Percy Jackson & the Olympians 1: The Lightning Thief - Rick Riordan

"If you were a god, how would you like being called a myth, an old story to explain lightning? What if I told you, Percy Jackson, that someday people would call you a myth, just created to explain how little boys can get over losing their mothers?"

I'd only vaguely heard of the Percy Jackson series recently, probably because the movie is coming out soon, but it's been around for several years. (The fifth and final book was published last May.) I noticed it when somebody returned it to the library, so I decided to check it out. I'm glad I did. It was definitely a fun, light read and I'm planning to look for the rest of the series.

I described it to Robyn as American Gods for the junior reader. Not that Rick Riordan is Neil Gaiman, but the premise has some similarities. The old gods, specifically the Greek gods, are real, and never went away. They just shift in form, move around with Western civilization, and the main reason we mortals don't notice is because we're very good at only seeing what we perceive to make sense.

Meanwhile, there are half-bloods running around in the world, because the gods never really quit having kids with mortals. Percy Jackson is one of these kids, and this book serves as both origin story and first big adventure. Weird stuff has always happened around him (think Harry Potter) but he never knew why. In sixth grade, though, things come to a head, and he ends up at Camp Half-Blood, where he finally finds out the truth about himself.

He doesn't have time to let it soak in, though, because it turns out somebody has stolen Zeus's lightning bolt, and Zeus thinks it's Percy. He has ten days to find the bolt and return it to Mount Olympus or there will be dire consequences. Along the way he and his friends encounter various figures from Greek mythology. (Can you guess who runs Aunty Em's Garden Gnome Emporium, your source for very realistic, life-sized garden statuary?) While the mystery of which god is Percy's father isn't so hard to figure out (and the movie previews just flat-out tell you), the theft of the lightning bolt was a little trickier and I enjoyed trying to piece the clues together before it was revealed.

I really enjoyed the book and I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.

Fed to jonathan's brain | January 09, 2010 | Comments (0)


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