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Review: The Lightning Thief

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Author: Rick Riordan
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1
Publishing: April 1, 2006/ Hyperion/375 pages
Format Read: NOOK
Source: Borrowed
Classroom shelfability: Yes
Rating:
Review Blue Egg 3

 

Summary from GoodReadsPercy 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.

My Thoughts: I foggily remembered the plot of this book because I saw the movie on an international flight. As a result, the book left me kind of underwhelmed.

First things first: I adore Greek mythology. Always have. That’s the number one reason I chose the movie on that plane. The good news is that the book on the whole is good. Not bad, not great– good. Average.

The characters are likeable enough. Percy is relatable and all of the characterization felt appropriate. I loved the basis of the backstory: a “summer camp” for half bloods. The different cabins, the kids, all a lot of fun. I wish we could’ve spent more time there instead of questing.

Riordan did a beautiful job describing things. I got a little weak kneeded at the descriptions of Olympus and the Underworld. And, I loved that Cerebus was a Rottie like my baby Bowser.

Another thing I really enjoyed was all of Percy & Co.’s encounters with different mythological beings. Their human tie-ins were funny and overall I think those scenes were some of the best parts of the book.

So what did I not like? Having spoiled the plot for myself. As I said, I was left pretty under-wow’d because I knew the twist from that dumb movie. While it was still fun to read, I probably should’ve skipped this one. However, I do believe that 3 eggs would be what I would’ve rated it had I seen the movie or not. The book was your average, fun, middle-grade read. And, my students would love it. It most certainly has shelfability in my classroom.

If you’ve seen the movie or don’t typically like middle grade YA, steer clear, although the mythological aspect is enough to pull most fantasy lovers in.

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