Thursday, March 12, 2015

Read - Percy Jackson / The Lightning Thief

The Lightning Thief
(Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book One)
by Rick Riordan
2005
375 pages

'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 ino 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 in 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.'


As with most things, I'm late to the Percy Jackson party.  I've been aware of the books and intended to read them for a long time but it wasn't until I received the boxed set for Christmas that I'm finally doing it.  I remember when the movie came out on DVD we bought it right away, and I even remember starting to watch it.  I don't remember finishing it though.  Having read this book now, I really want to dig out that movie and watch it.

This is a middle grade book, intended for ages 10-14.  I find I quite enjoy these middle grade books because they're an easier read.  And just like with that Loki's Wolves series I've posted about, it's an easier way to learn about the Norse gods (in Loki's Wolves) and the Greek gods in this.

I really enjoyed this book.  I tend to compare things in my head so of course there were some Harry Potter comparisons happening in my head.  I didn't let it get in the way though, and this story worked in its own way.  Another good thing about middle grade books is that they usually don't have a lot of extra stuff or complicated storylines.  This book kept a good pace and stuck to the main plot quite well.  There was just enough sneakiness to keep you thinking you'd figured things out and then suddenly you're near the end and thinking 'Oh, clever!  You fooled me!' And then a couple more things happen and you find you were probably right all along.  I admit though, I didn't figure out was in the pit beforehand.  Even when it was revealed, I was wondering what I'd missed that had made it obvious enough for these kids to figure out.  Maybe if I'd known a bit more about the Greek gods going into this I would have picked up the clues.  But oh well, it all works out in the story.

I liked Percy.  I liked that he wasn't perfect, and that he wasn't a whiny victim of his circumstances.  When he was mad, he was mad.  He kicked butt.  He had mean thoughts.  He was quite real.  I liked his friend Grover but I had a hard time warming up to his other friend, Annabeth.  She seemed a bit inconsistent, or undone, like the author wasn't quite sure at this point which way he wanted her to go.  Some of the characters seemed over the top but again, it's a middle grade book and kids probably loved those particular ones.

I'm glad I'm finally experiencing the Percy Jackson world.  I immediately started reading the next book, and I will be digging out the movie very soon.

Have you read the Percy Jackson series?  How about Rick Riordan's other books?

8 comments:

  1. I read the Percy Jackson series waaaaay back in middle school. Rick Riordan actually visited my middle school in 8th grade and I was able to score the books that were out at that point.
    I know I'm not completely up to date on the series, and I don't even know if the series is over, but I read the first five or six books like my life depended on it. Of course, since that was so long ago I can barely remember them.
    Your description of the characters fits my memories of them. I remember liking Percy a lot because he was so relatable.

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    1. That's so cool that he came to your school! Did you get any of your books signed?

      This series must be over because I have the boxed set. Well, actually, I guess that doesn't mean much. I have a box set of the Game of Thrones books that is incomplete. Well anyway, there are five in this set I have. It shows five in the back of the book.

      I think a new one came out very recently but that might be in the other series, Heroes of Olympus. There is also a Kane Chronicles series, about Egyptian mythology.

      ~Deb

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  2. Great review! I love the Percy Jackson series. The Heroes of Olympus is supposed to be really good too. That is next on my list from him. Glad you liked it! The movie was iffy for me. A bit too hokey and too many inconsistencies but the girls liked it.

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    1. I'm really curious about it now. I was going to watch it yesterday and dug through all of our dvds only to find we don't have it. What I'm remembering must have been Netflix. No worries though, I discovered BOTH of the movies are currently running on DirecTV so the good ol' dvr is set to record them both.

      ~Deb

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  3. My first encounter with these was on a camping trip a few years back with my godson and his parents, where they were reading it aloud as a family. I went back and read the first three books myself and enjoyed them, but not quite enough to continue beyond that. My godson gave a big thumbs down to the movie version.

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    1. While reading, I kept picturing Grover like Thomas (I think that's his name) in the first Narnia movie. Then I looked on IMDB just to see what the people in the movie looked like and my world was shattered. If the dude I was looking at was Grover, he didn't look satyr-y at all?!

      I'm still anxious to see it though.

      ~Deb

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    2. James McAvoy needs to be in every fantasy movie! :D

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    3. Mr. Tumnus! I had to look him up since you mentioned his name. Tumnus....Thomas....same thing. lol

      http://www.imdb.com/media/rm436312064/ch0004990

      ~Deb

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