The Lightening Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians - Book 1) by Rick Riordan
Publication Date: April 2006
Publisher: Hyperion/ Miramax Kid
Format: Paperback, 377 pp
Genre: YA (Young Adult)
(Audio book from the Library)
Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Borders, IndieBound
Author's Website: www.rickriordan.com
Excerpt: Click HERE!
Other Books in The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series: The Sea of Monsters, The Titan's Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, The Last Olympian,
Synopsis (Barnes & Noble):
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 lightening 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 the betrayal of a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.
I listened to this book on audio, purely for pleasure. The movie of course had been out for awhile and I hadn't read the book or seen it, so I decided to see what all the fuss was about. I tend to give in to curiosity like that sometimes. I did with Twilight and now again with this one. I certainly wasn't disappointed with it. I have always been interested in history and mythology kind of goes hand in hand with that. I had always found myself confusing Roman and Greek gods before listening to this book and now I feel like a have a better understanding of who is god of what and that sort of thing.
Percy Jackson has no idea that he is the son of Poseidon, god of the sea. He's been kicked out of every private school he's ever been in and strange things have always happened. This year he had met a good friend named Grover and his had a teacher who seemed to see some potential in him until things get a little crazy on a field trip. When Percy heads home for the summer he begins to see other things that make him leery and eventually he is being chased across the country by mythical creatures.
He makes it Halfblood Hill where he learns more about his mythological heritage and finds out that Zeus' lightening bolt has been stolen and it looks like Percy is the one they intend to blame for it. Now he has to find the lightening bolt and the real culprit and he only has a couple of friends and ten days to do it.
My daughters are ten and twelve and I think this is an excellent book and series for that age group. Rick Riordan has taken mythology, a subject usually not studied in depth until high school and made it accessible and easy to understand for a younger group of readers. The adventure elements along with the quest story will be hold the interest of young adults. It will educate while it entertains.
I thought all of the characters were well developed and easy to identify with. Most people have been the odd man out at one time or another in their lives. It could be unpopularity or shyness or whatever the cause, but I'm sure they can identify with Percy. He tends to get into fights and get kicked out of school and can never really understand why. I just think kids will really find something in him that resonates with Percy and the fact that underneath all that he is still very special.
I liked all the mythological creatures and the gods themselves and how Riordan went about personifying them. I especially liked the way he made Poseidon a beach bum and Ares the god of war rode around on a motorcycle. He certainly made mythology seem a lot more hip. I think the author has created a world within a world, an unseen aspect of the world we live in and there are young adults who will really enjoy that possibility. Quest stories are very popular in our culture, from Harry Potter, to Frodo in The Lord of the Rings and I think Percy Jackson fits right in there. I'm looking forward to listening to the next book sometime soon.
The Lightning Thief is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!