Saturday, July 17, 2010

Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

How would you like it if you were the nephew of Hades? What if Zeus, Hades' brother, was your uncle?
What if Poseidon, the god of the sea, was your father?
Welcome to the world of Perseus Jackson, a troubled, dyslexic student from New York. He's never met his real father and his mother is married to a jerk who doesn't care one bit about them. After a failed attempt at a vacation with his mother because he was being chased by monsters, Percy lands on Half-blood Hill with his best friend Grover. There, he discovers his incredibly old heritage. After some training, Percy is picked to go on a very important quest: to find Zeus' lightning bolt, which has been stolen. Zeus is blaming Poseidon, who is angry with Zeus for accusing him. If Percy doesn't find the lightning bold before June 21st, the Summer Solstice, there will be a great war between the gods that could be impossible to stop.

While it may seem as though I enjoy most of the books I read, there have been a few thorns in the rosebush recently. A lot of people said they loved the Pendragon series, but I hardly got through half of the first book, and that was with skimming. So, even though everyone I've talked to says they love this book, I was skeptical...

I am skeptical no longer! I was surprised at how well-written and easy-flowing this story is. Percy is a real kid, one you would see at a school. He's got human weaknesses and personality traits and strengths (excluding the powers he's inherited from his father). Rick Riordan does a wonderful job at making Percy Jackson a kid you can relate to and at least like. The other characters, too, even with their powers or god/monster-like deformities, seem real.
And this story is funny. I've found myself enjoying the humor way more than expected. Grover is always hungry and talks about food in his sleep. There is a lot of sarcasm about Percy's life, and Percy himself has a nice sense of humor.

I love Greek and Roman mythology, so this was a real treat. Riordan is very knowledgable in this subject and gives you the facts as Homer would have, except at a much easier level. I am reminded again while reading these books that while the gods make for great stories, I'm SO happy they don't actually exist! They have affairs with mortal women or men all the time, they make promises to not have affairs and then break their promises, then punish their children for existing when they're the ones making the mistakes. They fight all the time... In The Lightning Thief, Ares, the god of war, claims that he likes it when his family members fight - it means more bloodshed. So basically, they're immoral immortals who like to kill and only care about their own well-being. And they turn against their millions of children. Or their children beat them. Either way.

In any case, Rick Riordan has created a wonderful series that I can't wait to finish. The second book has yet to come in at the library, but I'm looking foward to it! For now I need to go look at my book list and the books from the library and decide what I'm going to read next!

Happy reading! :)

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