11 March 2014

The Lightning Thief

Author: Rick Riordan
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1
Rating: 3 / 5 stars
Verdict: Buy

I had seen the Percy Jackson novels in stories and around Goodreads for a while before I finally got around to reading The Lightning Thief.  In fact, I had already seen the first two movie adaptations of the novels and gotten the entire boxed set of the series for Christmas before diving into this book.  A bit risky, perhaps, but I am always at a loss to figure out what I want for Christmas, and I had friends with similar reading tastes that recommended the series to me, so I went for it.

I have to say, while the series is obviously geared towards a younger audience than myself (our main hero, Percy, is twelve years old) the The Lightning Thief novel was more engaging for people of my age than the movie was, which made reading the novel a breeze (the writing level geared to preteens helped as well).  While of course highly a fantasy novel (after all, young Percy is a half god/half human son of one of the Olympian gods), Riordan's narrative is interesting enough to not alienate the readers, and I found myself able to suspend reality long enough to enjoy the novel.

I could see a lot of parallels between the Percy Jackson and the Harry Potter series.  We have Percy, who - while mysterious things have occasional happened to him before - has never known about his heritage.  When he finds out, he ends up going to a special school/camp for other children like himself to learn about his heritage and to protect himself from those who would want to harm him.  Here, his ends up forming a trio with Annabeth and Grover.  While not quite as novel as the Harry Potter series, I can definitely see why Riordan has had as much success with the series as he has had.  And while at my age The Lightning Thief isn't a stay up all night under the covers with a reading lamp type of novel, it is definitely an interesting novel and a few twists and surprises to keep reader interest throughout the novel, all the way to the conclusion and for the anticipation of the next novel.  While I am currently pounding through a few other YA series, putting Percy Jackson effectively on the back burner, it is a series I will definitely continue.  I'm even interested in trying out Riordan's Heroes of Olympus series once I have completely the Percy Jackson saga.

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