(Cover picture courtesy of Rick Riordan’s website.)
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.
You’ve probably heard this before, but The Lightning Thief has a very Harry Potter-esque feel. It’s not quite on the same level, but it is a very good book. What I like most about it is that it can be read by teenage boys, who are extremely under-represented in the YA genre. Rick Riordan has tapped into this market and I hope more authors will follow his lead and write for boys, who actually do read.
With just the right amount of action and tension, The Lightning Thief is a worthwhile read. Percy Jackson is a very sympathetic protagonist and I love the fact that the series is told by him in first person, which brings us closer to him. Despite being half-god, he is not all-powerful and often needs to be rescued by his companions as he journeys across the country to find Zeus’s lightning bolt. But he is not entirely helpless either, which stops him from becoming an annoyingly incompetent character.
Even if you don’t know much about Greek mythology, you will get a lot out of this book. Rick Riordan has obviously done his research and I love the personality quirks of the gods we meet along the way, especially Mars. If there was only one reason to read this book, it would be because of the gods.
I give this book 4.5/5 stars.