“The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1)” by Rick Riordan
Genre: Middle Grade Fiction, Fantasy, Adventure
Summary from Goodreads:
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’ 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’ 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.
I love this series so much. I think this is my 3rd time reading it. Percy Jackson has everything I love about Middle Grade/Children’s books: special school/camp, quests, blending old stories with newer stuff, friendship, and humor.
I’ve always found Percy to be a very likable character. He seems very realistic. I’ve been around 12 year old boys and he definitely sounds and acts like one. I really enjoy how personal the book is. Riordan could have taken after Rowling and told the story in third person limited point of view. It could have worked for this story. But instead he chose to do first person and it works really well. Hearing the story directly from Percy in Percy’s voice makes the story a bit special. Not to mention the humor definitely works better coming from Percy.
In this book, the other characters are likeable but not AS likeable. They’re nice enough and I enjoy them but I don’t like them as much as I do Percy. [Of course that changes over the course of the other books but we're talking only about book 1 right now.] Annabeth is cold with glimpses of her true personality coming through. Grover is sweet but his uneasiness gets a bit old.
I LOVE that this series is readable for everyone. I read it before I knew anything about Greek Mythology and I had fun with the story. I then read it after talking a intro class to Greek Mythology. My knowledge only enhanced my enjoyment. I could pick out what came from what myth. The story was fun enough. The action picks up quickly so you get caught up immediately. There’s not tons of info dumping. Just enough to get you going. They fill you up as you need to know more.
The bottom line? It’s a highly enjoyable start to a fun series.