Review: Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

April 17, 2011 at 11:53 am (4 stars, review) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Pages: 375, paperback

ISBN: 9780141329994

Publisher: Puffin

Date Released: January 7th, 2010 (first published in 2005)

Genre: Middle Grade / fantasy / adventure / mythology: Greek

Source: library

Premise:

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. (Taken from Goodreads)

Buy it now from The Book Depository

I was slightly skeptical about this book. A middle grade book about Greek mythology, said to be the next Harry Potter? I didn’t think it could be pulled off properly. And I was wondering what was so good about it that Hollywood decided to make of it (which I saw many months later).

I read it to give it a try. I just knew, though, that I wouldn’t like it.

Every skeptical thought I had was lost on the first page of the book. From the beginning, I was drawn into the world of Percy Jackson. The writing just draws you in and doesn’t ever release its hold until the very last page. Even then, it gives you this thirst to read the rest of the series. The writing flowed in such a way that it kept my attention: fast paced with such an elaborate voice. It really did feel like Percy Jackson was narrating the story to me.  It was fun, and it sounded like a genuine 12-year-old, what with all that silly humour and whatnot.

What I loved most about the writing in this book is how every chapter is filled to the brim with action. There’s just so much going on all the time that there’s hardly any time for a breather, but I think that it works in this case, for it makes putting the book down a near impossible feat.

I loved the characters. They weren’t two-dimensional, they felt so completely real, and I found myself loving each and every one of them (especially Hades and Ares. Man, those two were so hardcore). While I found myself cringing at the niceness at some of the gods, I still found it believable (and I thought it was appropriate enough for a MG novel) especially with the adulterous nature of the gods. I loved that they didn’t exclude that, unlike some novels I’ve seen.

The infusion of Greek mythology  into a modern setting was done splendidly. I was in awe at how well it was done. Some things were a bit predictable, but I guess that’s mainly because I have quite a lot of knowledge on Greek mythology. I loved it.

As soon as I finished this book, I rushed out to get my hands on the rest of the series, and let me tell you, they do not disappoint.

Cover Art: 3
Plot: 4
Characters: 4
Writing: 4
Level of Interest: 4

Total: 4/5 stars

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4 Comments

  1. janicu said,

    I’m interested in reading this one, it’s on my TBR – I got a copy thrown in with an order from the book depository a few months ago. I keep hearing good things and my husband got the movie from Netflix (which won’t play on our DVD player, but that’s a different story). Anyway, great to hear you liked it!

    • nlmars said,

      Ooh, I can’t wait to see what you think of it. I hope you enjoy it like I did. 🙂

  2. Sue Bursztynski said,

    I haven’t read this yet, but the kids at my school are demanding the series (which i why I haven’t read it yet – It’s always out). I suppose I’d better grab it as soon as it next comes back!

    • nlmars said,

      Yeah, I’d really recommend you try to get your hands on it. For a middle-grade book, it’s surprisingly mature and even adults can enjoy it.

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