Riordan, Rick. 2005. THE LIGHTNING THIEF. New York: Hyperion. ISBN 0786856297
THE LIGHTNING THIEF is a surprisingly funny and charming YA novel. The basic premise of the book is that the gods and goddesses of Greek (and Roman) mythology are true. The gods and goddesses are alive and flourishing. They are still doing battle. They are still wreaking havoc on the world. They don’t reign on Mt. Olympus anymore in Greece. No, they now reside in the United States. The gods and goddesses are still coupling with humans and having offspring. These “half-bloods” have some extraordinary power. Percy Jackson is our hero. He doesn’t know it at the beginning of the novel, but by the end he not only knows but he is officially recognized as one of Poseidon’s sons. Old stories, myths, and “mythical” creatures come to life in this hilarious novel. With chapter titles like “I Accidentally Vaporize My Pre-Algebra Teacher” “A God Buys Us Cheeseburgers” and “We Take a Zebra to Vegas.” Percy and his friends embark on one crazy (and dangerous adventure) after another. The narrative style is fabulously funny and clever. This book actually inspired me to pick up my old copy of Edith Hamilton's MYTHOLOGY.
The above review was written for "Miss Becky's Book Review" and Amazon back in 2005. I had only read the book once or possibly twice then. Now, two years later, I've read the book five times. It remains one of all-time favorites. I've passed it on to my mom who is just as in love with the series as I am. (She is currently reading Titan's Curse). Why is the book so good? It's exciting. It's funny. It's enjoyable. It's clever. Very clever. It's...undescribably unputdownable. I don't know why I love it...I just do.
I have been a bad blogger in my reviews of Titan's Curse and Sea of Monsters...because not only have I been reviewing the series in backward order...I've been failing to put up links as I go. Partly it was because I knew that I would eventually be posting them when I did Lightning Thief...but still that's not a *truly* valid excuse. So here they are belatedly...
Hear the First Chapter of Titan's Curse as read by the author!!!
The first link also contains link to listen to the first chapters of The Lightning Thief and Sea of Monsters.
Author Interview with Rick Riordan, 2005
Miss Erin's Interview with Rick Riordan, 2007
If you've never read any of the series...here's a brief glimpse of what it is all about.
Look I didn't want to be a half-blood. If you're reading this because you think you might be one, my advice is: close this book right now. Believe whatever lie your mom or dad told you about your birth, and try to lead a normal life. Being a half-blood is dangerous. It's scary. Most of the time, it gets you killed in painful, nasty ways. If you're a normal kid, reading this because you think it's fiction, great. Read on. I envy you for being able to believe that none of this ever happened. But if you recognize yourself in these pages--if you feel something stirring inside--stop reading immediately. You might be one of us. And once you know that, it's only a matter of time before they sense it too, and they'll come for you. Don't say I didn't warn you.
My name is Percy Jackson. I'm twelve years old. Until a few months ago, I was a boarding student at Yancy Academy, a private school for troubled kids in upstate New York. Am I troubled kid? Yeah. You could say that. I could start at any point in my short miserable life to prove it, but things really started going bad last May, when our sixth-grade class took a field trip to Manhattan--twenty-eight mental-case kids and two teachers on a yellow school bus, heading to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to look at ancient Greek and Roman stuff. I know--it sounds like torture. Most Yancy field trips were. But Mr. Brunner, our Latin teacher, was leading this trip, so I had hopes. . . .I hoped the trip would be okay. At least, I hoped that for once I wouldn't get in trouble. Boy, was I wrong.
FROM THE LIGHTNING THIEF by Rick Riordan, p. 1-2