Title: Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief
Author: Rick Riordan
Audience: Middle Grade/Young Adult
Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse – Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena – Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief was the first time I’ve ever read Rick Riordan book, and yes I am 20 years old. I really enjoyed my time reading it, which I think shows the universality of Rick Riordan’s writing. At no point during my reading experience did I feel anything was missing from the story, or anything was lacking because it was aimed at a younger audience. This was especially clear with Rick Riordan’s explanations of Greek mythology and the stories behind the myths. He also addressed the consequences of some of the myths and the impacts that they had.
My favourite part of the whole book has to be the characters. I am a character-driven reader, so to see such great characters on the page was a real bonus for me. I have to admit that my favourite character was Annabeth rather than Percy, but that is only because I see a lot of my younger self in Annabeth. I felt that throughout the story, all of the characters had their individual development as well as the development of their friendships which was really lovely to see. I love a good middle grade friendship, where all of the characters are equal, as none of the character’s feel left out or forgotten about when it comes to their personality. I also loved Rick Riordan’s portrayal of the Gods, as they all had distinct individual personalities which did vary from the original myths, but not to the point that you could not recognise them, they were just slightly toned down for children.
Even though Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief was set in modern America, I loved how Rick Riordan managed to make it fantasy. I especially loved the concept of the mist.
“It’s funny how humans can wrap their mind around things and fit them into their version of reality.”
This mist is used to hide mythical going’s on by tricking the human population into seeing what they want to see when something mythical is going on. I also enjoyed seeing Rick Riordan’s take on modern buildings and the inspiration behind them, relating them all to the influence of the Gods.
Overall, I can’t wait to dive into the next book in the series and see what adventures the gang are going to end up on next. I just can’t believe that it has taken me until I am 20 to get round to reading them.
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