Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Title: The Lightning Thief

Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians

Year: 2005

Author: Rick Riordan

Summary: 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 into his life. And worse, he's angered a few of them. Zeus' 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' stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on 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. (from Goodreads)

Main Characters: 
Percy Jackson
Annabeth Chase
Grover Underwood
Luke Castellan

Review: A cousin recommended this series, and although my Percy Jackson experience began with the 2010 film, I followed it up with reading the whole series, and it was, overall, a surprisingly pleasant experience. Even though The Lightning Thief is over 300 pages long, it's very fun read. Percy is a humorous narrator, and the chapter headings kept a smile on my face the whole time I was reading (i.e. I Ruin a Perfectly Good Bus and We Get Advice from a Poodle). The quips and comments are well-placed and balance the more serious side of the novel very nicely. The action is fast-paced, and you can never stop for a moment to be bored; Percy and his friends won't allow that. And while the end is satisfactory, it leads right up to the second book, Sea of Monsters

There's a great deal of Greek mythology popping up in The Lightning Thief. Within the first few pages, Percy discovers that his father is a Greek god of Olympus, and he himself is accused of stealing Zeus' master lightning bolt. He meets centaurs, satyrs, and other creatures of myth, and journeys to places that he thought only existed in legend. The way Rick Riordan weaves the myths and legends into the story is interesting to see; Greek mythology comes to life, and while I came away from the book knowing more about the Greek gods and legends, I never once got the feeling that I was reading a history book. I've always been interested in Greek history, so in that aspect, this book was two thumbs up! 

Advisory: The biggest issue I have with the Percy Jackson series is that the main theme throughout the series is the Greek gods having kids with humans. The demigods are the main characters, and it is their quests that make up all the books. There is a little bit of language, as some people swear by the gods of Olympus. Percy encounters some creepy characters and battles several of them, but the level of violence and "gore" is just what you'd expect for this book. I'd recommend this for 12 years old and up.

As a Christian, I must point out that this story, while entertaining, is just that: entertainment. The characters in The Lightning Thief see the mythological gods of Olympus as the rulers over the world; Zeus is lord of the skies, Poseidon the lord of the waters, etc. rather than giving the one true God the credit due Him and His name.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Click here to buy The Lightning Thief on Amazon!

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