Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson is just your average juvenile delinquent. He moves from boarding school to boarding school, being kicked out of each one, because he just can't manage to stay out of trouble. Or so it seems. You see, Percy doesn't go looking for trouble. Trouble finds him.

On a school field trip, Percy is attacked by his algebra teacher - turned evil monster and begins a life-threatening trek to Camp Half-Blood. On the way, Percy discovers that the gods and goddesses of ancient Greek mythology are very much alive today and that he is, in fact, a son of one of those gods. Percy must use the help of friends Grover and Annabeth to fight off scores of monsters and make it to camp alive. Once at camp, Percy learns of his ancestry and trains to fight evil monsters. When the camp discovers Zeus's master lightning bolt has been stolen and Percy is the accused thief, Percy begins a quest to find the bolt and clear his name.

I think the biggest thing to keep in mind while reading the Percy Jackson series is that it is targeted for 9-12-year-olds. I read a few harsh reviews on Goodreads, which I completely respect and understand, but I think in order to enjoy this series and not nit-pick it to death is to appreciate it for what it is - a middle grade novel. That said, I thought it was a really cute book. I'm a huge fan of mythology, so the whole premise was very appealing to me. I also thought Percy's "disabilities" and the locations of Mount Olympus and the Underworld were very clever. I also enjoyed the way the gods, goddesses, and other mythological creatures were depicted. Overall, it wasn't quite the page turner I was hoping it would be, but I will be continuing with the series.

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