The Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan

I’ve been in sort of a reading funk for the past week or so — I have a lot of books that I could read, but none of them are calling out to me. So I, of course, sent an appeal to the Twitterverse for something I should read. The Lightning Thief was the first response that piqued my interest, but of course with the movie out and all there was no chance I was going to get the book from the library any time soon. But then Fate smiled down upon me, and while I was at class that evening, I found a friend who had just finished his library copy of the book and even had it sitting in his car! I promptly borrowed the book and finished it in two sittings (a girl’s gotta sleep!).

So that’s a good story, but I’m afraid it might be better than the story behind The Lightning Thief. When I was in the middle of the book, Scott asked what the book was about, and I responded immediately with “It’s like Harry Potter, but not as good.” This could be my old-person self talking, because goodness knows that the story in A Wrinkle in Time is kind of lacking but I love it anyway, but I just really wasn’t sold on the book.

The premise is that Percy Jackson, our hero, is actually a hero — like in the Greek myths and all that. We meet him before he knows this, when he’s just an ADHD kid getting in trouble at school all the time because he makes weird things happen without trying. After some more backstory, a monster/car chase, and the death of Percy’s mother, Percy ends up at a summer camp for “half-bloods” (illegitimate god-spawn) where no one wants to tell him a damn thing about anything.

Ahem. That part really bothered me. I mean, I get it that you don’t want to give away the whole book right away by explaining everything, and that it’s fun to do the exposition later, but seriously, every time Percy asks someone a question, they’re all like, “What? You know the answer. Don’t tell me you don’t, that doesn’t make sense,” even the people who know that Percy doesn’t know anything. Annoying.

Anyway, then stuff happens and Percy ends up on a quest to return a lightning bolt and… ugh. No, this part’s bad, too. Well, quest: good. Returning lightning bolt: good. But! At the beginning of the quest, there’s all this worry about how Percy can’t even take a cell phone with him because the gods can track that (what?), but then he and his quest-mates meet up with, like, a millionty-twelve gods anyway. Also: they are gods. I think if they care about what Percy is doing they can find him.

Ahem. Aside from all of that, the concept of the book is decent, and if you want to learn more about the Greek myths, this book is the way to go. Lots of good information in here!

Rating: 6/10
(Countdown Challenge: 2005, A to Z Challenge, Support Your Local Library Challenge)

See also:
medieval bookworm
Age 30+ … A Lifetime of Books
Maw Books Blog
Back to Books

Pass me yours, if you’ve got ’em.