Monday, March 1, 2010

The Lightning Thief - Rick Riordan

Also reviewed by Heather and Mindy.

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'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 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. (Summary from back of the book and image from

My Review: I was very excited to see that there was a series out, aimed at middle school students, that taught about Greek mythology. I read quite a bit of Greek literature in college, thus reading the first in this series became a fun review.

Being labeled ADHD and dyslexic, Percy is the bane to every teacher's classroom. I couldn't help but feel empathy for him, even before he (and I) learns this all stems from his half-blood genetics. Like most kids with these labels, they don't want to be different anymore than their teachers want them disrupting their class.

Percy's life drastically changes with everything Percy holds dear taken from him. He now finds himself trying to grasp a strange reality and on a quest to save his honor...and prevent WWIII. Nothing too hard for a 12 year old boy. It stayed true to the depiction of the Greek Gods and their vanity combined with their talents. Pushing past this though, Riordan gave it a modern twist with modern locations and the God's using modern conveniences. It was fun to contemplate what it would be like if Olympus really did exist today. I also liked how Riordan painted humans as only seeing what they wanted to see.

This book had just enough high adventure, history, friendship, and smart-alec fun to be a great book. I only gave it 4.5 stars because as an adult, this wouldn't quite deserve 5 stars. For kids I'd say it definitely could hold the 5 star label. I'm looking forward to reading the next in the series, The Sea of Monsters.

My Rating: 4.5 Stars

Sum it up: A kid-friendly way of learning Greek mythology with a modern twist.


Anonymous said...

I think this is a great series for kids and it is interesting enough for adults as well. Anything that will provoke kids to come to the library requesting Greek Mythology books is good in my opinion. I really enjoyed the whole series.

Sheila Deeth said...

I'd been wondering if I'd like this series. Sounds like I would. Thank you.


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