The Lighting Thief
(Percy Jackson & The Olympians #1)
Published June 28th, 2005
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Plot at a Glance:
Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school, again. But that’s the least of his problems when he discovers that he’s the child of a Greek God and that he’s thoroughly angered some of them just by existing. When Zeus’ mythological lighting bolt goes missing, and Percy becomes the prime suspect of the theft. Now, Percy and his friends have only 10 days to find and reclaim Zeus’ weapon to clear his name and curb a celestial war between the Gods. But the quest will not be easy, and a prophecy of the betrayal of a friend looms heavy over Percy’s head as he journeys across the country to find it.
My inner child is absolutely devastated that I didn’t read this series when I was a kid. Percy Jackson was one of those series that was always there, just on the periphery of my social conscious. I knew I should read it, but for one reason or another I gravitated to other things instead.
Thankfully, as an adult who likes reviewing books for fun in my spare time, I have absolutely no shame about reading the series now, even if it was originally intended for a younger audience. In some ways, I think I might have even enjoyed it more as an adult.
I’m a huge fan of Greek mythology. (I may or may not have filled electives in high school and college with classes on mythology; just like I may or may not have obsessed over shows like Xena and Hercules in my teenage years.) I had a great time comparing my own personal knowledge of Greek mythology against the ways that Riordan weaves the stories into Percy’s larger adventure.
It’s such a fun way to introduce Greek mythology to children and teens while staying entertaining for adults as well! The mythology remains faithful to the original stories, but it feels fresh and fun here as each character is full of personality and charm. The world is full of magic and wonder and I never once felt bored as the characters explored within it.
Speaking of characters full of personality, Percy Jackson himself is one of my new faves in terms of characterization. He’s brave, loyal and hilarious and his friendship with Grover and Annabeth has quickly become a favorite for me. Also, can I just say that I think it’s so cute that Riordan based Percy on his son, who had been diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia? I think it’s so awesome that Percy gets to sort of stand apart from other heroes in stories as a champion for those kids forevermore.
When I finished reading this book, I immediately went and told my 11 year old nephew that he absolutely had to read this book so I had someone to talk to about it. I’m proud to call myself a Percy Jackson fan and will be continuing the rest of the series shortly!
= 5 stars & a new favorite for me!