Saturday, August 8, 2009

Review: The Lightning Thief

Lightning Thief coverTitle: The Lightning Thief
Author: Rick Riordan
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pub Date: July 2005, (this ed. April 2006), Hyperion/Miramax
Trade Paperback, 375 pages


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 a betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

My Thoughts

I decided to give this series a try after seeing reviews for the most recent book, The Last Olympian. I seem to have developed an attraction to series titles lately, but I have to say that I am really looking forward to continuing this one. The Lightning Thief was an engaging, enjoyable read--if I hadn't had such a busy first week on the new job, I think I would have read this in one day. Unfortunately it took me nearly an entire week to get through, but I enjoyed reading a few pages whenever I could spare a few minutes.

I really have to give a lot of credit to Riordan's creativity in writing this book. He was able to put Greek gods, mythical creatures, and heroes into an entirely different setting and story, thereby making them new and interesting. The pacing is spot on--the action and adventure never really stop from the first page. Equally pleasing are the characters: Percy the troublemaker and his two sidekicks, Grover and Annabeth, seem to be no match for the daunting quest they inherit but in the end they manage to prove their worth. Riordan's characterizations of the mythical creatures and Gods was also entertaining--in fact, there were many touches of humor throughout the story. Add to that a tight plot with a few well-timed twists and turns and you have a book that I believe any fantasy-lover (or perhaps any reader, at all!) is sure to enjoy.

Thanks to this incredibly clever first installment, I'm already planning to go ahead and get my hands on the remaining books in the series, so you can expect to read more about my thoughts on Percy Jackson's adventures in the future.

My rating: 5 stars

Other reviews of The Lightning Thief:

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  1. I agree, this was an excellent book. I've read the second in the series and it didn't quite live up to the first, and I've been told #3-4 are about the same as #2. Not sure about the last one, though. I've been slowly getting through them one by one over a couple months.

  2. Oh yes. I also found The Lightning Thief to be a very clever and interesting read. It was actually recommended to me by my younger brother- who almost never reads. So kudos to Rick Riordan for writing a book even young un-readers will enjoy!

    - Alex

  3. Great Book, Great Review. I look forward to hearing what you have to say on the follow up books.

  4. I have heard such great things about this book. I am glad you enjoyed it so much, Melissa! Great review.

  5. I keep hearing such good things about this series. I have the first book on my MP3 player -- I really need to find more time.

  6. This is a great review. I have had a few parents that I talk to give me praise on this book also. I have purchased the first one for my son and he is currently reading it. I have not been able to sit with him and read it myself, but it is great when he says, Mom you wont believe what Zeus just did, or can do. It is great to see him get into a book that way.

    Also, I think it helps that there is a movie being done of this book to come out in February 2010 (I think). He wants to be up with the story before we see the movie.

    Great review! Thanks

  7. I loved this series so much. It's such fun and adventurous. I am very curious about the movie too, I hope they do it justice!

  8. Good review! This book sounds really good :)


  9. I didn't recognise the book at first and then I realised this series was known as The Percy Jackson books. They are all called Percy Jackson and the.... over here. I think it is to attract the Harry Potter fans. I haven't read any of them, but I always thought they might be good. I shall definitely add to my list.

  10. I am attracted to the title of this book each time I see it. Your review has encouraged me to add it to the TBR list.

  11. Glad you enjoyed it. It is a great series, and the last one is amazing.

  12. Thank you for the linky love! We did finally have our mom/child book club meeting and the kids really enjoyed this book.

  13. Oh great review! I wasn't sure about this one, I almost bought it on my last trip to the bookstore - now I regret I didn't. Next time, I guess! :)

  14. I wasn't really expecting much from this series at all when I picked up book 1. I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed it a lot. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series. Great fun.


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