The Lightning Thief

Title: The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1)

Author: Rick Riordan

Summary From Goodreads:

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.

Personal Review:

Why, oh why, did I wait so long to read this book??? It was really good.

I have never been a fan of Greek mythology. I felt like teachers tried to ram it down my throat too much when I was little. I feel like it was brought up almost every year in some form or another each and every year at school. So instead of learning it (like you should through repetition), I came to resent it.

Well, this book threw that all out the window. Now I want to research all of the Greek mythology that was talked about in this book. I want to better know who the Gods and Goddess were and the demi-gods and everything like that.

Percy Jackson was an intriguing hero. He was sort of reminiscent of Harry Potter (including the “Golden Trio” comprising of one female and two males). And I thought that that would perhaps annoy me. After all, there can only be one Harry Potter series… And I did love it so much. Well, that was wrong.

While Percy Jackson does resemble Harry Potter (hello, black hair and green eyes), he is a lot more likable than Harry Potter. I know that a lot of people will disagree with me about this, but I found the character of Harry Potter to be extremely self-involved. He had a whole “poor me, pity me” thing going on that I found really annoying.

Percy Jackson, on the other hand, is never self-pitying. He is a true hero, even taking into account what the person he is rescuing would want. He isn’t willing to sacrifice everything to get what he wants (including himself) and he seems to have a good head on his shoulders. In addition, I found his two companions (Annabeth and Grover) to be amazing. They added so much to the story (whether through their wisdom, idiocy, humor, etc) they were great. It is so nice to have heroes that aren’t always perfect, make a few mistakes, but end up coming out ahead in the end.

Outside of the characters, the whole idea of this quest was brilliant. The idea that someone stole Zeus’ master lightning bolt and it has to be restored before World War III breaks out was amazingly clever. And then the journey to get there was great as well. Whether it was the random run-ins with monsters or the settings they encounter, the whole thing had me laughing all the way through.

One final thing to look at in the book is the settings. Can I just say that Rick Riordan is a genius! It is great. To thing that Mount Olympus is in New York or Hades is in L.A. is amazing. The whole concept that Mount Olympus and Hades moves over the years based off of what country is in power is so original. And then you have a camp that is entirely for demi-gods??? Brilliant. Pure genius.

Honestly, I have nothing negative to say about this book. I am left with only two questions at the end… Why in the heck did I wait so long to read this (it has been on my bookshelf for over four years) and When can I get my hands on the next one??? I cannot wait to read the next book.

Rating: 5