Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Why did I have to try a new series? My wife and a few of my friends have done nothing but rave about how amazing these books are. I saw the first movie and was only mildly interested back then. I needed a new audio book to listen to at work and the books I really wanted to get to next are still on reserve at the library. I figured I would finally give this series a try. What was I thinking?
I loved this book, and wish I had waited a little longer so I could finish the Last Apprentice series first. Now I have two series, YA even, that I can’t wait to read the next book. It is so hard trying to decide which to read next once I have finished one. I’m only one book in and I am hooked. I also want to re-watch the movie so I can see if I enjoy it more. I know more about the story having read the book and I always like playing spot the differences when I watch a movie based on a book.
Since grade school I have always enjoyed learning about Greek and Roman Mythology. I love the stories of the different Gods and how petty they are. It almost made it seem like us mortals had our heads on straight and the Gods, who are supposed to be the ones we look to, had their heads up a certain body part. I always thought these were fun stories so it really wasn't a big surprise that I liked this. Let me put this in writing so everyone knows I actually said it; My wife was right. She said I would like these books and I did. I can't wait to see what happens next.
What I liked about this story is that it focused on the half-blood children of the gods. These children should never have been born but the gods have some control issues. Gods decided that they would not have children with mortals, but they did anyway. Now these kids have special traits from their powerful parents. It was interesting reading how Percy stumbles into his abilities with water control since he is the son of Poseidon. I also like how Riordan created different personalities for each of these characters that reflects on the God whom they were born from. I liked that Ares daughter was a big bully and very angry. It seemed very fitting.
Another thing I really like about this book, and I like this about the Last Apprentice series, is the fact the Riordan doesn't write down to a child audience. These read very clearly and it doesn't feel like he is trying to dumb down the story. I'm not a huge fan of YA but there are some I have really enjoyed. Some authors write like they are explaining the story to a 3 year old and that drives me nuts. Give teens some credit, I feel that those teens the read these book are more well-read than those who don't read. These read like they could be books for adults but with teenage characters and I like that.
Time to be critical, there were a few slower moments mainly because Riordan was introducing us to the characters. I also felt that Percy was a little too helpless at times. I enjoyed the surprises he found when his abilities show up out of nowhere, but I think that by the end of the book he wouldn’t be so clueless about all of that still. I really enjoyed this book but my rating will be 4 out of 5 stars. This was a fun read and I am looking forward to book two soon.