Books I Read: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Title: The Lightning Thief
Author: Rick Riordan
Genre: MG Fantasy
Published: 2005
My Content Rating: PG for action scenes
Cliffhanger Ending: No

Summer after 6th grade, Percy Jackson learns that the Greek gods are real, alive, and one of them is his father. Oh, and half the Greek pantheon is trying to kill him because they think he stole Zeus's master lightning bolt. So, not the best summer of his life.

What I loved about this book (in list form, cuz I'm feeling lazy today):
  • It's funny.
  • Exciting action.
  • The plot is nice and twisty, even after seeing the movie.
  • Speaking of which, it is much better than the movie.*
  • The world-building is pretty clever.**
The only thing I didn't like so much was the scenes at Camp Half-Blood felt too much like Harry Potter to me (it didn't help that the brave, muggle-raised protagonist befriended the school's camp's smartest girl). But once they got on their quest, that didn't bother me so much.

I'm not a "Greek mythology! Love it!" kind of guy (I prefer Eastern mythology, which I'm less familiar with). But if you are gonna revisit the Greek stories, Rick Riordan figured out a really great way to do it.

Have you read this book? What did you think?


* Seriously, it was like Hollywood used all the boring, irrelevant parts and cut all the interesting stuff that made sense.

** The only problem I had with the world-building was how demigods were all dyslexic because they're "genetically predisposed" to read ancient Greek. It's the language geek in me. Sorry, Rick.

12 comments:

Donna said...

This was a fun book, and I thought it was a great way to introduce kids (and reintroduce some adults) to Greek mythology.

Matthew MacNish said...

I've never read any Riordan. I'm not sure why, something about borrowing so heavily from well known myths always bothered me a bit, I guess. However, my kids both read and absolutely adore him, so he's clearly doing something right.

Jack said...

This is one of my favourite series. I'm currently reading the newest series with Percy in it, which I like a lot too, just not as much as this series because Percy doesn't tell the story in the new books.

I can't stand the movie. They didn't even get the characters right. I don't mind most movies they've made from books, but thins one I cannot bare to watch. Too painful.

Allons-y

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

I'm a HUGE Riordan fan. All my boys are too. And the movie was a travesty, don't even get me started. There are SIX BOOKS in that series! (More with spinoffs, because the franchise just keeps growing) They could have made a whole bunch of epic films, but instead it died with the first. *cries*

Lori M. Lee said...

I've yet to read this book, but my 10yo had read the whole series and she loves it. I guess there's no better endorsement than that lol.

Peggy Eddleman said...

I loved it! It's one of those books where I wished I had thought of it. :) And yeah. The movie tanked. I guess the language part in it didn't bother me at all, because before I read the book, I had read an interview with Rick Riordan that said he told these stories to his dyslexic son before writing it, as a way to make him feel like he was something special, and that he could do great things. That made me totally okay with it.

Laura Hughes, MittensMorgul said...

I haven't seen the movie, because I really enjoyed the books and heard the movie just didn't stand up. Oh, well. The books are a lot of fun. My 12-year-old is reading the last of the Kane Chronicles series now, and LOVED Percy. For me, it was a great refresher course on the Greek and Roman myths.

Angela Brown said...

Because I've watched the movie, I've been hesitant about reading the book. I did read the first book in his Kane Chronicles and enjoyed his use of Egyptian mythology there.

Kristen Wixted said...

My two daughters had to be convinced to read them by a smart bookseller because they thought they were "boy books" but as soon as they got going, they gobbled up the whole series. Fast.

I didn't read them myself. They've been on the list for a while.

mshatch said...

Haven't read it, but I don't read a lot of MG. LIked your review though so maybe I'll get it at the library :)

Myrna Foster said...

Glad you liked it! I just finished THE MARK OF ATHENA. :o)

KayC said...

Yet another 'must read' to add to the list. I seem to knock one off and add two more. I guess I'm not the only one!