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March 18, 2010 posted by Katie

Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief – Rick Riordan

Look, I didn’t want to be a half-blood. I never asked to be the son of a Greek god.

I was just a normal guy, going to school, playing basketball, skateboarding. The usual. Until I accidentally vaporized my maths teacher. That’s when things really started going wrong. Now I spend my time fighting with swords, battling monsters with my friends and generally trying to stay alive.

This is the one where Zeus, God of the Sky, thinks I’ve stolen his lightning bolt – and making Zeus angry is a very bad idea.

I first heard mention of the Percy Jackson books since watching the trailer for the recent adaption to screen, and as it is yaReads bookclub choice of the month, I decided to take a look and see what it is all about.

At first glances, Percy is a troubled kid. Constantly getting in trouble as school, unable to pay attention in classes because of his dyslexia, and his only true friend being the class outcast of Grover. With his best subject being Latin, taught by the slightly old Mr Brunner, Percy finds it tough to get a break. And when things start to seem slightly off on a recent school field trip to the museum, Percy starts to think that perhaps something isn’t right. For example, only he seems to remember their old maths teacher, and he seems to be the only one that Mr Brunner is really keen to get the ancient Greek and Roman myths right. Yet the vanishing maths teacher isn’t the only thing that seems to go wrong.

On a family holiday with his mum, things start to turn horrible. Being chased by a creature that shouldn’t exist, Percy must reach the sanctuary of a summer camp that even his mother doesn’t seem to know much about. When Percy arrives, he beings to discover exactly why he seems different.

For Percy is the son of a god. His is a half-blood, but just exactly who his father is, no one seems to know. At a summer camp that involves daily activities of sword fighting and learning Ancient Greek, Percy finally has a place where he belongs, a place with kids just like him. That is, until he attracts the attention of the one person you really shouldn’t disrupt.

Zeus thinks that Percy has stolen his lightning bolt – and demands that it must be returned before the summer solstice in ten days time. Accompanied by two friends, Percy begins the journey of a lifetime. One that could decide if he lives or dies. And with nearly every god and creature in the universe out to get you, locating one bolt of lightning is a lot harder than it looks.

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief is the first in a series of novels by Rick Riordan. I had high expectations of this novel, hearing a lot about it from friends and seeing great reviews. However, the biggest let of the novel was plot. To me, it didn’t move with any form of flowing pace, and lacked development. It was one action seen after the next. Just as you thought nothing more could happen to them, another obstacle was thrown in their way. I understand that it was a ‘quest’ novel, but I would have liked to see some more non-action development of plot – some working out of clues and a plan to get from A to B instead of running headlong at everything that came.

That being said, I did find the characters extremely enjoyable to read about. Highlights for me were both Annabeth and Grover. Both characters where strong and unique, helping Percy on his quest and helping him to grow as a person. In particular, I hope we see a lot more of Grover in future novels, he was a personal favourite.

If you’re a fan of action and mythology, that I can say that Percy Jackson will be something that you will enjoy.

Published date: 2005

Pages: 374

Rating:: ★★★½☆

Teaser quote: He pulled a pen from his coat pocket and handed it to me. It was an ordinary disposable ballpoint, black ink, removable cap. Probably cost thirty cents.

‘Gee,’ I said. ‘Thanks.’

‘Percy, that’s a gift from your father. I’ve kept it for years not knowing you were who I was waiting for. But the prophecy is clear to me now. You are the one.’

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  • I just did a review for this book. It’s just worth reading it from cover to cover.

  • I really enjoyed this book. but I think the plot was so because it was a middle grade book. I like how fast pasted they are becuase it keeps kids attention more, were I care about the plot and character developement and the relatioship between Percy and Annabeth, or the relatioship between Sally Jackson and Paul (later books) I know my little cousins won’t the fast fights and the neverendig plot is hard to do. I think it was done really well in keeping kids attention. it was one of the reasons i never got into harry potter when i was little

  • I thought that this was a pretty good book. I also like how they did a good job making it a movie, they didn’t cut out a lot and the changes they made in my opinion where all good ones.

    • Not to be mean but they changed a lot I hate the movie but I love the book

  • I also became interested in this series after seeing the movie trailer. As mentioned, The Lightning Thief is a fast-paced action novel. Personally, I liked following the characters from one disaster to the next and wondering how they were going to handle each situation. Riordan tends to use the action sequences to explore each character individually instead of using exposition scenes with long-winded speeches.
    This book is largely an introduction into Percy’s world and further character development is left to the later novels. Where I thought the book really shined was in its playful use of Greek Mythology mixing with American culture. If nothing else, the adventures of Percy Jackson are a great way to get older children (8-13) familiar with Greek Mythology. There are also some interesting themes lurking in the series to keep adults entertained.

  • Dear Rick Riordan,
    Do you get annoyed with the changes made in the movie “The Lightning Theif”? I know I do. It’s nothing like the book. It’s a good movie but, if they wanted to make a movie based on the book, they shouldn’t have made so many changes. I love your books. I’m reading “The Red Pyramid” right now. But I hope you could make some more Percy Jackson books. I would really like to know what the new prophicy means.
    – Maddie

    • I agree with you on evry thing

  • i Loved this book. I am thirteen and still enjoyed it because it was an easy/funny read and managed to keep you enticed the whole way through. I personally think that they stuffed up the movie by changing to much and that it will make it impossible to produce a sequel and still keep anything from the original plot lin.

  • my sister has dyslexia but she can live a very normal life eventhough she can’t read that much;*,

  • awesome story! oh ,my God! since i read this book, i am hooked with it and i love logan lerman! <3
    i just read this book because we have a book review project in english. but i've learnead a lot with it. :)hope you liked it too!

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