Review: The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and The Olympians #1) by Rick Riordan

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The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
First Published June 2005
Paperback (375 pages)-April 2006 by Disney Hyperion

If You’ve Only Got A Minute:

Pretty sure everyone and their grandmother has read this already, but I’ll go ahead and add my two cents. This was good and fun and I really enjoyed it. Percy is everyone’s favorite hero: loyal and loving with enough insecurity to make him relateable and enough snark to give him some personality. The Greek Gods concept is executed admirably and the plot is action packed. I recommend it, I think most fantasy and Harry Potter fans will find something to enjoy here, the younger among them especially so. 4/5 stars.

Summary

Percy Jackson can’t seem to stay in school. He’s dyslexic and a talk-backer to boot and he rarely makes it a year per boarding school. But right after summer vacation starts, disaster strikes and he finds himself at Camp Half-Blood, where the children of the gods, yes, the Greek gods of mythology, reside. Percy discovers his true parentage and is soon granted a quest: find Zeus’s master lightning bot before war breaks out on Olympus, with disastrous consequences for all of mankind.

My Thoughts

It’s a well built, world-within our own fantasy world. The kids at Camp Half-Blood are drawn together by their supernatural parentage, but their aptitudes and personalities vary based on who that parent is, giving the series a lot of opportunity for developing some interesting characters and conflicts. I liked the characters that were presented in this book. Annabeth is tough and determined, struggling to learn how to open herself back up to her distant father. Percy, as I said, is a strong, relateable hero. The gods are the gods of myth, really. Distant and supernatural but insanely human in their jealousy.

The plot was fast and full of action. Once the quest starts, in particular. It was almost too action packed. It wasn’t even a surprise anymore when they were attacked because I knew they would be attacked by something in every. single. scene. But the monsters were good and some of the stuff was really creative, like the hotel in Vegas. I just feel that if fewer of those crazy things could have happened and it would have made the book even more exciting, if that makes any sense. Overall I enjoyed it, but I wasn’t drawn in to the point of staying up all night or anything. It actually took a few days, which is weird for me.

Wrap-Up

That was a short one, but I don’t have a lot of really bad or really good things to say about it. I liked it a lot, especially after hearing a lot of hype about the series before I started it. I’ve got Sea of Monsters on my TBR list and I’m looking forward to it and the rest of this lengthy series. It’s fun fantasy that is appropriate for young readers, but still entertaining for those of us a decade older than Percy or more. It has a lot of noticeable parallels to Harry Potter, which makes it obvious why it has found a large audience of fans. There’s action, adventure, friendship, magic school, mythical beings and creatures galore, and strong characters, both male and female.

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