesting teenager. His character alone makes me want to continue reading the series!
I also loved that this combined something we know a bit about, Greek mythology, with the modern world we’re familiar with. To a large extent, the magic I felt while reading this book rivaled how I felt for Harry Potter when I first started reading that – with the notable exception that I found Harry to be somewhat annoying in his younger years and I didn’t get that with Percy.
One thing that did confuse me was why the Gods thought Percy had stolen the lightning bolt…sure, they could claim motivations from his father, but don’t they have better logs of who has visited them? Couldn’t they have just looked at the visitors from the day the bolt went missing and figure out from there?
I really liked the fact that Percy had to visit the Oracle pretty early on, and learn what the prophecy meant from there. Although I’ve seen the movie, there were some surprises due to the deviation from the book (the Oracle itself), so there were a few things I was totally not expecting! I liked this more realistic approach to how this world might go – there are going to be all kinds of people/monsters/whatever interfering in Percy’s life, larger scale things that no one knows about or can predict. I’m not going to spoil things for anyone, but I can definitely say that I liked the more intricate workings of the villains in this book, and the larger story line they are building up to.
This is a series I am eager to continue reading, and I plan to pick up the next book as soon as it fits into my schedule!
Read this book if: I think this is a fun fantasy series that will likely appeal to fans of Harry Potter. It’s not quite the same kind of magic, but since we’ve got no more Harry, this is a nice substitution.
My Rating: 4.5/5 – Borderline amazing!