Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Review: The Lightning Thief

Title: The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1)
Author: Rick Riordan
Publisher: Miramax
Publication Date: June 12th, 2005
Genre: Children’s Fiction, Fantasy, Mythology

Twelve-year-old Percy Jackson has been kicked out of one boarding school after another and Yancy Academy will likely be no exception. Percy goes to a school for troubled kids in Upstate New York. School has always been a struggle for Percy, who has ADHD and dyslexia. He is used to the occasional strange occurrence, but things reach a whole new level of weird when his math teacher turns into a monster. And no one even remembers her afterwards. After he is attacked by a Minotaur, Percy escapes to Camp Half-Blood and learns that is a demi-god: half human, half god. Just as he is getting used to his new life and abilities, Percy is sent on a quest. Someone has stolen Zeus’ lightning bolt, and Percy is the number one suspect. Will Percy be able to find the real thief and prove his innocence?

I have no idea why it took me so long to start this book. Truth be told, I had never even heard of it until the movie came out a few years ago. Recently, quite a few people have been recommending it to me, and it took me a while to do anything about it. The Lightning Thief came out when I was fifteen, and it just wasn’t on my radar at that time. Which is a shame, because it was quite good. It took me a while to get into it, mainly because of the writing style, which I initially found to be awkward. Things picked up fairly quickly, since this book is basically packed with action. The concept is original and intriguing, but at the same time you can’t help but wonder why no one thought of this before. When you think about it, it makes sense for the Greek gods to still be around today and mating with humans. It was one those ideas that I wish I came up with first. The plot was exciting, but at times I didn’t like the pacing, since it felt like conflict after conflict. I loved how Percy was, as he puts it, a troubled kid who struggles in pretty much every aspect of his life until he goes to Camp Half Blood. I also enjoyed his sarcasm. I know some people were annoyed by the similarities between The Lightning Thief and Harry Potter, but I never connected the two while reading. Honestly, I think a lot of fantasy novels have similarities if you break them down. The Lightning Thief never felt unoriginal. I loved how it mixed Greek gods with a road trip across America. If you are interested in the Greek gods, then this book is a must-read.

The Lightning Thief is a book that deserves its popularity. With an interesting concept that was carried out perfectly, this book was very difficult to put down. At the same time, I just feel like it wasn’t for me. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I’d read it at a younger age. Although I will be continuing with the series, I’m not in any rush to do so. Despite that, I still think that The Lightning Thief is a great fantasy novel and a promising start to the series. It was fast paced and riveting and felt like a perfect book for a reluctant reader.


“If my life is going to mean anything, I have to live it myself.”

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