Author: Rick Riordan
Published: June 1st 2005
Length: 377 pages (Hardcover)
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse-Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends — one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena — Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.
Yes. It is true. I have FINALLY read the first book about the world’s favourite demigod! I’m part of the club at last!
Ever since I found the wonderful world of booktube, I’ve heard countless of people rave about this book, Katytastic and CassJayTuck, to only mention a few, and for several months I have been telling myself and my friend, who also really like the series, that I WILL read it…soon.
Soon is a very vague word, isn’t it? Soon is a word grown-ups use when they want their kids to shut it for a moment. Soon is something I tell my homework until there’s no time left. BUT, when it comes to this book, soon has finally become now.
You see, a couple of days ago, I took a stroll in the library, and there it was; gold letters, illustrations, and all the good stuff you can ask for. So I thought to myself: “why not?”, brought it home with me, and started reading. Even though I tried to not have that high expectations, I found myself really wanting it to be as good as everyone says…and I have to tell you that it did not disappoint.
I’m going to get to the point where I tell you what I did or didn’t like about this novel in a sec, but first, you need to know that when I was nine, I absolutely LOVED Greek mythology. All the gods, the adventures, the tales…..I found all of it just super-exciting. This was almost eight years ago, though, and it has been long since I last thought about the stories I once loved. I had almost forgotten about them actually, but reading The Lightning Thief made me remember it all again. When I was about halfway through the book, I was so intrigued that I googled Zeus, Ares, Poseidon and all the rest, for over an hour, barely realising time went by at all. I really like when books do that. You know, inspire you to want to learn new things.
BUT, even though it helps to know about the myths beforehand, I don’t think it’s required to enjoy the story. According to me, Rick Riordan did a really good job introducing the reader to the most important tales, and explaining what you need to know without making it sound complicated. This means that you can follow what’s going on without problem, and then get into more detail yourself if it’s something you find interesting. :) I think that’s a very good deal ;).
My favourite thing about The Lightning Thief, though, and what I guess I will love about the rest of the books as well, is the way that Riordan has taken the myths and given them a perfect, modern, and comical twist. It smacks you in the face when you least expect it, right in the middle of a sentence. The mere surprise made me laugh several times. :D
“Even from far away, I could see people being chased by hellhounds, burned at the stake, forced to run naked through cactus patches or listen to opera music.”
And Percy, don’t get me started on Percy. I have only read the first book, but I already know I will love him. He’s brave, funny, loyal and clever. He’s also not scared of pissing of gods, which might not be that clever, but entertaining as hell, and I really liked it :).
I actually loved all the characters. Annabeth…
“She glanced at the minotaur horn in my hand, then back at me. I imagined she was going to say, You killed a Minotaur! or Wow you’re so awesome! or something like that.
Instead she said, “you drool when you sleep.”
Then she sprinted off down the lawn, her blond hair flying behind her.”
“Grover didn’t say anything for a while. Then, when I thought he was going to give me some deep philosophical comment to make me feel better, he said, “Can I have your apple?”
….all of them! I can’t wait to get to know those crazy kids better :D.
Riordan’s interpretations of the gods are hilarious as well, and I sure hope we will get to meet more of them in the future :).
And? You might ask. What about the negative stuff? Tell me about it.
The writing was awesome, the plot was exciting, it had a nice pace, there was humour and a lot of action, the characters were loveable without becoming unrealistic, the world is well thought through, and I all I want to do right now is continue with the series. In other words, I don’t know what to tell you was bad about it. I mean, I’m sure there are some faults in there if you really look, but I didn’t find any, and I’m very happy about that :).
I’m not used to reading middle-grade, but this book made me want to try out some more. I might finally be old enough to appreciate it again ;).
Some Lovely Quotes:
“Deadlines just aren’t real to me until I’m staring one in the face.”
“Meat!” he said scornfully. “I’m a vegetarian.” “You eat cheese enchiladas and aluminum cans,” I reminded him. “Those are vegetables.”
“Your uncle,” Poseidon sighed, “has always had a flair for dramatic exits. I think he would’ve done well as the god of theater.”
“But I’ve never even been to Olympus! Zeus is crazy!” Chiron and Grover glanced nervously at the sky. The clouds didn’t seem to be parting around us, as Grover had promised. They were rolling straight over our valley, sealing us in like a coffin lid. “Er, Percy …?” Grover said. “We don’t use the c-word to describe the Lord of the Sky.”
Ps. Look what I found at the library yesterday: