Tuesday 16 February 2010

Review: Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief - Rick Riordan

Look, I didn't want to be a half-blood.  I never asked to be the son of a Greek God.

I was just a normal kid, going to school, playing basketball, skateboarding.  The usual.  Until I accidentally vaporized my maths teacher.  That's when things really started going wrong.  Now I spend my time fighting with swords, battling monsters with my friends and generally trying to stay alive.

This is the one where Zeus, God of the Sky, thinks I've stolen his lightning bolt - and making Zeus angry is a very bad idea.

Percy Jackson Series:
The Lightning Thief
Sea of Monsters
Titan's Curse
Battle of the Labyrinth
Last Olympian

Visit Rick Riordan's website or the Percy Jackson website for more information

I'm sure that I'm not the only person who brought this book purely because I liked the look of the film trailer.  I always prefer to read the book first so I just had to pick it up.  I didn't know much about the series before I started reading so I wasn't sure what to expect.  I had a feeling that I might find it aimed at a younger audience that the usual YA books I read but as it turned out I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Percy is a 12 year old boy with dyslexia and ADHD.  At the start of the book he is on the verge of being expelled from his 6th school in as many years for behaviour problems.  He tries to be good but finds it hard to fit in & always seems to be caught in the middle of strange events. 

When on a school trip Percy ends up vaporising his teacher & things start to get really strange.  He is struggling to make sense of what is happening around him and is very surprised to discover that the father he never met is actually a Greek God.  He ends up at Camp Half Blood - a summer school for demigods and starts to understand the strange things that have happened throughout his life.

He has the usual problems associated with trying to fit in at a new school but starts to feel like he is settling in.  The last thing he wants to be is a hero, but when it becomes apparant that Zeus believes he was responsible for stealing his lightning bolt, Percy is left with no choice but to accept a quest.  Armed with a magical pen and with the assistance of his friends Grover and Annabeth, it is up to Percy to find the missing lightning bolt and return it to Zeus before the God's start a war.

This was a really great read & can be enjoyed by young and old alike.  I quickly found myself immersed in the world Rick Riordan has created and the story moved along at a fast pace.  I really enjoyed the way Greek mythology was woven into the story & I found it easy to relate to the main characters.  I know there have been comparisons to Harry Potter by other reviewers but I didn't even think of that while I was reading the book.  Yes there are similarities but you can make comparisons about many books & that doesn't take anything away from the enjoyment I got from reading this book.  I'm looking forward to continuing reading this series.

Source: Purchased

Other Reviews:
I Swim For Oceans
Laughing Stars
Ms. Martin Teaches Media
Book Rat
A Few Good Books
Girls Without a Bookshelf
Nayu's Reading Corner
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.


  1. My best friend just read the book in Dutch and thought it was a fun book. I have to say that there are so many good books out there, that I may even try this one but just not right now. I do like the sound of it and the movie trailer is great!

  2. I have the same problem Nina - too many great books & too little time to read them all LOL. I'd recommend this one if you're after a quick & fun read though :o)

  3. I read the series last year, and let me tell you...it gets better as it goes along! The last 2 books are absolutely phenomenal! The fourth book is absolutely my favorite! Wonderful review! :)

  4. I haven't read the Harry Potter books or this one so I can't compare. I have thought about reading it, I think I will now reading your review. Thanks!

  5. I decided to read the book before seeing the movie too. My review is here. What did you think of the movie? I posted my thoughts about it here.

  6. Aw. Lovely review. This book is so awesome! I only realized some comparisons with HP when I started reading the second book, which I'm still reading... But there are little things. Only. :) I thought the movie horrible...

  7. This is a really good series and it does get better with each book. The last two are wonderful, book five is my favorite of the series. You're right, The Lightning Thief is definitely a quick fun read. Have you seen the movie?

  8. I finally got around to this when a good friend of mine wouldn't stop hounding me. She is obsessed with Harry Potter, and when she read this, she said she ranked it right up there with HP. That's when I knew it had to be good, 'cause she doesn't toss around the HP lightly... ;p

  9. I absolutely love this series. It is so popular with my students. Percy is an awesome character and I cannot wait for the film.

  10. @ Lily - Great to hear the books get even better :o) I was already looking forward to reading more!

    @ Book Chick City - I would recommend this series. I love Harry Potter too though!

    @ Kathy - I've not seen the film yet but have heard mixed opinions of it. I'll check out your review in a minute. I've added your review of the book to my post :o)

    @ Raila - I think there are so many differences between this & HP that it isn't worth comparing the 2 :o) Glad you're enjoying the next book but it's a shame you didn't like the film. I've seen very mixed views of it.

    @ Serpentine Librarian - I'm going to have to go & buy the rest of the series after seeing everyone's comments :o) I've not seen the film yet - have you? What did you think of it if you have?

    @ Misty - I think out of the 2 series I probably prefer HP but then I've only read the 1st book about Percy so my opinion may change by the end of the series :o) I do love both series though - so I'd agree that this one is up there with HP

    @ Becky - I'm not surprised to hear this series is popular with your students :o) I'm really looking forward to seeing the film too!

  11. Thanks for reviewing it. I've been wondering about it myself.

  12. I've been wanting to read this series especially since I heard about the movie. Looks like a fun series! Thanks for the review!

  13. @ Sarah - I'd really recommend giving it a try. I'm looking forward to continuing the series :o)

    @ Hmsgofita - I really want to see the film! I've heard they made a lot of changes compared to the book (don't they always LOL) but I'm going to see it with an open mind

  14. I'm so glad you enjoyed this book too. I read it so I could see the film also and I'm so glad I did. Here's the link to my review:


  15. @ Sunnysmileqt - Thanks for stopping by. I've added your link to my review :o)

  16. I really liked the movie and bought immediately this book (who is related to the International Symposium I am organizing, as you know), but I haven't read it yet... Should read it for December 2011 obviously (well it is what I indicated in my reading schedule for the International Reading Challenge we host this year!).
    Many thanks for that review!



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