Friday, August 15, 2014

Book Review: THE LIGHTNING THIEF (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1)

Percy Jackson is about to get kicked out of school. Again. His grades are average at best; he struggles with ADHD and dyslexia; and for some reason, strange things always happen around him. Take, for instance, the field trip he takes with his fellow Yancey Academy students where his pre-algebra teacher turns into a strange creature with bat wings and Percy slays her with a pen that turns into a sword. And afterwards, no one seems to remember this teacher ever existing. Not even his friend Grover, though Percy senses his friend is hiding something. Um, strange?

When he and his mother are attacked near their lake house by a minotaur, Percy escapes with Grover to Camp Half-Blood where he finally learns the truth: Greek gods are real. And they have kids. And Percy is one of them. Camp Half-Blood is a safe haven of sorts where these kids can train to become heroes, but Percy isn’t sure he wants to stay. He needs to find his mom, who disappeared in a flash of gold when the minotaur attacked.  

Percy’s life, however, is getting more complicated by the minute. Zeus’s master lightning bolt has been stolen, creating war between the gods, and someone is trying to frame Percy. He, Grover, and their new friend Annabeth embark on a quest to retrieve the bolt to clear Percy’s name and restore piece on Mount Olympus.

Okay, I know I should’ve read these books like…ten years ago. Oops. Better late than never, right? I see Rick Riordan’s books everywhere, (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Kane Chronicles, and now the Heroes of Olympus) and they look beautiful and fun to read, so I finally borrowed THE LIGHTNING THIEF from my brother. One book in and I love this story so much already! Percy is a fantastic narrator: funny, snarky and blunt. The chapter titles are hilarious too, like “I Accidentally Vaporize My Pre-Algebra Teacher” and “A God Buys Us Cheeseburgers. ” 

The story is fast-paced, especially once the trio embarks on the quest and starts getting in all sorts of trouble. I love the modern-day spins Riordan puts on the different gods and mythological creatures, like Ares (god of war) being a terrifying biker dude. Lots of smaller subplots are set in place during this book that I think will carry on and be explored in the rest of the series, and I can’t wait to see what happens.

I saw the movie when it came out however many years ago it was, and at the time I really enjoyed it. Now that I’ve read the book, I’d probably spend all my time pointing out the differences (and I know there are many), so I’m not sure if I’ll watch it again. Although I do still picture a super baby-faced Logan Lerman as Percy. That kid is adorable! If you like fun spins on Greek mythology, treacherous road trips, and snarky narrators, give THE LIGHTNING THIEF a try!

Now, onward to SEA OF MONSTERS!  


  1. Omg I'm so glad you liked the first book. Let me tell you, it just gets better from here. The books become even more addicting, and you are introduced to some amazing characters. I actually have to get my butt moving in on The Kane Chronicles. I heard it was spectacular.

  2. Aw yay! I'm glad you enjoyed The Lightning Thief! The whole Percy Jackson series is my new book obsession even though I too started them about ten years late. Let me just say that the whole series from Percy Jackson and the Olympians all the way to the Heroes of Olympus is absolutely amazing. Each book gets better than the last. And you're not alone. I watched the movie when it first came out and enjoyed it too. Now, all I can think is "what have they done?!" any time I watch it again. Logan Lerman will always be Percy to me too =)


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