Title: The Lightning Thief
Author: Rick Riordan
Publication Date: March 1, 2006
Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade
Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse – Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena – Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.
I know I’m ridiculously late to this party, but O.M.G.
There’s not a whole lot more you could want from a non-Harry Potter book series. Riordan creates an intensely likable cast of characters, builds a realistic world, and then makes you want to be a part of it. He integrated Greek mythology into the normal world so seamlessly that it was hard not to believe that the underworld was in Los Angeles. Anytime I had a question about how something would work in this half Greek God half modern American world, Riordan answered it. Antiquated practices like sacrificing your best piece of food to the Gods before you ate balanced out with the modernity of Poseidon appearing in a fisherman’s outfit. It all just made sense.
The only thing that I didn’t care for was the ages of the characters. I know, it’s a weird thing to have a problem with, but hear me out. Percy, Annabeth, and Grover are all supposed to be in the 12-ish range, but they don’t act like it AT ALL. The fact that they were so young went over my head until a reference to their ages was made at the end of the book and left me going huh? I had to go back to the beginning to figure out what was going on. I went the whole book thinking they were at least 15, and I think it would have made it that much more believable if Riordan would have made them older.
I can’t wait to see where the next four books take me. Percy Jackson is on par with all of the literary titans (see what I did there?) of the YA genre.
P.S. I think we can all agree that the movie could have been muchhhhhhh better.