The Lightning Thief

Author: Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson & the Olympians, volume 1

For most of his life, Percy Jackson has struggled with the challenges of an absent father, dyslexia, ADHD, and just generally struggling with school–to the extent that he’s never completed more than one year at the same school. Little could he have known that most of these problems–and the sudden rash of monster attacks he’s been experiencing–are due to the fact that his dad’s a god . . . one of the same Greek gods that he’s been studying in class, no less. In any case, Percy and his best friend Grover flee to Camp Half-Blood, a safe haven for those associated with the Olympians, and manage to evade the monsters pursuing them . . . only to get saddled (along with their new friend Annabeth) with an insane quest and dumped back into the world at large, monsters included.

I admit, I’ve been avoiding Riordan’s work for a while now, simply because it’s been too ridiculously popular and mainstream. I only reluctantly picked up The Lightning Thief after reading a few positive review from other bloggers recently. I was actually surprised at how good it was; it’s no Harry Potter for sure, but still, it’s a good story. The characters, world, and plotline are all reasonably well developed, to the point that’s fitting for a middle-grades story–although personally I’d like to see more development. I found the story a bit slow at the start (although there’s actually a good bit of action), but I got into the story a lot more once the threesome had set out on their quest. So yeah, I think my general impression of The Lightning Thief is that it’s a reasonably good middle-school fantasy with some nice exposure to classical mythology (probably one of the biggest points in its favor). I’ll probably read the following volumes, but I’m not rushing out to find them right away.

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