Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Book Review: Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (Olympians #1)

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.

With cover art from the major motion picture, this first installment of Rick Riordan's best-selling series is a non-stop thrill-ride and a classic of mythic proportions.

My Review:
Percy is attacked by a teacher on a school field trip and with the help of his Latin teacher and a pen turning into a sword, he blasts her into space-yet nobody seems to have any memory of the incident or the teacher. When he confronts his edgy friend he learns that something powerful is coming after him and they flee to a sanctuary for half human-half god children. Here he learns that Zeus thinks Percy has stolen from him and Percy has to find the object and return it before war breaks out between the Greek Gods of Olympus.

This is my second reading of the book which I had to do to refresh my memory about Percy before I went on to read the rest of this series. It was a quick read and I liked the story as much as I did the first time.

Percy is a good hero. He is 12 years old but he is reasonably smart, and despite a difficult life he is not a whiny brat, which was a bonus. I liked the idea of why he has dyslexia and ADHD, fitting it in with him being a demi god. He is also named after the famous Perseus. His only friend is a strange crippled kid called Grover-the reason for his walking issues becomes clear when we discover that he is a satyr-half man half goat, who is sworn to protect Percy until it is time to get him to the safety of Camp Half Blood. Grover is amusing, scared of everything, but prone to bouts of bravery that make him my favourite character in the book.

The other characters in the book are good. Annabeth, daughter of Athena is the smart kid who always has a plan, and her banter filled friendship with Percy and Grover is fun. She wants to prove herself on a quest so when Percy is tasked with finding the missing lightning bolt of Zeus, she is first to volunteer. There is Luke, son of Hermes, who is still suffering from the failed quest that his father sent him on.Percy's favourite teacher from school is revealed to be Chiron the centaur. The camp director is the wonderfully grumpy Dionysus, who hates everyone and his job.

The monsters are also fun. We get hellhounds, scorpions, Furies, 'Auntie Em', Chimera, Charon, Cerberus and others, which leads to some exciting action battles. I like how the author puts a ton of Greek mythology into the story in a way that fits for readers to enjoy without it getting too complex. I always enjoyed Greek mythology so it was good to get a book full of those stories, Gods and monsters. I've always been fascinated by poor Hades who got a very raw deal from his brothers. My sympathy for him increased after watching the recent Titans films! It was also nice to see the way Percy was able to use his father's powers to help him when he got into trouble.

Overall this was a fun and educational book that readers of all ages can enjoy. I'm looking forward to getting through the rest of this series in the next few days and getting them reviewed. 
star rating photo: Three Star Rating 3stars.png


  1. The kids that went to school with my kiddo really enjoyed this book and series, my son...well I don't think he was really into it (or reading at the time). As he never finished the story. I still have it here to give a go at some point. :)

    1. They're decent enough reads but not ones I could read over and over-they are certainly written for the younger reader. Fine to pass an afternoon with though.