Thursday, November 10, 2011

Jenn's Review: The Lightning Thief

Summary:  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.

Review:  This is one of those series that is totally surrounded by hype, and it's been on my To Be Read list for a long time. Let me tell you, I'm sorry I waited so long.

I actually broke one of my cardinal rules and watched the movie before reading this. I would never judge a book by it's movie, but the movie didn't encourage me to jump the series. Not that there was anything horribly wrong with the film ...but it wasn't spectacular. The book, on the other hand is marvelous. It actually made me want to re-watch the movie now that I have a fresh perspective.

The inclusion of all the Greek myths is fabulous. It would be easy for them to overpower the story but Rick Riordan does a wonderful job of keeping them balanced. Would you get more out of this series if you knew the myths? Definitely. But it certainly isn't necessary. I'm a little rusty when it comes to my Greek mythology, but that's the beauty about writing YA, there is always a way to include explanations in the plot exposition.

I think another reason I was reluctant to read these books is because I remember the Greek myths being, well, rather heavy subject matter.  Again this is definitely not the case.  And while the book is full of action, it isn't without it's moments of reflection and depth of layers. Although I picked out the villains almost immediately in the movie, I don't think I would have on first, read. At least not until I was into the crux of it. It made me wish I hadn't seen the movie, so I didn't know what was coming, but then again, I think I was more appreciative of all the details because of it.

The Lightning Thief is one of those books that makes you want to throw your TBR list to the wind and just dive right into the next book in the series, The Sea of Monsters. As it is, I will be reshuffling my pile so that I can continue my journey with Percy Jackson.

Final Take: 4.25/5


Stephanie @ Read In a Single Sitting November 18, 2011 at 4:50 PM  

Great review. I adore Riordan--I've read all of the Percy Jackson books except, would you believe it, this first one!

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