Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan: A Review

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan: A ReviewThe Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1
Also in this series: Percy Jackson series
on 5th May 2009
Pages: 400
Format: eBook
After getting expelled from yet another school for yet another clash with mythological monsters only he can see, twelve-year-old Percy Jackson is taken to Camp Half-Blood, where he finally learns the truth about his unique abilities: He is a demigod, half human, half immortal. Even more stunning: His father is the Greek god Poseidon, ruler of the sea, making Percy one of the most powerful demigods alive. There's little time to process this news. All too soon, a cryptic prophecy from the Oracle sends Percy on his first quest, a mission to the Underworld to prevent a war among the gods of Olympus.

I’ve seen the movies and loved them so I thought it was about time I saw where everything began for Percy, Grover and Annabeth. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan tells the story of how twelve year old Percy Jackson discovers he’s a demigod. Son of Poseidon, Percy has never quite been like other kids. Hidden in the mortal world to protect him from those with grudges against his biological father, Percy has always known that he was different. When Zeus’ lightning bolt is stolen, Percy’s existence comes to light and his paternity is revealed. If Percy is to find the bolt (and consequentially save his mother and become a hero) – he needs to overcome monsters and battle gods. Not alone in his quest, his best friend Grover and one of Athena’s daughters, Annabeth, tag along to give Percy the best chance against the powerful immortals.

For the right audience, I believe this book would be perfect. There’s action and adventure. A great take on classic mythology and characters I could fall in love with. 

The problem is – I’m not the right audience. I’m in my twenties and unlike a lot of other young adult and middle grade books I’ve read – this one made me feel old in a way no other book I’ve read before has.

The characters, as entertaining as they are, read a little young. I liked that they are true to their character. I believe that Percy is twelve despite him having to try and take on challenges that would terrify people many times his age. And the author is consistent with the trio’s skill levels. I just think that I’m not the right person for this book. The mythology is amazing. I love how much Riordan packed in. There’s all sorts of gods met and mentioned with places and stories being inserted into the plot all over the place. Journey wise – it didn’t feel very planned all the time. Like the trio were sort of stumbling upon where they were supposed to go next. But in the end they got to where they were meant to be so it all worked out for the best I suppose.

I’ll still watch the movies (provided they make more! Fingers crossed!) but this series isn’t for me.


    • There are some awesome chapter titles! I think I’m going to read the next on and try and change my perspective. Knowing what I know about the style now might get me in the right head space.

      I’m glad you enjoy the movies too Emily! Most people I know say the movies are terrible but I loved them….

  1. Aww damn, I got a box set of these for Christmas, and hadn’t got around to reading them yet. I had such high hope too. They sound fun, but perhaps a bit too young for me too. Great review though.

    • I threw my copy at my thirty-something year old brother and told him he might enjoy them – and he did. He has been reading it each night to his daughter before bed and he told me he loves it.

      It’s probably a case of being able to get in the right head space. IF you’re expecting a younger read these might absolutely work for you.

      When you get around to reading them Kelly – I hope you enjoy them as much as my brother has been.

  2. Pingback: Demigods, Monsters and Weapons of Mythological Destruction: A Review of the Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan | Fictional Thoughts

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