July 2024
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Review: The Lightning Thief, Rick Riordan

Twelve-year-old Percy Jackson has always had issues in school.  He’s been diagnosed with attention disorders but still ends up failing out of school every time.  In his latest boarding school, Percy has a peculiar encounter with one of his teachers, after which no one seems to remember the teacher!  Perplexed, Percy starts listening in on conversations and begins to realize that his life is not at all what he’d thought.  Things get even stranger when mythological creatures appear in his life and Percy is sent to a summer camp for half-bloods; children descended from one god and one human.  When Zeus’s lightning bolt is stolen and Percy is the prime suspect, he must get it back before the mythological world erupts into war.

While this was certainly a fun book, it was definitely a children’s book.  Let me clarify.  Percy is 12, so the book doesn’t exactly count for young adult literature because I believe that means a teenage protagonist is necessary.  Yet with some kid’s books, I can still enjoy the intricacies of plot and character, so I don’t even notice that they’re written for children.  I noticed here, and while the book was a lot of fun, there were times when I rolled my eyes.  Others have agreed with me, so at least I’m not alone.

That said, I read this during the Read-a-Thon and it was a perfect choice.  It’s fast-paced, there is a lot of action, there was some humor that I still found funny, and the book sped by very quickly.  For a light read, if you’re not expecting much, this is perfect.  I think this would be a brilliant read for a kid.  It has a lot of tame humor and situations that a kid who hadn’t gone through puberty yet would probably enjoy.  And with all the mythology, it’s educational as well, in a way that kids could perfectly understand because the gods are all described in familiar terms.  Percy doesn’t know who they are at first, so each of them is described fully in his own words, giving kids an easy introduction to exactly who these gods are before they’re presented with an unfamiliar name to remember.  It’s easy to see why Rick Riordan is so very popular.  This is clean, adventurous fun that would probably appeal to both boys and girls of that age.

So, The Lightning Thief does what it’s meant to do for kids, it’s just a shame I didn’t love it as an adult.  I do intend to continue with the series, though, because I liked Percy and I’m intrigued enough to see what happens next.

You guessed it, I’m an Amazon Associate.


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