June 18th, 2014
The Lightning Thief By Rick Riordan
Maybe I'm coming in as a bandwagon fan, because I've seen both movies before i read any of these books, but I was really surprised on how I was swept up by the book vs the movie.
For anyone that doesn't know this series, It follows Perseus "Percy" Jackson, a young boy who finds out that his dad is a the Greek god of the Sea, The mighty Poseidon, making him a demigod. Because he is the descendant of such a powerful god, monsters want him for breakfast left and right. He discovers that there is a safe heaven for others like him, Camp Half Blood, where he must learn the ways of becoming a hero. But there's a rumor going around that he stole Zeus's master bolt and that is odds for starting a war on Olympus. So Percy must embark on a quest to find the missing bolt and return it before Zeus declares war with his brother, Poseidon.
The plot and storyline really grabbed me from the first chapter. Things tend to move really fast in Rick Riordan's books, which I love. He wastes no time getting right into action so it's easy to not get bored in the first few pages. You have to be a huge Greek Mythology buff to fully appreciate this series.There's a lot of name dropping and he doesn't always slow down to explain the purpose of some gods or figures in greek mythology. Lucky for me I took Greek Mythology in high school so I was excited to see how he incorporated many of the gods in this different spin. I think kids might actually learn a little from this book about greek mythology, not everything but it will definitely spark some interest into looking into it more. The world building was simple amazing. The movie doesn't do it justice at all.
As far as character development, I think there was a pretty good job at giving a little backstory of many of the characters. Because I saw the movie first, there were a lot of things i had questions about and honestly the book is a little better in terms of really understanding the story. I really loved the movies but I have a hard time understanding how they'll be able to make all five movies because they left sooooo much stuff out of the first movie. I think this book is interesting as the Harry Potter series because I saw all those movies first too, so reading them, i get a deeper understanding for the characters and actual story.
Percy Jackson was really relatable and i adored his narrative. I wouldn't say it's been my absolute favorite but sometimes my fear with Middle grade titles is that they will come off as unintelligent. I'm glad he didn't. There's a crap load of conflict in this book and it features so many details that the movie just did not. If you're lucky enough to read the books first, do so but seeing the movies may disappoint you because it deviates from the plot of the book A LOT.You've been warned!I think the amount of conflict Percy through is kind of excessive, every other turn he gets into trouble, but I guess that's just the life of Percy Jackson.
I think this book makes it hard to read other books featuring Greek Mythology, because it has a unique way of mixing greek mythology with pop culture and western civilization. I've read so many books trying to incorporate greek mythology but this one hands down has been my favorite!
The editing is to an industry standard. I didn't really have any complaints in terms of POV, language, Prose or anything like that. I think everything was appropriate as Percy was a 12 year old boy. There was a great balance of description and actual conversation.So i gave it the whole point!
I think what really suffered in score for me was the lack of diversity in the book. Because I read The Lost Heroes, Book 1 of The Heroes of Olympus series, I thought that The lightning thief would mirror that series in terms of diversity. I think I saw 2 pOC throughout the book and they were such minor characters. If the diversity would have been strong, this book would have been a pure gem. Since I always judge on terms of diversity, I couldn't give it any points for diversity because there just wasn't any.
I love the title but the cover is just ehhhh. I think it fits it but I'm not crazy about it. The names of the characters were cool. I love greek names, even though i can barely pronounce them. But I think this series changed my mind about the way I saw the name Percy. I always thought of Percy as a bullies name, but know I think of something more positive!And I love that his real name is Perseus.Pretty Cool!The descriptions of characters are pretty clear. Especially when he met new people, so I threw in the point for that too.
Between The Olympians series and The Heroes of Olympus series, I have to say I prefer the other based on the amount of POC characters the author managed to put in. Other than that, If you're a greek gods buff, You'll love The Percy Jackson Series. I'm off to the next book!
My Dream Cast:
Sorry Y'all only the fan art fully captures how I saw them!
Percy & Annabeth
*Artwork by Viria*