Title: Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1, Camp Half-Blood Chronicles #1
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Mythology, Urban Fantasy
5th sentence, 74th page: A leg came out, long and knobby-kneed, with a huge polished hoof.
LOOK, I DIDN’T WANT TO BE A HALF-BLOOD. I NEVER ASKED TO BE THE SON OF A GREEK GOD.
I was just a normal guy, going to school, playing basketball, skateboarding. The usual. Until I accidentally vaporized my maths teacher. That’s when things really started going wrong. Now I spend my time fighting with swords, battling monsters with my friends and generally trying to stay alive.
This is the one where Zeus, God of the Sky, thinks I’ve stolen his lightning bolt – and making Zeus angry is a very bad idea.
CAN PERCY FIND THE LIGHTNING BOLT BEFORE A FULLY FLEDGED WAR OF THE GODS ERUPTS?
Honestly, the movie Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief really irritated me. I thought that it was just too centred on America. Yay. Demigods in modern day. A retelling of the popular stories of Greek mythology. But then why was the centre of the Greek mythology based in the middle of New York? The storyline was interesting, and kind of cute. But to me, that was just disingenuous. After all, you’re talking about Greek mythology, not American. But, reading Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief actually helped to explain this.
The explanation of an America-central plot was the first thing that really helped me to get into this book. It made the idea of demigods running around New York seem so much more realistic (or as realistic as it can be) and therefore let me connect with the characters more quickly. Riordan’s creation of vulnerable and relatable characters helped to further the connectivity between me as a reader and Percy, Grover and Annabeth.
As someone who has a slight obsession with ancient mythologies, I have spent a LOT of time reading and studying these stories. Including the more R-rated versions of the tales (full of masturbation, rape and adultery). I thought that Riordan did a great job of retelling some of these tales and bringing these characters back to life in a modern context. Bringing to life characters that are larger than life (literally, being gods and all) would be an incredibly difficult task. Especially when these characters are very well known across the world. However, I really loved this and reading the first journey of Percy Jackson definitely encouraged me to pursue more of Riordan’s books.
The Lightning Thief helped to remind me that special people, those who are different and don’t quite fit in have a place that they can belong. Part of me wishes that I read this series as a child. Riordan shows us that the very things that can make it hard to fit in and function with others, can actually be harnessed to become something special. Having a group of kids that suffer from ADHD and placing them in the position of heroes and heroines makes me hope that the boundaries that separate those with intellectual, social or physical disabilities might someday be dissolved, or at the very least less rigid. It gives me hope for a future where we see people’s attributes for the potential skills that they can truly be.
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