Review: The Lightning Thief

Rick Riordan
Paperback, 377 pages
Miramax Books
April 01, 2006


Summary from

“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.”

This is the first book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and a friend was kind enough to lend it to me last weekend (thanks Robin!).  It’s meant for kids age 10 and up and it’s very similar to the first Harry Potter book, of which I was warned in advance. 

Strange things tend to happen around Percy and one day he finds out that he’s not a normal kid at all, but a demigod – the son of Poseidon no less (one of the “Big Three” Olympians).  He finds sanctuary at Camp Half-Blood (a la Hogwarts) and befriends a Hermione-like daughter of Athena and a screw-up satyr who join him on his Hero’s quest.   A cryptic prophecy from the Oracle is involved and, of course, bully rivals who are determined to humiliate and persecute our brave young hero. 

It was definitely a quick, fun read and some of the descriptions of the various gods and other mythical creatures Percy and his friends encounter during their quest were hilarious.  It didn’t quite have the same magic that lured me into the Harry Potter books though.  The plot has limitless potential and I love all the Greek mythology that’s woven into the story, but I’m not sure if I’m going to read any more of the series.  Being that I’m not a ten year old, the writing didn’t really do much for me even though I liked the general premise. 

Have you read this series?  Should I take a chance on the next book?



  1. Dominique Said:

    Sounds interesting, sometimes I find with series you do have to read more than the first book to get into them, but then who can be bothered most of the time if you’re not so into it? I saw a preview for the movie version of this tonight, I’d like to see it.

    • Jamye Said:

      Very true! I borrowed the next two so I think I’ll give it another chance, I’m just going to read something else in between. The movie trailer looks great!

      Thanks for commenting!

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