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Friday, May 18, 2012

Percy Jackson The Lightning Thief, a review by Kyle

Title:  Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief
Author:  Rick Riordan
Format:  Paperback
Price: I borrowed it from the library

Summary:The storyline of this book is centered on a 12 year-old boy named Percy Jackson. Just after the end of 6th grade Percy Jackson finds out that there is something different about him than other kids this age. He is then taken to a camp by his best friend Grover that is safe for other kids like him to train and practice fighting monsters after a nightmarish journey with his mother driving him and Grover and a Minotaur snatching his mother away from them just as they reach camp. At camp, Percy learns more about himself and his godly parent, The God of the Sea -- Poseidon -- and one of the Big 3 brothers which include Poseidon, Zeus, and Hades. When Zeus discovers his master bolt is missing (his weapon that allows him to create and shoot lightning at will), Zeus then blames Poseidon for this theft and declares war on him unless the bolt is returned by the Summer Solstice. Percy is sent on a quest to retrieve the masterbolt which is believed to be in Hades' possession in the underworld and return it to Olympus, helped by Grover and a smart daughter of Athena named Annabeth who will also become his other close friend. Does he succeed? Read and find out!

Characters:  Perseus Jackson: The protagonist of the story. Percy seems to be a good-natured, friendly, brave, and willing to risk his life to save friends. Percy is on a quest to retrieve a very powerful godly weapon and save his mother from the underworld. Throughout the story his motivations never seem to waver from saving his mother from the clutches of Hades.

Annabeth: A blonde-haired, smart daughter of Athena who becomes close friends with Percy Jackson. In the beginning of the story Annabeth just wanted to go on the quest with Percy just to get out of camp and find out if she was “any good” in the real world. However in the duration of the book she comes to genuinely like Percy a lot and they become very good friends.

Grover: Of the trio that goes on the quest to retrieve the masterbolt Grover is the only non-human. He is a Satyr who is best friends with Percy and Annabeth. He also plays the reed pipes (rather badly). In the beginning of the book Grover does not seem to be too intense on going on the quest to be a big hero, he just goes along because he feels that it is his duty as Percy’s assigned Protector and one of his best friends. Then, on the quest Percy relies on him quite a bit for all their safety and Grover steps up to the plate ready. His motivations never change from wanting to help Percy and protect him. 

The main important ideas in this book drive home the idea/feeling that no matter how bad or depressing a situation may be if you want it badly enough and you trust your friends then it will turn out all right in the end. Percy learns that in the story and matures a lot by the end of the book.

He also becomes more aware of how quickly life can go so that is a sobering thought but Rick Riordan also makes the book humorous and a extremely enjoyable read. At the end of the book Percy trusts his mother enough to make the decision herself that will affect her and Percy’s life.

Percy becomes a much more flexible person personality-wise also. Even though it goes against his very nature to obey oppressive orders, Percy consents to listens to his elders. 

Some of my favorite parts of the book are the humorous parts. Rick Riordan wrote an awesome adventure/quest book that had awesome, amazing characters that made it seem like you were there with them due to the fact that it is written from Percy’s POV. He goes into depth with their emotions and dialogue. The storyline is also perfect. It has a lot going on in it and Rick Riordan spaces it pretty nicely so that the book is not a read like a Harry Potter book but yet it is thrilling.

The ending was good for me because at the time that Rick Riordan just wrote it, I don’t think he fully knew that he would be writing a full 5 book series so it was okay if he fast-forwarded a little bit.  I am looking forward to reading the other 4 books in this series by him; I hear from friends that it is an excellent series. For a book about Greek mythology it is amazing that he found a way to make a series about Greek myths. It’s like a story about old myths told by Greeks within a modern storyline.  

Rating: I would definitely give it 5 out of 5 chocolate bars in rating.
Cover Thoughts:  Between the 2 book’s covers I definitely prefer the original over the cover that has a picture of the movie on it because it shows what the author envisioned Percy Jackson looking like not some actor being paid a bunch of money to act in a movie that destroyed the book’s good rep.
Appropriateness:  The book’s appropriateness is good for kids that are just starting to read chapter books and for older kids as well because it has the right kind of humor for all ages: It’s not perverted humor but it's not stupid 1st grade potty jokes either. 


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