Percy Jackson And The Lightning Thief Paperback – May 1 2006
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From School Library Journal
Starred Review. Grade 5-9–An adventure-quest with a hip edge. At first glance, Perseus Jackson seems like a loser (readers meet him at a boarding school for troubled youth), but he's really the son of Poseidon and a mortal woman. As he discovers his heritage, he also loses that mother and falls into mortal danger. The gods (still very active in the 21st-century world) are about to go to war over a lost thunderbolt, so Percy and sidekicks Grover (a young satyr) and Annabeth (daughter of Athena) set out to retrieve it. Many close calls and monster-attacks later, they enter Hades's realm (via L.A.). A virtuoso description of the Underworld is matched by a later account of Olympus (hovering 600 floors above Manhattan). There's lots of zippy review of Greek myth and legend, and characters like Medusa, Procrustes, Charon, and the Eumenides get updates. Some of the Labors of Heracles or Odysseus's adventures are recycled, but nothing seems stale, and the breakneck pace keeps the action from being too predictable. Percy is an ADHD, wise-cracking, first-person narrator. Naturally, his real quest is for his own identity. Along the way, such topics as family, trust, war, the environment, dreams, and perceptions are raised. There is subtle social critique for sophisticated readers who can see it. Although the novel ends with a satisfying conclusion (and at least one surprise), it is clear that the story isn't over. The 12-year-old has matured and is ready for another quest, and the villain is at large. Readers will be eager to follow the young protagonist's next move.–Patricia D. Lothrop, St. George's School, Newport, RI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Gr. 6-9. The escapades of the Greek gods and heroes get a fresh spin in the first book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, about a contemporary 12-year-old New Yorker who learns he's a demigod. Perseus, aka Percy Jackson, thinks he has big problems. His father left before he was born, he's been kicked out of six schools in six years, he's dyslexic, and he has ADHD. What a surprise when he finds out that that's only the tip of the iceberg: he vaporizes his pre-algebra teacher, learns his best friend is a satyr, and is almost killed by a minotaur before his mother manages to get him to the safety of Camp Half-Blood--where he discovers that Poseidon is his father. But that's a problem, too. Poseidon has been accused of stealing Zeus' lightning bolt, and unless Percy can return the bolt, humankind is doomed. Riordan's fast-paced adventure is fresh, dangerous, and funny. Percy is an appealing, but reluctant hero, the modernized gods are hilarious, and the parallels to Harry Potter are frequent and obvious. Because Riordan is faithful to the original myths, librarians should be prepared for a rush of readers wanting the classic stories. Chris Sherman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
I don't know if I can give it a more ringing endorsement than that.
Riordan has done a very clever thing - he's entered the cluttered young adult fantasy arena with plots woven from the old Greek legends. So he has actually claimed the stories that have since inspired Rowling and others. I mean, the parallels are almost funny - in this series we have a prophecy about a young savior (hello harry potter & golden compass), and we have a dark lord (Kronos) slowly rebuilding his strength as he prepares to take over the world (hello voldemort!!).
And though you might expect the greek tie in to lead to overly-dramatic writing, the book is actually really fresh and funny. The God Poseidon for example is a Jimmy Buffet / beach bum playboy figure.
I highly recommend these books. They're more quickly paced than Rowling and Pullman's books, more readable (because Riordan isn't building up detailed backstories the way those authors do), and quite simply they're great page-turners.
By weaving the stories of the Greek gods into the tale of Percy Jackson, Riordan has created a magnificent world that feels entirely possible because so much of it is familiar to us. There's hardly a dull moment in the story, and by doling out bits of information slowly, the author ensures that we're always wanting more. I found myself liking all of the characters in The Lightning Thief, and enjoyed learning their back-stories.
We're told at the beginning of the story that Percy is twelve, but I had a hard time picturing him as any younger than 16. Which, to me, is a good thing. I love my YA fantasy series, but I don't like to feel like I'm reading a children's book, and I believe that The Lightning Thief stands up well as a tale that will appeal to both teens and adults alike.
My one criticism of the story is the glaring similarities to the Harry Potter series. Yet even with the obvious parallels, it somehow doesn't take much away from this wonderful tale.Read more ›
His writing style is directed towards middleschoolers so it is easy to follow and fun to read, even when the action isn’t happening (which is rare). The characters in the book too were really likeable and had their distinct personalities. The story itself was really interesting and not at all predictable (which is nice for a book directed towards a younger audience). It truely does not all come together until the very end, where it is left with a new problem to be solved in the next book.
There really isn’t too much to say about a book as popular as this except, excellent read!
Most recent customer reviews
I read this book to my son and he loved it and so did I. My sons favorite character was percy himself.Published 3 months ago by Smiley
Bought these books because I like the whole Greek Gods thing and I enjoyed the two movies enough to warrent the reading. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Wade A
Bought for two boys. Don't know their reaction yet but the masses say it is awesome. Will continue the series if they like it.Published on Jan. 17 2014 by John Spaans
My son loves this book and also the series. A great book to read with your kids or have them read it themselvesPublished on Nov. 19 2013 by Danica
The Gods are brought back to life, as Rick Riordan gives Greek Mythology a makeover.
Percy Jackson keeps having problems at school, mainly caused by his ADHD and... Read more