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Book Name: The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1)

Author: Rick Riordan

$ 4.99

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Overall Rating: (4.24/5) View all reviews (total 118 reviews)

Book DescriptionIn this stunning collectors' edition of The Lightning Thief, Percy Jackson's world is brought to life with eight full-color plates by the series jacket artist John Rocco. The edition comes in an elegant slipcase with a ribbon bookmark, rough edges, and cloth cover--a perfect keepsake for fans of this truly epic series.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.This first installment of Rick Riordan's best-selling series is a non-stop thrill-ride and a classic of mythic proportions.A Note for Amazon Customers from Illustrator John RoccoDear Readers,When I was about eight years old I had the great luck of stumbling upon my father’s collection of Classics Illustrated comic books. I instantly fell in love with the stories of Robert Louis Stevenson, Mark Twain, H.G. Wells, and James Fenimore Cooper. Many years later, when I became interested in illustration, I discovered the beautiful hardbound editions of these stories featuring the arresting artwork of incredible artists like N.C. Wyeth, Howard Pyle, and Maxfield Parrish. What I love about their paintings is not just the beautiful draftsmanship, color and composition, but their ability to capture a moment that held the promise of swashbuckling adventure. That promise let me know that if I read the words surrounding that picture, I could unlock the adventure.That promise is what I tried to achieve when creating the pictures for this incredible series. My approach has never been just to describe a scene from the book, but to create an illustration that offers tension and mystery--an image that provides just enough information to leave the viewer wanting to know more.When I was asked to create images for the Deluxe Edition of Rick Riordan’sThe Lightning Thiefit was a dream come true. It was my chance to illustrate what I consider to be a new classic.The Lightning Thiefhas so many wonderful moments it was difficult to choose what to paint, but I knew I wanted to create a balance of dramatic scenes and quiet moments and to capture the spirit of Rick’s unforgettable characters. It has been my own great adventure to help bring this book to life in a new way, in color, on the page.I hope you enjoy this Deluxe Edition ofThe Lightning Thief.Yours,JohnIllustrations fromPercy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning ThiefDeluxe Edition(Click to Enlarge)Percy and a NereidPercy and Annabelle on their way to Las VegasPercy at the Entrance to Mount Olympus--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Just Wonderful

by Adal

Great book! It has suspense and intrigue in every page, filled with excitement, perfect for young and old readers, just magnificent.

A great adventure for children, and the children at heart.

by Alayne

Imagine being twelve and living with your mother and your evil, beer drinking, poker playing, smelly step-father. Imagine you're dyslexic, ADHD, and have only one friend at school. Imagine that school is the sixth school you've attended in as many years, and you're failing every class but Latin. Then imagine you go on a field trip, get blamed for pushing a mean girl into a fountain, and end up running for your life from your math teacher who has turned into a crazy bat-lady with fangs. That's what Percy Jackson has to deal with in The Lightning Thief. He doesn't know why he's different, but somehow he is.Everything that happens to Percy leads to the revelation that he's the son of a Greek god. Not knowing which god is his father, he travels to Camp Half-Blood where other children of the gods train and prepare for future quests. When Percy is framed for the theft of Zeus' master lightning bolt, he and his friends Grover and Annabeth must travel to Los Angeles to find the underworld lord Hades, and retrieve what was stolen to clear Percy's name and stop the brewing war among the gods. On the way they learn that nothing is as simple as it seems.Book 1 of Percy Jackson & The Olympians definitely made me want to read Book 2, and so on. It wasn't meant to be a heavy and serious novel, but simply a fun, fantasy-filled, magical book which made me reminisce of Harry Potter. I didn't want the book to end because I can't start the second one right away. I look forward to the continuing adventures of Percy and his friends. I'd highly recommend this if you're sad that Harry Potter is done, and you want something else to make you feel young again. The Lightning Thief is meant for children, and for the children at heart.

Time I was glad to give away

by Alex

I decided to try this book after seeing the movie, which was ok, and because I needed a quick, mindless read after all other books I've been reading lately.I quickly read this book and it turns out it wasn't so mindless. I love mythology, Greek especially, and this book was just filled with references to what I already know, but in a fun and unique fashion that's worth taking the time out of your day to read.Percy Jackson is just your normal, run of the mill kid. Sure he has problems, but what kid doesn't. He's more accident prone yes, but ehh...things happen. But what Percy doesn't know is that he's the son of Poseidon and that his little accidents are about to make sense. Nothing in life is just an accident.Percy, through a series of unfortunate events, ends up at a place called Camp Half-Blood and there he learns who he is. He also learns that he's a wanted person because people believe that he's stolen Zeus' master bolt and that is not a good thing.He goes on a quest to find the bolt, return it and in the process you are introduced, or re-introduced to a cast of characters and monsters from the Greek mythology you may have gone over in school.This isn't a rehash. That's boring. Riordan explores this area in a fun and fresh new fashion. The monsters are named the same, but they appear in new guises and in America! Even some of the old heroes "tourist" spots show up like the Lotus Eaters Island in the form of a casino.You meet Hades, who really isn't so evil, but ruling the Underworld isn't a fun job, and his sidekick Charon, who wear Italian suits. It's an upgrade from your grade school stuff.In this book, as opposed to the movie, which I have no idea how they're going to fix this big behind problem, you meet the force behind the rest of the books. Kronos, who's stuck in Tartarus, a deep pit in the Underworld.Riordan makes mythology fun and exciting. I'm 26 and enjoyed it for what it is. It's not Harry Potter, though some things are similar(but that's another discussion). It's something new with something old. I'd recommend it for the child's audience it's meant for. And it is a good introduction to those who didn't get Greek mythology the first time around.


by Allan Sherwood

This story is an excellent Narnia/Potter level story. Percy finds himself a demigod pestered on all sides by monsters, on a quest to quell a war between gods. Half the time he can't decide if what he's seeing is real or not; the other half he's doing everything he can to survive. Having read the entire series (including the Lost Hero and Red Pyramid sagas), I see Riordan placed the seeds of all those books into The Lightning Thief.Excellent idea. The whole Greek cosmology is an excellent Petrie dish for imaginative application to our culture today. Hardly any of the hyped-up books we get pushed on us are worth the time to read, but Riordan's works are worthy to read multiple times.Go Perseus Jackson!

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

by Alma Winters

This book begins with a twelve year old boy named Percy Jackson, who is about to be expelled from a boarding school for troubled children. All his life he has encountered difficulties. He learns that his problems stem from the fact that his mother is a mortal and his father is the Greek God, Poseidon. This book is the first in a series entitled Percy Jackson and the Olympians, and as an adult, I found the story a bit weird. But to the targeted age group of boys, ages ten to twelve, it is a fantasy that fires up the imagination and is filled with adventure, suspense, and unbelievable and exciting events. Incidentally, the book also gives an incite into Greek mythlogy which might encourage the reader to read further on this subject.By writing in the first person, the author, I think, has incorporated a style which is appealing to the targeted age group. He makes the reader feel a part of the actions taking place. I would recommend this book to any boy who enjoys reading about events that seem so real that they appear not to be beyond the realm of possibility. Alma Winter, Author-Once Upon a Time Tales

the lightning thief was more than I expected it filled out the story in many ways that I hadn't expected the

by amanda

Percy Jackson the lightning thief. Was good as a movie. But the book was very much better. And I enjoyed it very much on CD. It makes my life simpler.

Good fun

by Amanda

You know, I'm now an adult that grew up with Harry Potter and I have a soft spot for a great young adult adventure series, but it is difficult to find one that can appeal beyond that demographic. I found this series in it's entirety to be pretty amazing (recommended it to several friends who read them all too), and I have a lot of respect for the author for making the world of Greek mythology appealing for kids (I remember as a kid loving the idea of the myths but having a difficult time finding a mythology book that wasn't dry).

Who's yo' Daddy?

by Amanda Richards

Percy Jackson has always been different from other kids. He's dyslexic and suffers from ADHD, and is always getting into trouble. He's been expelled several times, and the only thing that holds his interest is Greek mythology.We soon learn that Percy has close ties with Mount Olympus, and when monsters from mythology start popping up looking for his blood, he ends up at a very special school for kids like himself, where he starts to put things together to find out who he really is.Before he knows it, he's off on a quest with his two friends, Grover and Annabeth, to recover a powerful lightning bolt, property of Zeus, which has been stolen, supposedly by Percy himself. Zeus, Poseidon and Hades are having a little disagreement about the theft of the said lightning bolt, and unless Percy can retrieve it and return it in time, the resulting fallout will have earth-shattering consequences.This great (albeit relatively unknown) first book of the series is an easy read, and is sure to encourage young readers to improve their knowledge of Greek mythology, especially the stories of the Minotaur, Medusa and the gods Poseidon, Ares, Zeus, Hades, Kronos, Athena and so on. Highly recommended for young readers in search of an original and imaginative adventure series.Amanda Richards

Wonderful Book

by Amazon Customer "book lover"

I just finished this book a few minutes ago. It was wonderful. I seemed to really connect with the characters, even the gods. It will be exciting to see what this author does with the next book. My favorite parts were when Perseus finally found a place where he felt he belonged, when he sent Medusa's head to Mount Olympus, his encounters with Ares, when he realized who his father was, and all the parts of his quest I haven't mentioned yet.This book is worth a read, it reminds me a bit of Harry Potter, but I feel anyone could enjoy it, even if they don't know much mythology(like me).

Thank you for sharing Kindle with libraries!

by Amazon Customer "Dar"

I can see why this is a favorite of children and young adults. It is fun for adults who have had some mythology education. It is especially for boys.I am thankful that the library was able to loan both the Kindle version and the Overdrive Audio version. I felt like I could relate with the main character with his dyslexia and ADHD. That is part of the reason I have to have both medias going for me to stay with it. My eyes didn't track well when I was younger, but now I have a harder time.Now, if only the book was about a girl...

Extremely Cute

by Amazon Customer

The Lightning Thief / 9780786838653I'm kind of a sucker for mythology remakes, so I guess it was a foregone conclusion that I would like "The Lightning Thief". Percy Jackson really comes to life on the page as a sweet 12-year-old kid who is struggling from the weight of having lost his father, dealing with a horrible step-dad, and coping with ADHD and dyslexia. With all these problems, and in and out of schools like a revolving door, how was he to guess that he's a godling child, son of Poseidon, and with a brain stubbornly hardwired to read ancient Greek and be alert on the battlefield?For all its "kid-focus", "The Lightning Thief" is surprisingly and admirably true to the myths that it builds upon. Since monsters can't be permanently killed, just 'defeated', Percy gets to visit quite a lot of mythological fare -- like the Medusa -- and it's quite interesting to see how Riordan has re-imagined the ancient gods and monsters of myth in their new, modern settings. The story, too, is surprisingly grim under the surface: since godlings naturally attract monsters to them, many of them are forced to live permanently at the safe "summer camp" for half-bloods, far away from their mortal families; protected prisoners, living life in a gilded cage.If there's anything I don't like about "The Lightning Thief", it's perhaps that the writing can be a bit rough at times. Percy-the-narrator is fond of parenthetical asides, which often takes me right out of the action for some reason and reminds me that I'm reading a book; and some of the world-building at the beginning is quite slow if you already know the premise of the book (which, now that it's a major motion picture, you probably already do). On the other hand, I finished this book in a day because I quite simply couldn't put it down, so I can't criticize it too strongly -- Percy Jackson may be rough around the edges, but it has a heart and soul that will keep up reading until the end.~ Ana Mardoll

Excellent kids lit

by Amazon Customer "I Read, Therefore I Am"

When I was in college, I was required to take certain courses that were not included in my major, which was English. I tended to go with the easy stuff; art, geography, music appreciation, etc. One such class was mythology. I went into it expecting something kind of boring. I wasn't a fool, we read Edith Wharton's mythology in high school, and I was bored stuff. I wasn't expecting much better from the college course.Boy, was I in for a surprise. I breezed through with an A and a new appreciate for Greek, Roman and Norse gods. The battles! The lust! The murder, love, betrayal, torture, death!! Mythology had it all! And then some!So, imagine my delight, when I picked up with little gem. Slightly reminiscent of Harry Potter; our hero, Percy Jackson, has been "special" all his life without knowing why. Always causing problems, labeled a troubled youth and sent away to boarding school, Percy is coming into his 12th year and he finally discovers just why he is special. His father was a god. Now, caught between bickering gods and fleeing monsters, Percy must recover something very special, and get to know himself and his father along the way. Not to mention meeting quite a few gods and goddesses who would like to send him on a one way trip to Hades.Percy was, in my mind, a great, true character. He acted just like a 12 year old. Obnoxious. Confused. A little geeky. Adored his mother. Hated his stepdad. Intensely loyal to his friends. And, unlike another book I read of a similar subject that I will not mention here because I have to review it for Estella, the gods and goddesses acted exactly in the way I expected them too. Petty, self-absorbed, violent. The writing was tight, fast-paced and exciting. It all came together for a very enjoyable read. I can't wait to get the next in this series.

Where do I go after Hogwart's ???

by Amazon Customer "Jorgie"

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1)Where do I go after Hogwart's? Well, one place you can go is Camp Half-Blood. The book definitely reminded me of Harry Potter. A young misunderstood kid finds out he is the heir to a fantastic heritage. He is the Son of Poseidon the Sea God. As mentioned this first book really felt quite a bit like it was borrowing from Harry Potter and substituting myth for magic, but the later installments took a different tack and the rest of the series made the this book well worth the read.

Fun, but with one BIG PROBLEM

by Anne-Marie G

This book has alot going for it. Wonderful narrator/main character Percy. He's a very engaging voice and really makes you want to keep reading. It is a very fast paced book and is chock full of Greek mythology.However, I have one HUGE problem with it. Which I keep hoping will be explained in subsequent books (wasn't in the second). One of the main characters, Annabeth, who is a pretty neat character, is the daughter of Athena. Riordan seems to be very well versed in greek mythology, he has some great allusions and everything else, to the best of my memory is correct. But Athena?? She was one of the maiden godesses, she had no children, really had no lovers either, she admired a few men and kept them as close compainions but no kiddies! I just don't understand where this idea of Athena as a mother comes from.Its great for kids who are on the level of the first Harry Potter book, there is some violence but its not really glorified and its not overly disturbing. Overall its just a fun adventure tale.

Great Read!

by A. Paxman

My 8 year old has been pestering me to read this since we have a rule which states she can not read certain books until I've read them first. I know she would love this book! I always have always loved Greek Mythology so with that as the main theme I was hooked. The lightning Thief takes you on an extraordinary journey into the world of Greek myth's with suspenseful scenes as Percy searches to discover who is father is thus discovering his true identity as well uncovering who stole the lightening bolt! While sometimes tense for the young reader it is also with enjoyable humor dappled throughout involving comical satyrs and spunky kids, which even made me laugh a few times. I didn't find the scenes as scary as some in the 13th Reality or Fablehaven which is always a plus for a child with an over-active imagination at night! I will definitely be getting this series for my kids and will continue reading it myself.

Excellent, A New Favorite Author

by apoem "apoem"

In our family, we cheer when a new Rick Riordan book comes out. We rush to the store and we buy it.We heard that if we liked Harry Potter we would like this series. We liked Harry Potter. We LOVED this book. In fact, my son, age 9, thought that The Lightning Thief was better than Harry Potter.This is a fast moving book about a young man named Percy Jackson. He has never quite fit in and never quite understood why strange things happen to him. One day though, it all becomes clear.Percy is the son of a Greek God. He is a Hero in the truest sense of the word (a son of a God). His father is Persues and is charge of the water. Because of this, Percy also has some special abilities. He can control water, breath underwater and he is stronger in water.While Percy is discovering his abilities, he finds his way to Camp Half Blood. The place he can learn more about who he is and practice using his new skills. He runs into other interesting characters that are similar to him. Percy also gets to battle monsters and strange beings.My two oldest children, ages 8 and 9 at the time, loved this book. I enjoyed this book. It is true, if you like Harry Potter, this is a good book to try reading. If you like learning about Greek myths, Greek Gods and so on, this is a great book.Well worth the money.Enjoy.

Got my kids reading!

by ark76 "Annie K"

The Percy Jackson series got my kids as excited about reading as the Harry Potter series did. My 9, 11, and 15 year olds (boys and girls) as well as my husband became addicted to this series and now have it in common to discuss and share. My 9 year old boy had never read a book this long and wasn't a particularly good reader but he was able to read without help and fully understood the plot. My 15 year old has been learning Greek Myythology in school and now has a better understanding of the gods and demigods and their traits. Riordan is a masterful writer to bring our family together in one series. I own very few books but bought the entire series as I know it will be reread over and over again.

Fun and slightly educational

by Ash Ryan

Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians series begins with the premise that the gods and monsters of ancient Greek mythology are real...and, being immortal, still around today. And they have moved with the "heart of the West", from Greece to Rome (where they had different names, but it was still the same gods), to France, Germany, and England for a while...and now they're in America, the center of Western civilization today. Olympus is on the 600th floor of the Empire State Building in New York, and the gates of the Underworld are in Los Angeles.In The Lightning Thief, weird things keep happening to twelve-year-old Percy Jackson, and he eventually discovers that he's a "half-blood", fathered by one of the gods. The "Big Three"---brothers Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades---made a pact not to father any more children with mortals after the second World War, which was basically a battle between the children of Zeus and Poseidon on the Allied side and the children of Hades on the Axis side. But it seems that at least one of them has broken the pact.Worse, Zeus's "master bolt" has been stolen, and he suspects Percy is the thief. So, with the help of a daughter of Athena and his satyr friend, Percy must embark on a quest to the underworld to find the bolt and return it to Olympus before the peace of the gods is broken, battling monsters and gods along the way.The book doesn't fulfill its full potential, perhaps, but it is very good---fun, cute, and even a little educational! My only criticism would be that there is a bit of environmentalist propaganda through the satyr character, but it's not that bad and is such a minor part of the story that it hardly matters. I'd definitely recommend this for kids, or for adults who like kids' books!

Why I love this book . . .

by Avid reader

This is an exciting and entertaining book! It was really hard for me to put it down. I also had to go and get the rest of the series right away. I would recommend it for adults and kids! If you are a conscientious parent that likes to know what your kids are reading (kudos to you!): This book is about the illegitimate, half human/half god children of Greek gods and the interactions they have with the normal world, the gods, and numerous mythological monsters. This brings up a few interesting topics for discussion that you might want to have with your child before or while they read the book: 1) Pros and cons of having children out of wedlock 2) What you believe about the afterlife 3) The fact that characters in the book offer the gods food offerings and talk to the gods (it doesn't seem like worship to me, but it might to some). I've only read the first book in the series so far and I am just starting the second. There is a boy/girl friendship started in the first book that carries through to the second. It is not romantic in nature so far, but you never know where that will go. Over all, being a teacher, I am touched that the lead character, due to his parentage, was marked as a troubled child with ADHD but discovered his talents, intrinsic worth, and real friendship through his adventures. Also, as I always like to say, it is always best for parents to read books before their kids do! You just can't trust books anymore just because they are marketed to teens or young adults!

Not Sure What All the Hype is About

by Benjamin

My son had this book lying around, and so I finally decided to pick it up and read it, after all the hype of the movie and everything. It was okay, I guess it was a little bit entertaining, but nothing that great. In my opinion, Percy Jackson is not an endearing character that invokes feelings of care in the reader. I finished it so I could discuss it with my son, but not because I was actually interested in finding out what was going to happen.(The reviewer was compensated for posting this review. However, the opinion stated in the review is that of the reviewer and the reviewer alone. Further, the reviewer independently selected this product to review and has no affiliation with the product maker/distributor, Amazon or the review requester.)

Like a Hipper Harry Potter

by bensmomma "bensmomma"

There's always the "what to read while waiting for the next HP" question for some of us, but...now don't get upset folks - I like Harry Potter as much as you do - "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" has a modern, hip, even urban style that people weary of Harry's earnest heroism may actually PREFER.Plus, people with an interest in legends and myths will bug their eyes out with excitement, because the premise of "Percy Jackson" is that there are a handful of kids who are in fact the children of Greek gods and goddesses, who had come down to dally with modern Americans. These kids, called "half-bloods" in the book, grow up not knowing their origins, alienated by their disjointed lives and absent parents. (A nice conceit of the book is that many half-bloods have dyslexia, but only because their minds are wired for ancient Greek, and ADHD, but only because their minds are wired for hunting, a notion that should give a lot of comfort to real kids with these real problems.) But there are forces of darkness - monsters - whose aim it is to destroy such kids. They are only protected at a special camp - "Camp Half-Blood." Percy, who turns out to be a son of Poseidon, lands at this camp, but must eventually leave it and risk the monsters, to fulfill a Quest.Even on the basis of this short description you can see there are a lot of superficial similarities to the Potter books - an orphan, with supernatural powers, who has two friends (one brainy girl and one geeky sidekick), several envious rival students. He goes to a special school and learns he is highly skilled at the school's favorite sport (in this case chariot racing). He is personally charged with a quest that, should he fail, will result in the ruin of the world.Author Rick Riordan almost seems to be teasing the audience with these similarities - but he's having fun with it, and his style and humor are refreshing, humorous, and quite different from Rowling's. (He gets to the point MUCH faster - the action starts on page 1 and never stops!) My 12-year-old son, to be honest, prefers this, and identifies with it more readily. It's a clever enough read for adults to enjoy. Highly, highly recommended.

Fun with mythology

by Bookphile

I'm just a little on the fence about this book. To be frank, I found Riordan's style a little bit pedestrian at times. He doesn't have the gift with words that some other authors of children's works have. I also thought that it was oh-so-slightly derivative. Percy Jackson has his mom's black hair and green eyes? Really? I'm just glad he didn't have a trident-shaped scar on his forehead, or wear taped-up glasses. Still, this is a very fun book, and anything that can spark a kid's interest in subjects like Greek mythology is A-OK in my book.The book really worked for me when it showcased Riordan's snarky sense of humor and his love of the absurd. I found the names he gave to things particularly witty. I also really enjoyed the chapter titles, and some of them even made me laugh out loud. I like a good, intense book as much as anyone, but I really admire those that also incorporate some elements of humor, and Riordan's novel certainly does that here. The way Percy thumbs his nose at authority figures is entertaining (particularly the "gift" he ships off to Olympus shortly after his foray into a gnome emporium), and will certainly resonant with some kids--and even adults. Who doesn't wish they could tell their superiors off and get away with it?The one downer of this book was that I saw one of the elements of the prophecy coming from a mile away, and I'm sure I'm not alone in that. It's a very fine line to walk, giving just enough detail to keep the reader guessing, but not enough that you give it all away. Unfortunately, Riordan gave too much away for me in this particular instance.What works well about the book is that, even though our young hero is blessed with some pretty great powers, he is also still fallible. I was a little afraid that each time he came upon an epic battle, he would somehow manage to prove himself master of the universe, even though he had just come into his power. However, I felt Riordan did a nice job of handling these encounters, particularly one that takes place on top of the St. Louis Arch.And on that note, what American can resist the idea of the Greek mythological world intersecting with our own? I was highly entertained by the idea of the gods romping around Olympus, only a few hundred feet above the heads of New York tourists. I also loved Percy's pen, and the remarkable powers of Annabeth's baseball cap. This is a highly imaginative work that does a great job of weaving the real world with a fantastic vision of the mythological world.

A Thrilling Triumph

by BooksieDaisy

Percy Jackson isn't your normal hero: He's intelligent, dyslexic, polite, wry, mature beyond his years, sensible, a natural leader, vulnerable, unforced and a lot of fun to read. That's a really tall order for any kind of book, but it does work. Really well.Riordan is one of the most skillful authors around today. He fuses classical Greek mythology with a modern-day schema in a fresh take that is safe for all ages and will really appeal to teenagers. While his descriptions are full and exquisite, almost nothing he does is new. And still the reader walks away refreshed and entranced.In a topsy-turvy thousand-mile-an-hour ride, Percy discovers he's the son of a Greek god, gets mixed up in a plot to start war in Olympus (and Earth), has to learn how to survive as a monster magnet, and deal with the loss of everything normal in his life. This page-turner is suspenseful in a way I haven't experienced before. It's a worthy, fun ride.Riordan is so faithful to the spirit of the ancient mythology that the reader can sense he's tapped into something special. Just be warned when you start reading--you might want to clear away any loose objects (i.e., anything that would be rattled by an earthquake) before you open the book. You might experience some turbulence during the ride!Note: Families interested in further reading about Greek Mythology might want to look into Dr. Russell'sClassics to Read Aloud to Your Children. This would be a good start for further reading on these ancient stories!

Clever Use of Greek Mythology

by Brett Benner

Now that Harry Potter is finished, people will be wading through the glut of young adult fantasy fiction to find the next pot of gold. The first book in Rick Riorden's Percy and the Olympians series won't replace the boy wizard, but is a clever addition to an ever expanding genre. Young Percy Jackson finds out he is the child of a mortal and an Olympic God after nearly losing his life in one breathtaking attempt after another. The fun part here is how the author represents the monsters and myths that so many people are familiar with from the ancient Greek myths. The shortcomings of the book are a general surface tone to the book that never delves deep into Percy's emotions,especially at the loss of someone close to him, and a constant foreshadowing of impending doom that for older readers spoils any surprises that might await our hero. Still for the younger reader a fun adventure series begins that has a clever hook to draw you in.

Greek mythology mixed around in a pot

by Brian & Randy "Two Brothers"

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan is one of the rare children's books I cannot recommend. I'm disappointed because I wanted to like the story, but it is so derivitive. Unfortunately, The Lightning Thief reads more like the story of young Hercules than an original work of fiction. Anyone who has read Greek mythology will recognize the many borrowed ideas. Anyone who has watched Hercules or Xena will know how the plot is going to work out.Putting Percy Jackson in a more modern setting doesn't help much either, and the early set up of the story seems to be torn from the pages of Harry Potter where poor Percy is the subject of abuse and a misfit that doesn't fit in who later discovers a magical world. Instead of Hogwarts though, Percy journeys off to Camp Half-Blood where special kids like him go to train against monsters.Reading this book was a chore and I couldn't wait until it was over. I'll read the others but only because I've already purchased them. My kids, however, says they're not going to continue. They give the story two thumbs done.My advice on this one is to purchase the first book only. That way if you don't like it, you won't have wasted your money on the other books.


by bzk123

An amazing book and full of mystery and adventure even at the very beginning. I like this book a lot


by Cassia Maria Reyes

It was really good! I enjoyed it but the books keep getting better and better! Five star rating for this book.:)

Better than the movie

by Cat

Good book. The writing was clear and the story was better than the movie version. I cant wait to read the next book in the series.

And so it began

by Chris

I love this entire series and this is the one that started it all. One of the few books I went back to reread.

An Electrifying Joy

by Chris "Okie"

This book/series was recommended to me by some neighbors. The 12 year old daughter in the family read and loved the series and the mother also enjoyed it a lot. I picked up the first book around Christmas time and it sat on my shelf for the next couple of months. In the meantime, I saw numerous reviews of the book and the series, many of them calling it "Harry Potter with Greek mythology rather than wizardry." When I finally started reading the book, I was determined not to compare it too closely to Harry Potter. Unfortunately, I found myself quickly falling into that trap.From a high level, there are a lot of similarities. The book focuses on Percy Jackson. Percy is a 6th grade kid having trouble at school (always getting into trouble for "strange things" happening) and at home (where his stepdad is just vile and cruel to him). Percy's mother is around, which is a difference from the Potter formula, but the similarities grow as Percy's life is found to be in danger and he goes away to a special "camp" for others like him.I don't want to spoil the plot or formula of the book too much, but let me just say that there are a TON of parallels that can be drawn between the world of Percy Jackson and the world of Harry PotterAnd then let me say...That's not a bad thing. I've taken numerous creative writing course and workshops over the years. In many of them, a comment was made to the effect of "If you find something you like in a story, steal it and make it your own." This comment is not speaking of plagiarism or directly ripping off a plot, setting, character or language. What it means is that writers should also be readers. And when a reader/writer finds something that intrigues or inspires, the writer should see what can be done with it. In my own writing, I've mimicked style, formula and language many times and sometimes I even make allusions to the piece that inspired me. In this case, Riordan likely saw the solid structure and adaptability of Rowlings form and used it as a skeleton to structure his own story. The story itself is different enough in the way things play out so as to overcome any hindrance caused by similarities. In fact, in many places, I felt that Percy Jackson's initial story was more solid than Harry Potter's initial story (though in other places, it was weaker). Generally, I came away liking this initial book in the series more than I liked the first book in the Potter series.OK...now that I've done what I'd hoped not to do (compare the two books), let me speak solely of Percy Jackson. Percy is a vivid and interesting character. He has a lot of depth of emotion and thought which brings him to life and helps the reader feel compassion and empathy towards him. The world created by Riordan feels distinctive and realistic. Being set in first person, we see the world through the eyes of young Percy complete with his 21st century vocabulary and expectations. The language was very accessible and a lot of fun and helped make the story feel more real to me. The plot itself was fun and exciting with the requisite twists and turns to help our young hero "come of age" as it were.I really enjoyed this book. It's a quick read and a lot of fun. I'll certainly dig into the other books in the series and can easily recommend this, especially to young readers. There wasn't anything objectionable (perhaps the "statue" at the very end of the book could be seen as too vindictive, but it was played off lightly) for a young reader and the storyline is quite fun. The mythology presented is well researched and as a result, a reader may come away from the book learning something new (shh, don't tell them). It's nothing terribly deep or heavy (perhaps future books will have heavier themes, similar to the way the Potter series progressed), which is fine. Overall it's just a quick, fun adventure well worth experiencing.****4 stars (out of 5)

The Lightning Thief

by classroom3502 "classroom3502"

The setting of the book takes place during the time of Greek Gods, demigods, satyrs and other mythological creatures. The book is about two boys named Percy and Grover. Grover always has a sight on everything, like death. At school one day, Grover had a sight of his teacher killing him with a magical pen. The two boys go on a class field trip with a teacher named Mr. Brunner, who uses a wheel chair. They like their teacher a lot, but Percy decides to vaporize Mr. Brunner while on this field trip. It's at this point when Percy begins to suspect that his life is not what it seems.I thought the plot outline of the The Lightning Thief was very suspenseful and tense. For Percy Jackson, his life was very tough for him as a kid. He was kicked out of all the schools he attended. He was very troubled. Percy Jackson is a demigod. His dad was named Poseidon, goddess of controlling water. His mother was not a God, she was undetermined. His parents have vanished, in the hands of Hades, goddess of keeping. Percy is on a mission to save his mom from Hades but it takes him a long time because something is in his way.Another book that The Lightning Thief can connect to is a book called Maximum Ride. There's a connection to the book because Maximum Ride and The Lightning Thief are both about Mythology and Greek Gods and other mythological creatures. The biggest strengths in The Lightning Thief are how the characters are on missions to save certain things. They have special powers that they can use. Another strength is how the book uses Greek gods such as demigods, satyrs and martyrs. A weakness is how the author kind of goes off in another world, like he doesn't always talk about the gods. One last strength is how the book shows the turning point of when Percy overcomes his learning difficulties.All in all, I think the book was pretty good, and well written. I recommend this book to people who enjoy mythology. This is the type of audience who would read the book. The book also shows how someone with difficulties, such as Percy, turns these difficulties into strengths. The author keeps the same audience throughout the whole book. The genre of the book is mythology because it talks about Greek Gods.

A good start to the series, but...

by C. Nunez "book loving teacher"

This is a good starting book of a young adult series. Full of adventure and clever dialogue, it was pretty entertaining. Definitely helps to have a basic understanding of Greek mythology (or else some of the jokes won't seem so funny!). I can see how this book would hold great appeal for middle schoolers. As an adult reader and future teacher, while I enjoyed reading this one, it wasn't 'unputdownable' and the writing and vocabulary choice were a little lacking, in my opinion. But I would recommend it for a fun summer-y read and to middle schoolers looking to read a clever adventure series.

Tons of fun, I might have to buy this one!

by Crystal @ I Totally Paused! "Crystal @ I Tota...

My introduction to the Percy Jackson series was through watching the movie for this book, which piqued my interest enough to get me to read it. Good job movie!!!The first thing that struck me not too far into the book was how much the movie varied from the original work. After reading the whole thing, this disappointed me quite a bit, because there were a lot of pretty cool scenes in the book that I would have loved to see on screen. I assume that was done to fit the movie into standards that work for the target audience, but it would have been so awesome to see some of these explosions and fights!This book does a lot to set up potential future conflicts, feeding into the continuation of the series, but in a subtle way that makes you enjoy it more than if it were blatantly obvious that a series was the goal. Percy is a character that you want to see succeed, he's a great, yet misunderstood, kid and it's obvious that he's going to mature into an interesting teenager. His character alone makes me want to continue reading the series!I also loved that this combined something we know a bit about, Greek mythology, with the modern world we're familiar with. To a large extent, the magic I felt while reading this book rivaled how I felt for Harry Potter when I first started reading that - with the notable exception that I found Harry to be somewhat annoying in his younger years and I didn't get that with Percy.One thing that did confuse me was why the Gods thought Percy had stolen the lightning bolt...sure, they could claim motivations from his father, but don't they have better logs of who has visited them? Couldn't they have just looked at the visitors from the day the bolt went missing and figure out from there?I really liked the fact that Percy had to visit the Oracle pretty early on, and learn what the prophecy meant from there. Although I've seen the movie, there were some surprises due to the deviation from the book (the Oracle itself), so there were a few things I was totally not expecting! I liked this more realistic approach to how this world might go - there are going to be all kinds of people/monsters/whatever interfering in Percy's life, larger scale things that no one knows about or can predict. I'm not going to spoil things for anyone, but I can definitely say that I liked the more intricate workings of the villains in this book, and the larger story line they are building up to.This is a series I am eager to continue reading, and I plan to pick up the next book as soon as it fits into my schedule!

fun adventure, but too much like Harry Potter and annoying narrator for the audiobook

by David Evans

So there's an eleven year old boy who lives with a nasty step-dad named Mr. Dursley - sorry, it's Smelly Gabe. He learns that he is special and goes to a special school - sorry, camp - where there is a kindly teacher who likes him, Dumbledore - sorry, Kairon, and a mean teacher who doesn't, Snape - sorry, Mr. D. He then goes on a quest to save the world with a really smart girl named Hermione - sorry, Annabeth - and a goofy friend named Ron - sorry, Gordon. Of course, no adults can help save the world. It's just these crazy kids.What's different? Rather than the magic of Harry Potter, we learn that the Greek gods are alive and well, working behind the veil of human vision. We meet all kinds of major gods, minor gods, demigods, mythical monsters, and other characters. It got me excited about re-reading some of the Greek mythology that I enjoyed so much as a youth.I wish Jim Dale - the superb narrator of the Harry Potter audiobooks - had narrated these. Instead, Jesse Bernstein does his best eleven-year-old voice, aka annoying voice, and the accents are just bizarre (Zeus was my "favorite").This was a fun listen; it totally drew me in, despite (or maybe because of) the similarities to the little boy wizard. The gods and creatures really make the story, much more than the protagonists. It will be interesting to see that dynamic evolve over the next books.Note on content: No sex, no strong language that I can remember (besides words like "stupid"), and the violence is pretty veiled.

GREAT BOOK TO BUY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

by Debra Surbrook

I had seen tons of kids reading the Percy Jackson series, but I was not really into any other book besides Harry Potter. I was reading The Secret Garden when one day Mom decided to take us to the used bookstore. Sure enough, The Lightning Thief was at the store. I heard that these Percy Jackson books were supposed to be really good, so I decided to get it. I absolutely LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was so glad I got the book because it took its place as one of my favorite books of all time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The plot was so well done and it was so fun and interesting to read!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love Grover, Annabeth, and Percy how they accomplish their quest and figure out who stole Zeus's lightning bolt. Best of all, Percy found Hades's helm of darkness and as a reward, returned Percy's mom to earth. I LOVED the part when Percy battled Ares and when Percy jumped off the building down to the river below to escape from the chimera. This is a great book, I rated it 5 stars because it was so good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You should DEFINETLY read this book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

better than I thought it would be

by doc peterson

Curious about the buzz, I picked up _The Lightning Theif_. It was entertaining, and I can see the appeal and attraction for young adult readers. Even with the understanding that the book is geared towards a younger audience, it wasn't spectacular. There are a number of things the story has going for it: the protagonist has ADD / ADHD, and is labeled a "troublemaker" by his teachers - as it turns out, all the children of the gods (of which Percy - "Perseus" - is one of many) are so diagnosed. The classical allusion and clues to Percy's father and breadcrumbs leading to the climax are a bit plain to a sophisticated reader, but will almost certainly keep the attention of younger readers, and the action is vivid. An added bonus are the jokes and good-hearted jabs at adults in general and teachers specifically. Its not a real stretch of the imagination to understand why these stories resonate with young boys especially.There are some flaws, however. Most significantly for me was the dialogue and writing -as an earlier reviewer pointed out, the 'colloquial narration' wears thin after a few pages. In fact, the quality of the writing overall is not nearly as tight nor as imaginitive as Rowling (my gold standard for YA literature.) More than once the characters find themselves in dead-end situations that are resolved with rather silly escapes, as if Riordan wrote himself into a corner and needed an easy out to move on with the story.For adults, I can't recommend. Riordan simply isn't as strong a writer as Rowling, Lewis or Tolkein. However, for the young adult set, this would be near the top of my reading list. Its an easy read (both in terms of story and language) and it will certainly capture their imagination. As an added bonus, its a great introduction into the ancient world, Percy Jackson a younger, more modern stand-in for Odysseus.

Child of the gods

by E. A Solinas "ea_solinas"

If you know anything about Greek mythology, you'll know that their gods had a tendency to produce demigod kids by the dozen. So it's not too hard to guess what "The Lightning Thief" is about -- a boy who discovers that he's the offspring of a god, and the other demi-god kids that he gets to know at a very, very special camp. While the introduction is a bit rocky, Rick Riordan spins a clever fast-moving adventure that mines ancient mythology and gives it a modern spin.Percy Jackson has always been a troublemaker, but he's shocked when some truly strange things begin to happen in his life -- and especially when a minotaur appears and attacks his car. When he comes to, he learns that he's at a special training camp called Camp Half-Blood intended for demi-god children, and that his best friend Grover is actually a satyr bodyguard. Though Percy is understandably resistant to the idea, he soon makes friends in the sharp Annabeth and the bitter Luke (and enemies with the kids from Cabin Ares).Oh yes, and he finds that he's the son of the god Poseidon... which is a problem since the "Big Three" gods have sworn an oath not to father any more kids, due to a rather ominous prophecy.The problem is that Zeus and Poseidon are also having a feud at the moment, due to the loss of Zeus's master lightning bolt -- and Zeus believes that Percy is the culprit. And if things aren't patched up by the summer solstice, the forces of sky and sea will go to war. To save civilization -- and someone dear to him -- Percy must venture into the world of the dead..."The Lightning Thief" is all a little Harry Potter in concept -- ordinary kid discovers he has magical powers, and is taught in a specialized school/camp with other kids like him. Rick Riordan spends the first half of the book exploring the nature of Camp Half-blood and the various demi-god kids, as well as dropping hints about Percy's parentage. Although, given the number of times he makes water misbehave, you would think someone would have guessed.Fortunately the plot picks up about halfway through, when the whole matter of the bolt and thieving gods comes into play. Riordan has a snappy fast-moving style, and he peppers the story with plenty of plot twists and monstrous action. And he has quite a sharp-edged sense of humor -- the snarkiness is a bit annoying in the first chapter, but after that he produces some fun dialogue ("Spontaneous combustion is a form of harm." "Nonsense. Boy wouldn't feel a thing").And he does a good job with the concept of gods and monster surviving over the center of the western world, as well as spoking some fun at the gods' behavior. Example: Dionysius whining "Father loves to punish me. The first time, Prohibition. Ghastly!"I found Percy rather annoying in the first couple chapters, but Riordan slowly evolves him from a rather bratty, rebellious kid to a reluctant budding hero. Annabeth is an excellent counterpart to Percy, smart and measured if rather haughty in attitude, while Grover is a likable little sidekick who is chewing his nails over the possibility of losing his job. And the supporting cast of gods and demigods is pretty well-drawn, especially the paternal Chiron and embittered Luke.It's not brilliant, but "The Lightning Thief" is a solidly written fantasy/adventure yarn, which leaves the door open for more adventures from Perseus Jackson. Hopefully the movie will be up to its standards.


by Eclypse

My 9yr old son got me hooked on this series. This is a well written fantasy book. Percy Jackson is a six grader who finds out his father is a God. I love how much mythology is woven into this story which is a nice boost for my son's education too.

Thrilling ride

by Edmond Chui

Cool book. This the fifth best book I've ever read. Hope it is cheaper. Overall it is a good book. Okay, this book give me night mares.

A good book.

by elizabeth m carson

I love this book,i say this is in the top 3 in my top ten!Now I do not know about other people but it is a good book to read when you have nothing to do,once you start it you can not put the book down! I say i hope you read it!

Glad I found this book at last!!! Wonderful!!!!

by ellen "ellen in atlanta"

Better late than never - am so glad to finally have read this book - from page 1, it is a delightful book - you enjoy seeing the words on the page and enjoy what the story has to say - the plot is great - A young man Percy (Perseus) Jackson, a troubled 12 year old learns that he is the son of an Olympic god! He, for his safety, sent to a summer camp for demi-gods, as they (half-mortal/half god) are called - You know the Greek gods and goddesses, celibacy is not their strong point (with some exceptions - Artemis??) Percy finds friends and finds the identity of his father, and is sent on a quest to avoid a war between the gods. We meet many characters we all know from our mythology books, and like Nightlife of the Gods, Thorne Smith's awesome book, we see more 'human' traits in these gods, making us like them and not trust others.It is one of the most fun books I have read in a while, and for me to read 125 pages in one sitting is the greatest compliment I can give.

Finally making greek mythology more accessible (at least for me)

by endlesswonderofreading "Proud Bookworm"

When I started this book, it was a bit of a bumpy ride. Although, I was fighting the stomach flu when I first started it. When I was better, I found myself enjoying it way more, which leads me to think that it was the flu that was dampering my enjoyment of the book.Anyway, The Lightning Thief was just amazing. I held off from reading it because I heard a couple of people say that it was just too juvenile for them. That was a mistake on my part. I was enthralled with Percy and his quest and kept turning the pages at a record speed. I also enjoyed the Greek Mythology. It was something I was bored with in middle school when we briefly studied it. Had the Percy Jackson series been introduced then, it would've cured my glazed eyes and mild drooling while studying the subject.There were a couple of aspects in The Lightning Thief that reminded me heavily of the Harry Potter series. It's practically impossible to write something on the Percy Jackson series and not mention Harry Potter. The influence is there. Normally, knock-offs would bother me, but the thing is that The Lightning Thief was just so great (as opposed to all the other Harry Potter knock-offs that were a bit on the terrible drivel side) that it didn't annoy me. Plus, it did have it's own original parts and it did them so well that I really couldn't complain.So, The Lightning Thief was an amazing novel. Sure, it's a lot like Harry Potter, yet not as awesome, but it's great in it's own way. My quest now is to try to not read the series one after the other. That's going to be difficult considering I own books 2, 3, and 4 (that reminds me I need to pick up Book 5).

A Lesser Harry Potter

by Eric J. Juneau

Harry Potter is to Transformers as this book is to Go-Bots. Although the author knows his Greek myths, and it's fun to watch them translated to the present day, that also makes the storyline vastly transparent. Maybe "God of War" ruined Greek myths for me. Some of the story elements, like Poseidon wearing bermuda shorts, seem childish and ridiculous.The book follows the standard Harry Potter trope of a kid from a broken home, who bad things just *happen* to. Then he finds he's actually got magic powers. In this case, he's the son of Poseidon. Meaning he's got all sorts of unique water-based abilities that come out just when he needs them. He conveniently knows swordsmanship, and he conveniently gets healed when he's close to water, and he can conveniently control water when he's inconveniently trapped in a convenient pool. Well, since the world was designed to regularly tunnel gallons of water to every building in the world, I think our hero will be okay. Imagine if 2/3 of the world's surface is covered with Immmortality Juice -- would you worry about getting hurt?Anyway, the problem is that it follows an overused MO with Greek gods instead of classic fantasy. It's high action and a speedy read. But that means it glosses over a lot of character development. The relationships are as one-dimensional as the paper it's written on. But I like that the hero's got a bit of bad attitude. Harry Potter just has that blank hero thing going, where he does things because it's right and never complains or has second thoughts.

I read it all in less than 8 hours . . .

by Eric S. Kim

. . . which it pretty unusual for me. Most of time, I don't have all day and night to read a book: I've got work, homework/exams, and (here's the notorious one) the Internet. And when I do have some free time, I still can't finish an entire book in one day. The shortest time of finishing a novel is two daysm and that was with Mikhail Lermontov's "A Hero of our Time" and two others that I can't think of at the moment.But this book, "The Lightning Thief" from the Percy Jackson & The Olympians series, I read just yesterday. And it took me only eight hours to read it straight through! I think it's the first time that's ever happened. What's also surprising to me is the subject matter. I'm not really fascinated with Greek Mythology. Slavic, yes, but Greek, no. So I was a bit puzzled that I was unable to put the book down. Maybe it was Rick Riordan's clever way of giving the myths more modern personalities and appearances. Whatever the reason, I just couldn't put the book down.Percy Jackson both a hero and an anti-hero. His ADHD and dyslexia are what makes him interesting, and I could almost picture what the boy really looks like. His two friends, Grover and Annabeth, aren't your ordinary sidekicks. Both have had haunted pasts, and they would do anything to make sure that Percy is never hurt nor killed.Other characters (especially the Greek ones) are worthy of recognition. Aries is a tough one: he's like Bruce Campbell with a sword instead of a chainsaw. Hades will sure scare little kids, but what makes him compelling is that he isn't your ordinary villain: he's got a heart alright. Dionysus sure can be annoying at times, but you know that he's trying to do some good at least. Medusa is one hell of a woman: she can sound innocent while thinking evil thoughts.The plot twists throughout the novel work and sometimes they don't. I figured out who Percy really was when it cam e to his special powers on a specific element. But the biggest plot twists that are found in the last seventy pages or so are the most unexpected.The pacing is wild. It goes from New York City to the north side of New York State to St. Louis to Denver and finally to Santa Monica so quickly. And it's a mystery in how you can get so much information about Greek Mythology in that sort of wild flow.Some parts do tend to drag a bit. The sequences in Camp Half Blood almost bored me, but the pace picked up when something goes wrong in the area.So, in short, this is one of the greatest children's books of our time. And it's for all ages, not just kids.A-


by Erika Benton

I saw the movie and wanted to start the book series. If you love the movie please note that the books are much different. They are both excellent in their own right though.Great book and fun read.

All hail Percy Jackson, heir apparent to the Harry Potter crown!

by Erin K. Simons "Aspiring writer, voracious re...

I think it's difficult to write a review for Percy Jackson and the Olympians without drawing comparisons to Harry Potter. Both are about boys with mysterious lineage coming into their own around puberty, and their subsequent, fantastic adventures.However, it is wrong to say that Rick Riordan "ripped off" J.K. Rowling in this book. The Lightning Thief treads much of the same territory, but also introduces young readers into the world of Greek mythology without sacrificing any of the fun that made the Potter books such a huge success.The first book in the series focuses on Perseus "Percy" Jackson, a 12-year-old boy with lots of problems. He and his mother live with his boorish stepfather, he's always getting kicked out of one boarding school after another, and he struggles with ADHD and dyslexia. These problems seem small, however, after he begins to encounter threatening, mythical monsters everywhere he goes, from a museum field trip to a beach vacation with his mother. He soon ends up at Hogwarts -- er, I mean, Camp Half Blood -- where he will begin his hero training and hopefully learn more about his personal history, including the identity of his undetermined Olympian father.Much of the story follows new demigod Percy on his quest to find the title character -- the person who has stolen Zeus' master lightning bolt. He's helped along the way by two friends: intelligent, Hermione-esque fellow demigod, Annabeth, and his goofy satyr guardian, Grover.I really enjoyed this book, although its tone is a bit more YA than I'm used to. I think it's very reminiscent of the earliest Harry Potter books, and am interested to see if Riordan's voice and stories mature in future volumes of the series like the Harry Potter books did. Although the "surprises" and plot "twists" will be pretty obvious to most adult readers -- or even younger readers with an understanding of mythology -- it doesn't diminish the story. The modernization of Greek mythology and its integration in our contemporary society is lots of fun, and will give readers of any age some good laughs. I couldn't put it down.Overall, a very enjoyable read from a series I can't wait to explore further. This is a book I'll look forward to reading with my kids in the next few years... not that I plan to wait that long to get my hands on the next book, The Sea of Monsters.

Not a Crossover Book

by FancyPants

Harry Potter is so well-written that adults enjoy it as much as kids. I don't have kids and don't normally read kid fiction, but I love HP so much, and so many people seem to love this book, I thought I'd give it a shot. If you're like me -- a grown up thinking this might be an American HP -- don't bother. The writing was so simplistic it was distracting. I don't expect sophisticated sentence structure in a kid's book but this was really playing to the lowest common denominator. Plus, the author really doesn't draw the reader into what's going on inside Percy. He goes through trauma after trauma with nary a paragraph given to his subsequent emotions (as evidenced by his playing pinochle after an extremely traumatic event). I got to about a quarter of the book on my Kindle and gave up. I was bored and couldn't have cared less about any of these thin characters. Riordan may be popular, but he ain't no Rowling.A note on Kindle formatting: I didn't find any errors, formatting was very professional and there were even little lightning bolts at the beginning of chapters.If this review gave you information that was helpful, please feel free to click the YES button below!

The first step in an ever engaging journey.

by F. Stepnowski "Author of books that unstable ...

I purchased this book shortly after its publication in the hopes that my youngest son and I could start reading another series together (we had recently finished the Cirque du Freak series and thoroughly enjoyed it.) As much as we loved "Cirque," the Percy Jackson and the Olympian series took us on a journey that neither of us will ever forget. Rick Riordan's seamless weaving of Greek Mythology into a coming of age teen tale made for an engaging, evolving, storyline that readers of all ages could enjoy. The ONLY reason that this particular book got 4 stars is because some of the late book in the series are actually better. I applaud the author and his ability to remain entertaining over the course of an entire series. I highly recommend this book to one and all.

A Dyslexic Hero - An Addictive Book for Reluctant Readers

by Gaby Chapman

Rick Riordan has melded the ancient Greek gods and twenty-first century American middle school perfectly in this book, the first of four in the series (Sea of Monsters, Titan's Curse, and Battle of Labryinth). It is no wonder almost all of my middle school students for the past three years have loved this story about a twelve year old boy with a classic middle school wit and sense of adventure who discovers he is the son of Poseidon. Percy Jackson is a true hero: he has a set of middle school troubles-dyslexia, ADHD, poor grades, a mean step-father, teachers who seem to be against him- but once he finds out all his troubles are because he is a half-blood, son of a God and a mortal, he takes on all the tasks his destiny requires of him without flinching.Well liked by both boys and girls, the four books in this series are written at a fourth grade reading level with an interest level of grades six through eight. Younger kids will be able to read it but may not fully appreciate the sense of middle school angst and wit that pervades the story. However, it is a great book for middle school students who have never found a book they liked as well as enthusiastic readers who enjoy Greek myth and stories of non-stop adventure. The three books that follow are as well-liked as the first which makes this an excellent book for getting a young reader started on a path of reading for pleasure.Gaby Chapman


by Gm

Very fun. I love Greek mythology so this was a fun spin. A little lame at some points, but it's young adult so that's understandable. Still liked it a lot.

Greek myths as they should be told: with humor and heart

by Gretchen

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief is the first of Rick Riordan's series about a 12 year old boy who finds out he is half human, half god. His mother is kidnapped, and he finds himself on a quest with his two friends to return Zeus's lightning bolt to him.The book is obviously meant for ages 10 to 14 ish, but I (being 19 years old) absolutely loved it. The Greek mythology is both accurate and clever, and the written is easy to read and hilarious. There are also great underlying themes of putting aside prejudices and fighting your own battles. Annabeth is very adamant that she shouldn't like Percy because their parents are enemies, but by the end of the book Annabeth tells Percy that she's on his side no matter what. Percy learns about sacrifice through his mother's past, and he learns about corruption through Luke.Overall, the book was seriously great. It was funny and clever, well written and interesting, and it teaches great lessons. I would love to teach this book if I was ever given the chance, and I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

My big, fat Greek children's fantasy book

by H. Bala "Me Too Can Read"

Rick Riordan's THE LIGHTNING THIEF is the first in his children's fantasy series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, and it sets up a world in which denizens of ancient Greek mythology are alive and well in our contemporary times. I dig Greek mythology, so this book was a no-brainer must-get for me. Halfway thru reading THE LIGHTNING THIEF, I jumped online and ordered the three sequels (and then, of course, I went back to reading).A bit on the plot now: He's never been quite that ordinary boy, hasn't 12-year-old New Yorker Percy Jackson. Suffering from dyslexia and ADHD and always having peculiar things happen to him, Percy has always felt like an outcast. The schools he's attended have all singled him out for expulsion, and at home he shares an uneasy existence with his abusive dad-in-law. The only bright lights in his life are his supportive mother and his only friend, Grover, who's a bit of a sissy. But, it turns out, there's a reason for all of Percy's woes...After even more weirdness in his life (including his math teacher's attempt to kill him), Percy Jackson finds his way to Camp Half-Blood (a magical refuge and training ground for fellow demi-gods), where he finally learns that he is the son of the sea god Poseidon and destined, it seems, for big things. He also learns that his best bud Grover is actually a satyr. Percy's tumultuous time at Camp Half-Blood ends abruptly when he's charged with a quest to retrieve Zeus's stolen lightning bolt, a task intended to avert a cataclysmic war among the gods. But the quest comes with a ten day deadline. Ten days, to trek cross-country from New York to Los Angeles, where the Underworld and its god Hades await. Bad for Percy, good for the reader.There's also a little running subplot centering on Percy being wanted by the police for juvenile delinquency. Percy's also implicated in the disappearance of his mother.Rick Riordan aims his urban fantasy at a pre-teen audience and hits his mark, but also manages to net older readers. At 375 pages long, THE LIGHTNING THIEF doesn't claim the heft of a Harry Potter novel, or its complexity, inventiveness, or resonance - not yet, anyway. Comparisons to Harry Potter are near inevitable, what with both lead protagonists embroiled in prophecies and heroic destinies. Not to mention, Annabeth - half-mortal daughter of Athena and, with Grover, one of Percy's quest companions - might seem too familiar a character, reminiscent of a certain brainy teenaged witch at Hogwart's. To me, so far, Rowling's stuff is superior, but then, I've only read the first book in Riordan's series. THE LIGHTNING THIEF still qualifies as an entertaining and lighthearted fantasy adventure. I'm not at all surprised that a film series is in the works (I hear, sometime in 2009).I really enjoyed the sense of fun running thru these pages. Particularly when the author unveils his wicked chapter titles, my favorites being "I Accidentally Vaporize My Pre-algebra Teacher," "Three Old Ladies Knit the Socks of Death," and "I Battle My Jerk Relative." And, yet, Riordan instills enough seriousness in Percy's adventures and the epic stakes are treated with enough concern that you can't just dismiss the story as strictly a farcical fantasy romp. I admit, though, that the sequence with the bed & mattress store may be a bit too silly.I like the conceit of gods dwelling in our midst, and specifically the Greek gods, who, in many ways, seem to be as petulantly human as we regular mortals. Riordan postulates that the gods have always been drawn to where western civilization is at its most potent. And this time around, that's in the States. As such, we get to read about the kids braving the Empire State Building, on which 600th floor the hidden Mt. Olympus is anchored. That the Underworld is now located in Los Angeles seems too perfect for words. Meanwhile, a passing familiarity with Greek mythology is nice and heightens the enjoyment, as Riordan goes to reveal how certain mythological figures have adapted to modern day life.I'm not yet sold on Percy Jackson, the character. The story is told thru Percy's first person perspective, which means that at times the narrative is streaked thru with attitude and pre-teen anxieties. Percy displays all of a modern kid's characteristics; he's at times hip and sardonic but also abrasive, foolish, hot-headed and exasperating. And I guess that's realistic enough. I think I like the kid, and I certainly can't wait to read more about him. Himself new to the magic around him, Percy makes a good point-of-view character, as he interacts with these folks cut from old legend and as he stumbles onto his demi-godlike abilities. I also dig the magic pen.Fast paced and with enough moments of Percy and company being beset by monsters, THE LIGHTNING THIEF ends in a way which lets you know that Percy's challenges will only continue to mount. The stage is set in later books for Percy to face off against a foe perhaps even more formidable than the Olympian Gods. Percy Jackson will certainly have a chance to become a great hero. And, really, when your name is short for Perseus, there's a lot to live up to.

Fun reimagining of the Greek Myths

by Holly Lewis "Free-Range Librarian"

For any fan of the Greek & Roman myths this teen fantasy is a fun read with enough action in it to make even the most reluctant reader stand up and cheer. I really took to our smart-mouth hero, Percy, and plan to read the rest of the series as well. For an adult take on this genre, tryOrphans of Chaos.

A Greek Point of View

by Irishgal

On a field trip with his sixth grade class, New Yorker Percy Jackson accidentally vaporizes his math teacher. Strange things have been happening to him his entire life, but this one seems to take the cake. About to be expelled from yet another school, he returns home in the summer, and, with his mother, goes to visit Long Island. One night disaster strikes, and Percy's mom tells him to head for Camp Half-Blood.While at the strange camp, Percy discovers that he is the son of one of the Greek gods. His strange behavior, trouble in school, severe dyslexia, and ADHD can be traced to his roots - he is a great fighter, and it seems that his brain is wired to read ancient Greek rather than English. While at the camp, he befriends two campers: Grover, a satyr who observed him at his boarding school, and Annabelle, a daughter of Athena.All is not well in the world of the Olympians. Someone has stolen Zeus' master lightning bolt, and if it is not returned by the summer solstice, war will erupt between the gods. Percy suspects that Hades is behind the theft, and he and his friends are assigned a quest to track down the bolt from the Underworld (which, ironically, is located in Los Angeles). Along the way they face mosters, Furies, as well as several other gods, including Ares, as they attempt to right the world of the gods and prevent war. But is Hades truly behind the theft? And will someone betray Percy as he tries to complete his quest?"The Lightning Thief" is the first of five books written by Rick Riordan that combines a modern-day hero with Greek mythology. It's cute, engaging, and portrays the gods in a real-world light. But I couldn't help comparing it to that other series of books with a modern hero - Harry Potter - and this one comes up slightly short. Still, it's a great page-turner and a wonderful way to look at the world from a Greek point of view.

Fun, but not fantastic.

by Ithlilian "Ravenous Reader"

I am a major fan of books with greek mythology in them. I'm also a fan of youngish main characters learning magic. So, I should have really enjoyed this book. Unfortunately, that was not the case. My main issues with this book are the amount of mythology and the ages of the characters. Some may disagree with me here, but the main character did not seem 12 years old at all. Percy and friends were going from town to town buying train, cab, and plane tickets without being stopped or questioned at all. Unless you can attribute the maturity to the characters' half god status, I don't buy it. The character interactions seemed to be on a 15 year old level at least, possibly up to 18. I had an extremely hard time remembering the main character was 12, and it really bothered me. Also, I would have liked to have seen more mythology. Some books I've read have been overloaded with mythology, in this one it seems to be a bit scarce. Sure there are minotaurs, hell hounds, fates, furies, hades, zeus, poseidon, and a few others but they are glanced over at best. They appear in the books but you don't get to know much about them. They have a line or two here or there and then they are killed or they ban you from their presence. This book could have been more in depth with the mythology, the mystery, and the action. I felt cheated at the end because I wanted more. A small mystery was presented and solved in a few pages, which was not nearly enough for me. The dangers facing our heroes were hotels filled with games and monsters running friendly shops. I had a hard time believing most of what happened, it seemed to coincidental and convenient. With all that being said I really enjoy the presence of greek gods in fantasy and I enjoy the maturity levels of the main characters. The quest in this book was a bit weak, but that only means it can get better from here. I have high hopes for the rest of this series. Very unique and entertaining, but not quite there yet.

Harry Potter meets Greek mythology

by Jacob's Beloved

I decided to read this partly because I had just seen the movie and partly because I heard that it was a good series for fans of the Harry Potter series. Well, in regards to the movie, it's appalling how much the producers changed the book's plot to make the movie. If they make a second movie, I likely will not be interested, as I much more prefer the book's plot. In regards to the book's similarities to Harry Potter, they are vast, but really, who wouldn't aim to write something as popular and complex as the Harry Potter series? J.K. Rowling owns a castle! So, on to the actual book.Years ago I thought that writing a fantasy series that uses Greek mythology would be a great idea, so I was excited when I heard of the Percy Jackson series. I love the modernized spin on the various good and bad characters, bringing them to life in both creative and believeable ways, such as Ares on a Harley and "Mr." Charon wearing Italian suits. The "Gods" of mythology at times seemed more like immature teenagers or work-aholic parents, with as much flaws as any normal human, and I really appreciated that they were differentiated from The GOD early on, and their place in the known universe was explained in the context of Percy's world. I especially like the scene of Hephaestus' trap that Percy and Annabeth get caught in. How the "normal" humans explained away the activities of the mythological characters was probably the most creative of the whole text, and at times rather humorous. It actually makes me wonder how much of what I see everyday is only a cover for what is really happening in the spiritual realm.The only element that really bugged me about the text was how Percy changed from this moody, victimized pre-teen to a rather mature young man with almost no transition - emotional or otherwise. It almost felt like Percy possessed two different personalities that shared the same body. While Percy often says that he did not want to be the son of Poseidon, I found evidence of inner termoil strangely absent throughout the text. I also felt that there were smaller issues that could have been more detailed and developed, such as the characters of Grover and Annabeth. I will be continuing the series with The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 2) in the near future.

2 stars for adults - formulaic, no depth, no interesting relationship development. Maybe 3 stars for children.

by Jane

STORY BRIEF:Percy is dyslexic with ADHD. His mother raised him alone. He doesn't know who his biological father is. Odd things have happened to him but he never questioned them. At age eleven a minotaur attacks Percy and his mother causing the mother to disappear. Percy ends up at Camp Half Blood where he discovers that he is a godling (child of a Greek god father and a human mother). The other kids there are also godlings. Each child has talents and skills relating to their Greek god parent. As godlings age they have stronger vibes which draws monsters to attack them.Someone has stolen Zeus' master lightning bolt. Percy is selected to go on a quest to get it and return it to Zeus to avoid a war among the gods. Grover and Annabeth accompany Percy. They are given some magic objects to help them, for example a hat that makes one invisible, and a pen that turns into a magic sword. As they travel to get the bolt, monsters attack them on a regular basis.REVIEWER'S OPINION:This book is extremely similar to the Harry Potter stories - just change wizards to godlings. I loved the Harry Potter books, but when I read this book I was bored. But I could see reading it to a child under the age of eleven. The main character Percy is a little slow and doesn't figure things out very quickly. So I could see a child guess things before Percy does and feel good about it. But I haven't read it to a child, so I'm not sure about this.It reminded me of children's computer games where the character is on a quest. To solve the problem the character must travel to different locations and do tasks to get trinkets. When they get all the right trinkets the problem is solved and they get the main prize. But it was missing the character development, depth, and creativity that Harry Potter had. It was mostly kids on a journey and when fighting a monster they'd yell at each other "run."Throughout the journey Percy gets clues in the form of riddles. The oracle tells him where to go, and then tells him he won't succeed with part of it but doesn't explain. Later another fantasy creature tells Percy something that helps but also creates some unknown. These sources are supposed to be helping Percy, but they give him riddles to be solved. What kind of help is that? Why don't they just tell him what they know? But that is me. To a young child it's probably fine. I do not recommend it for teens and young adults. But it's better than nothing, so if interested they might try the first book from the library and see how they feel.Yes, there were riddles in the Harry Potter books, but they didn't bother me the way the riddles here did. Riddles can be fine. I'm not against riddles. I think it had something to do with other things in the story not working for me.It's told in first person by Percy which did not appeal to me. He sounded like a typical contemporary eleven-year old using slang such as "that sucks" and "wwwwwhatever." I didn't care for the narrator, but that was personal preference. I kept wondering what his accent was. He said bit, ind, and ixactly (instead of but, and, and exactly - the generic TV speak which I'm used to).DATA:Unabridged audiobook length: 10 hours. Narrator: Jesse Bernstein. Swearing language: none. Sexual content: none. Setting: current day mostly U.S. Book Published: 2005. Genre: children's fantasy fiction.

Engaging Uptempo Hero Story That's Full of Accurate Mythology

by Jarucia Jaycox "~A Pink American"

After months of procrastinating, I read this book based on a family recommendation.When it comes to YA/MG fantasy, I'm torn between reading books that provide lots of depth and books that move at a brisk pace.The latter type often makes for a more entertaining read, while the former is more compelling.I found The Lightning Thief to be a relatively light read (perfect for middle grade and late elementary readers) that's full of activity, an interesting narrative voice and interesting interpretations and inclusions of various mythological figures.I'm a sucker for mythology and I think lot's of kids out there are as well. It's got so many great stories and was begging for a modern adaption such as the one Riordan provides.Though following the path of the classic 'hero's journey', the voice Riordan taps into (in the form of Percy Jackson) is quirky, fun and contemporary...and solidly American (a nice counterbalance to the Potter franchise). I may not have felt bonded with the hero, but I certainly was interested in hearing his tale.Overall, a great middle-step book for young fantasy readers and not a bad diversion for older fantasy fans as well.

Good story weaving ancient myths into modern times

by J. Carangal

After seeing the preview for the movie, I picked up the first 3 books in this series. It was an easy book to read and the characters were likeable. The way the author combined ancient Greek myths into the story set in modern times was terrific and will probably launch many copy-cats. For being an "action" story it lagged in places, but the ending was very strong and really made me look forward to reading the next book in the series. I liked that the author made Percy's ADHD and dyslexia assets and "explained" the need/existence of the "disorders" (just as the original myths explained the unexplainable).

Reading with Tequila

by Jennifer Sicurella

The Lightning Thief was a phenomenally written and highly educational adventure. The story of Percy Jackson is woven with authentic mythology and when you're reading it, you know you are experiencing something monumental.It's amazingly creative and extremely detailed. I found myself visualizing every event, setting, god and mythological creature described with ease. Percy's struggles and how he deals with them show an evolution of character that is usually saved for later in a series. From thinking like a human in denial to becoming the confident demigod he's destined to be, the progression is nothing short of spellbinding.Rick Riordan has a way of hinting at a characters true identity before revealing it that allows older readers to guess who the character might be.I found this to be great fun as it allowed me to utilize some of my high school mythology lessons I once thought to be long forgotten.I was hooked in the first ten pages and could not drag myself away from the story. Percy Jackson and the Olympians appears to be almost overqualified to fill the void left in the middle grade fantasy genre created by the ending of the Harry Potter series. This is a series everyone, young and old, should experience. Definitely not to be missed.

An adult's review

by Joel E. Mitchell "A Bibliophile"

Several people who know that I enjoy reading mythology recommended this series to me, and I am glad they did. This is a fun fusion of Greek mythology and urban fantasy. I felt that Riordan did a good job of capturing the character of the Greek gods. He did slightly tone down some of their more unsavory aspects since this is a children's book, but didn't fall into bowdlerizing.I enjoyed the author's writing style as well. The narration has a light humorous tone that amuses without turning the story into a farce. Some of the foreshadowing was glaringly obvious, but since this was a children's book I really didn't mind. This definitely passes the C. S. Lewis test of good children's literature: "A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest."

Super series about a son of a Greek god

by Julee Rudolf "book snob"

Twelve-year-old Percy Jackson (p 38) "A dyslexic, hyperactive boy with a D+ report card, kicked out of school for the sixth time in six years," has been being shipped off to boarding school for years. Seems like he is always getting into trouble for something. And he has oddly awful experiences every time he goes on a class field trip. His stepfather is a smelly, obnoxious man who doesn't seem like a good fit for his sweet mother. In spite of which, he wishes he could just stay home. Finally, he ends up at a camp for half-blood kids like himself, learns about his paternal pedigree, and sets off on a quest to retrieve a stolen artifact. To say much more might spoil the story. The Lightning Thief is phenomenally filled with facts about Greek gods and containing: appropriate humor, wonderful writing, a fabulous plot, and uniquely funny chapter titles. Those who like this series may also enjoy: A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket; Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins; and, of course, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling.

Fun Fantasy Adventure, Some Painful Parts

by Julie "Writer, chemistry teacher, reviewer, C...

I listened to the audio CD of this book and enjoyed most of it. The narration was generally very good, except for a few of the voices the guy used, which were downright painful to listen to. (recalls Zeus's voice, shudders at memory)The story itself is generally a fun fantasy. I think other people thoroughly covered the entire ocean's worth of Harry Potter similarities. For those wondering, Percy Jackson is no Harry Potter (in my opinion, HP is a better series), but his life pretty much mirrors the boy wizard's. He's got a brainiac, sometime antagonistic female friend and a bumbling, loyal, brave guy friend. He's a kid thrust into an adventure because of who he is, specifically son of the sea god.What follows is a tale of one misadventure after another as the three friends go on their epic journey to stave off a 3-way war of the ancient Greek gods.Good thing: It piques one's interest in reading up on Greek mythology.Blah thing: The ending seems very much contrived. It's like the author was very anxious to tie things up so neatly that he decides a royal infodumping session is necessary. (That means 2 characters stand there discussing the whole story just in case you hadn't read the rest of the book.)

Modern Heroic Tale

by Kaeli Vandertulip

A young man thinks his biggest problems in life are his ADHD and dyslexia, maybe a bully or two, but then he discovers that he's half god.This very clever book (written primarily for middle school to early highschool students, but rewarding and enjoyable for adults, too) imagines that the Greek gods are still around and still up to their old ways-especially going out and having children with mortals. The writing is very witty; the author had me laughing out loud more than once. The plot is great and never slows down.Readers are rewarded for knowledge of Greek mythology by having an idea of where the author is going with his story. You can read the beginning of a description and know right away which monster or god it is. Keep in mind, this is a book written for young adults, so don't get too happy when you figure out the Oracle's prediction way before the other characters do. Also, seeing as this is a book about the gods' influence on Earth, don't be suprised by the large amount of deus ex machina in the plot.My one and only complaint is that I felt the chapter headings contained too many spoilers.

Very good teen novel

by Kara Daly

Very short. Great plot and a pleasure to read. It also explained the mythical characters very well. I would recommend this book.

The stuff legends are made of.

by Karusichan "Karusichan"

Percy Jackson is a troubled twelve year old. He is currently taking classes at Yancy Academy, a private school for troubled kids in New York. He suffers from ADHD and dyslexia, his short attention span always getting him into trouble. His Mother is married to a sadistic man after the death of his real father at sea, whom Percy had never known. His best friend, Grover, is also a troubled kid, suffering from many of the same problems, and on top of it he has a crippled gait he must deal with thanks to a muscular ailment in his legs.One day when Percy's class is on a field trip Percy encounters something odd. His math teacher, Mrs. Dodds, suddenly turns into a strange winged creature and attacks him. He manages to fend her off with a sword that materializes out of the ballpoint pen of his other teacher, Mr. Brunner. But the strange things do not stop, on the way home the bus breaks down and Percy sees a strange sight of three women cutting a string of yarn with scissors. This sight unnerves Grover and haunts Percy for some time.When summer break comes Percy finds he will not be returning to Yancy and goes home to be with his mom and cruel stepfather, Gabe. Percy mother surprises him with a trip upstate, which ends in disaster when the two are attacked by a creature that resembles the Greek myth of the minotaur. In the attack a horrible fate befalls Percy's mother, and Percy manages to break a horn from the minotaur before slaying him. Clutching the horn in his hands he follows Grover, who has suddenly appeared, to a place that his mother was aiming him towards before he collapses in exhaustion.Waking up some strange revelations come to Percy. He is in a summer camp for people called half bloods, or demigods, and it is there he realizes the truth of his parentage. His father is one of the gods, which one though is undetermined. Grover is also a satyr yearning to earn his searcher's license to find his god, Pan, who has been missing for centuries. Percy also meets a young girl named Annabeth, 14, who tells him she is the daughter of Athena, and a 19 year old councilor named Luke who is the son of Hermes. Mr. D. (Dionysus) is a teacher at Half Blood Hill and Percy receives the biggest shock of all when he discovers that his teacher, Mr. Brunner, is not only the infamous Chiron, trainer of Hercules, but also a centaur.Something nasty is brewing in the realm of the gods. Zeus' master thunderbolt has gone missing, which bodes ill for the world seeing as how it has more destructive capability than a thousand nuclear bombs. Zeus blames Hades, lord of the underworld, for it and prepares for war between him and his other brother, Poseidon. It is then that the secret of Percy's birth is revealed, and then also that a quest is given to him. He must retrieve the master bolt before the summer solstice, or the world is literally going to erupt into World War III. With Grover and Annabeth at his side he sets off to do just this.This book was such a breath of fresh air. A great exciting read. It has all of the elements of a bestseller and a blockbuster film (which the book has already been optioned for, as I see from IMDB). It is action packed and thrilling, and yet is chock full of heart, which will certainly endear many readers to this series. I was also amazed at how Riordan cleverly wove details of Greek mythology into the history of the world, specifically that of the 20th century. The explanation about how the gods were involved in World War II was nothing shy of brilliant. And the ending, how Riordan sets up the over arching plotline, is tremendous and makes me need to read the next book immediately.I know that this series is already doing well, and I have even heard it compared to Harry Potter... but the magnitude of the storylines, the depth of the characters, the strength of the dialogue, and the impact of the surprise ending will have readers thinking more of a boy named Percy than of Harry. In my estimation, this is the series to stand in line at midnight booksellings for...even though Potter is a phenomenon, Percy is a legend. Literally."His eyes were sympathetic, but sad. "You will be a great hero, child. I will do my best to prepare you. But if I'm right about the path ahead of you...The gods have their reasons, Percy. Knowing too much of your future is never a good thing."

Greek gods galavanting around the modern world! Who knew?

by K. Eckert "Devourer of all books fantasy"

This is the first book in the series by Rick Riordan about Percy and the Olympians. I've been wanting to read this series for quite a while and finally got around to it. I listened to this on audio book and the audio book production was very good; I have no complaints about that at all! The content of the book itself was also very enjoyable.This book follows Percy who has been labeled as a juvenile delinquent because of his ability to always get into trouble and his learning disabilities (dyslexia and ADD). Percy quickly finds out that there is a reason for his problems. Percy is actually a half-blood; his father is a god. More shockingly his father is one of the three main Greek gods that promised never to sire another child. Percy is framed for stealing Zeus's lightening bolt and must find the bolt to prove that he is innocent. Percy gets assistance from a couple of unlikley sources; his best friend Grover (whom he finds out is a satyr) and another half-blood named Annabeth who is a daughter of Athena. The would be heroes encounter many familar foes along their travels; among them Medusa, Cerberus and Ares.I surprisingly really liked this book. I liked the incorporation of Greek mythology (which I've always really enjoyed) into a young adult fantasy novel. The book had a little of a Harry Potter tone to it with Percy being sent off to camp half-blood. This book is more tongue-in-cheek and uses a lot of slang and modern language and this makes it much different from Harry Potter. I also found myself drawing comparisons between this book and Abarat. Percy lives in a similar home situation to what Candy Quakenbush did. I always felt bad for Candy's mom being married to such a horrible man and kind of angry at Candy's mom for not changing her situation. I liked Percy's mom a million times better because she had a reason for living with her idiot husband and once his usefulness was done she...took care of him.It was a quick, fun listen. I didn't necessarily like Percy as a character a whole lot but his character worked well for the book and the situation he was in. It is a creative book and an interesting book. My only complaints would be the quality of the writing. It's definitely written in a very off-hand style, most likely to appeal to the young reader age group. Sometimes the slang and frequent fits of self-pity Percy went through got kind of distracting and annoying. These are minor quips though; all-in-all it was a very good book and I am already listening to the next one.[...]

a must for the Greek mythology dork, as well as the uninitiated

by Kelsey May Dangelo

In traditional hero-fashion, a unique young boy discovers that he is part god (Poseidon is his father, to be exact) and is sent on a quest to clear his name of the thievery of Zeus' lightning bolt. If he doesn't succeed, Western Civilization will be thrust into WWIII. He is accompanied by his best friend, a satyr, and Athena's daughter, Annabeth. Along the way, of course, he must deal with numerous mythical demons (the Gorgon, the Furies, Ares, a Minotaur, Procrustes). The book is predictable (especially if you know something of Greek mythology and hero tales and Joseph Campbell). It lacks twists, turns, and a mystery to confound an adult reader. The characters are pretty flat (archetypes without pizzazz). Worst of all, there's a haunting Harry Potter-ness to it (which is not a good thing, as imitations are but shadows). Those three things aside, this is a pretty darn good book. Especially if you are a Greek myth geek. Frankly, it is a modern retelling of the myth (and this would work a bit better if it didn't try so hard to connect to the original myths). It's actually quite a brilliant and clever modernization. Procrustes is a sleazy furniture salesman, Ares rides a motorcycle, the Furies are spinster Algebra teachers. Our hero doesn't only have to deal with the fate of being half-god and a hero, but he also has to deal with his abandoning father and his cruel stepfather. This, I'm sure, is something that many, many kids today can identify with. Yes, mythology is still hugely pertinent today, and Riordan has created a superb updating. He's made a delicious and appropriate mix of the allegorical and the imaginative, showing why these tales have endured. He turns the metaphorical creatures and objects into more familiar and modern ones, without losing any of the beautiful antiquity or the deeper meaning. The writing is also incredible. It is honest-to-gods funny, particularly the chapter headings. Also, the descriptions of characters, moods, places, and thing of modernized Greek mythology is poetic and powerful. This is a great book if you're a Greek myth nerd (just for play and recognition and getting the joke), but it's also a great book if you're a kid and just getting to know the Greek myths. Grade: A-

The Poseidon Adventure

by Ken C.

If you love Greek mythology then you're Rick Riordan's target audience and sure to love THE LIGHTNING THIEF. Heck, even if you've never read a Greek myth in your life, you'll probably enjoy the book. It's that much fun. Half of Riordan's work is done for him (the creative adventures and profiles of the Greek gods) and he ably provides the other half, mixing modern times with ancient and coming up with something that's not only successfully Greek to me, but will be to young readers who love plot as well.This follows the old "quest formula" to perfection, as young Percy Jackson finds out the hard way (read: attacking monsters with ancient Greek pedigree) that he's not your average kid. No, he's a demi-god, a half-blood, a product of a mortal mom and an immortal dad. Once he knows something's fishy, Percy quickly puts salt and water together to determine that "Pop" is Poseidon himself. In true hero-in-training fashion, Percy must now take on a quest to prove himself and the quest involves a trip to Hades and back. Getting there turns out to be a lot trickier than expected, but readers will enjoy the monstrous obstacles thrown in his way as it will cause pages to turn faster than Hermes on FTD's busiest day.OK, so I had some trouble with the pacing of the plot, choppy as the Aegean Sea at times, and also with the caricatured portrait of Percy's step-dad, Gabe, but these are trifling matters compared to the enjoyment even reluctant readers will find in this series.They'll love his sidekicks, Annabeth (Athena's own) and the satyr Grover and remain transfixed as Percy meets one monster and God after another. It's like a Homecoming for the Olympians and their old tales of derring do (and don't) as we meet Medusa (and her bad hair day), the Furies (in their Plymouths), Procrustes (in his "bed" which rhymes with "dead"), Argus (who knows the eyes have it), Ares (battle-tested brute), Zeus (Big Man on Campus), Dionysus (always wining and complaining), Cerebrus (three dog night), Charon (a ferry good paddler), and Chiron (no horsing around). They're all here -- far afield from Bulfinches Mythology, maybe, but here.Bottom line: the Oracle says you'll like it.

Important Reversal

by Kevin L. Nenstiel "omnivore"

I expected this to be a cheap Harry Potter knockoff, but boy was I wrong: it's a smart, glossy, high-rent HP knockoff and darned fun to read. It has the same positive energy with a grim undertone that made HP a pleasure for kids and adults alike. And, though author Rick Riordan drops sly hints acknowledging his debt to Rowling, Tolkien, LeGuin, and others, he also veers off in directions those authors would not dare venture.Rowling, for instance, made the wizard world the rule, and real life something her characters venture into occasionally. Riordan does the opposite: Camp Half-Blood is an oasis, a retreat, but not a place Percy can permanently settle. Rowling and Tolkien were coy about the source of the uncanny in their settings, but Riordan doesn't blush to call it the Gods. Riordan puts our world at risk in a way Rowling could only hint at.Riordan also reverses an important Rowling trait. Where Harry was exceptional, too good for our world, Riordan's heroes are this world's rejects, the kids everyone writes of as incorrigible or beyond hope. Percy is dyslexic, hyperactive, and a chronic troublemaker--in other words, he's like a large share of his readers who aren't secret geniuses, but privately imagine that they might have something more to dream of.This novel is energetic, funny, chilling, inventive, and more. It plays with readers' expectations, by turns giving us what we want and what we never could have foreseen. It openly reaches for the HP market, but it doesn't just pander, it presents us with a new story that we can really support. And it's just gobs of fun to read.


by kevin mccormick

Percy is awesome! The book has many surprises in stock, fantastic characters and an ending that is unforgettable. Read it!!!!!

An exciting adventure with Greek mythological villains and heroes in present-day America

by KidsReads

THE LIGHTNING THIEF begins with a warning (shades of Lemony Snicket) --- that everything in this book is purely fictional unless the reader starts to experience stirrings and have feelings like those of the hero. Then the reader is advised to close the book and stop reading immediately. The hero, 12-year-old Percy Jackson, is far from your ordinary, everyday high school student. In fact, he is about to be kicked out of his third high school.Try as he may, Percy just cannot behave himself and settle down to study. His mother understands, for reasons unbeknownst to Percy. After beating up a bully who is attacking his best friend, Grover, strange things start happening to Percy.In fact, after only one or two chapters, Percy's math teacher turns into a horrible, terrifying monster who tries to kill Percy. Then a gigantic Minotour (yes, a Minotour from Greek mythology) chases Percy until Percy tears off one of his horns and he dissolves into sand. Then, a few seconds later, Percy's own mother disappears before his very eyes in a cloud of golden haze.What is going on? Grover leads Percy into Camp Half-Blood, which, as it turns out, is inhabited by creatures straight out of ancient Greek mythology --- only all this is happening right now, in the 21st century! And Camp Half-Blood is where students like Percy, who discover they are really demigods, are trained in the ways of the Greek gods (shades of Hogwarts School).Because of Percy's outstanding clever behavior at the camp/school, he is awarded a quest. Someone has stolen the god Zeus's most precious symbol of power: his lightning bolt. Percy's mission, should he decide to accept it, is to find the thief and return the powerful lightning bolt to Zeus before a war breaks out between Olympus and the Underworld.As you might imagine, horrible things happen to Percy and his two friends, with monsters and disaster at every turn. (Good thing this is all fiction!). If you can suspend disbelief, you will find this book similar to the old-time movie serials, except that the villains and heroes are Greek mythological figures, right here in present-day America. Uh, oh. Better stop reading this review.--- Reviewed by Robert Oksner (...)

Love it

by Kindle Customer

I love the whole series, I enjoyed the simple writen by author and it is a very refreshing story. Brought my love for the Greek miths back

The beginning of the gigantic series

by Kingham's Kids "Ms, Kingham's 7th Grade"

The Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan, is an adventurous story about a boy, Percy Jackson, who is a dyslexic sixth grader and he never knew his father. But it all changes when he goes on a field trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in Manhattan, he discovers the shocking truth about his father and the mythological world is it all real? I would recommend this book to sixth graders and up because you might want to get a sense of mythology first before reading this book or you'll end up with to many question =).I would rate this book and all the sequels to this book a seventy out of ten. I rated this book a ten out of ten because I can relate to Percy, I knew my father but I never really developed a relation ship with him, also this book got me to reading a little bit more than I usually do. Because it was so adventurous and I really wanted to see what would happen next in the story whether he or his friends get into some sort of trouble that may involve a gods' weapon. "it may" =O.-MAC

Would Recommend for Young Readers Interested in Mythology

by Laura

Combines mythology with a modern day story very well. A lot of the "mysteries", both big and small, were obvious, but the overall story was well done. Definitely a good book for kids that like mythology.

The Lightning Thief

by Leeanna Chetsko

Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1: The Lightening Thief, by Rick RiordanOkay, I admit I wasn't too sure of the Percy Jackson books. I'd ignored them for a long time, thinking the hype was silly, but when I found the first 3 in the series for a good price I couldn't resist.And wow! I regret not jumping on the Olympian bandwagon earlier, because I've been missing out on one fantastic series. Riordan's writing is witty, detailed, humorous, thrilling, mysterious, and about any other adjective I could think of. His is the kind of writing I would love to see in adult fantasy books, but rarely find.Percy Jackson isn't your typical hero. He's dyslexic, ADHD, and a bit of a troublemaker. Percy's been kicked out of every school he's ever attended, usually for something beyond his control, such as the time he hit his schoolbus with a Revolutionary War cannonball.The book is written as if Percy is talking to the reader; "The Lightening Thief" starts with him warning readers to be careful if they're half-bloods, or to read on for some good fiction if they aren't. It's a good style that lets Percy share his thoughts and feelings with the audience, and really gets readers inside his head."The Lightening Thief" follows Percy as he learns he is a half-blood, a demigod who is half human and half Greek god. His status gives him some unique abilities, but unlike gods he is mortal and can be killed. Yet Percy is often willing to risk his life for those he calls friends. At Camp Half-Blood, the summer camp for young demigods, Percy and others like him learn to read Ancient Greek, to fight with swords, archery, and to do a hundred other things I'm jealous of. Camp Half-Blood sounds like a really fun place, and Riordan describes it well.Percy feels at home in Camp Half-Blood, but he doesn't get to enjoy it long. Soon after his arrival, he is sent on a quest to retrieve Zeus's lightning bolt to prevent war on Mount Olympus. Percy sets off with Grover, a satyr, and Annabeth, a daughter of Artemis, on an adventure that will delight readers, young and old.Immediately after finishing "The Lightning Thief," I recommended it to a few friends. I think Percy Jackon and the Olympians is an incredible series, and one that I will reread endlessly. There's not a thing I would change about this book!5/5.

Harry Potter but with different character names

by Linda "Mom of 5"

We listened to the audio CD version of this book while on a recent road trip. The similarities to the Harry Potter series are too numerous and blatant to be ignored. Like Harry, Percy is a 11-12 year old who has no inkling of his magical parentage. Like Harry, he is/has been observed and watched over by disguised magical beings throughout his childhood. Once he becomes aware of his magical parentage and potential powers he finds his way to the magical/mythical summer camp (Hogwarts) that exists solely to train-up "godlings" (young wizards) like himself. At the camp he becomes friends with Annabeth, the daughter of Athena who is wise, smart and ingenious (Hermione). His other friend is Grover, a humorous, accident prone, underachieving (Ron Weasley) young satyr. The residents at the camp are divided into houses based on their Godly heritage (Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, Slytherin). Percy/Harry and his young friends embark on a quest to the underworld (the Chamber of Secrets) to retrieve Zeus' lightning bolt (sorcerer's stone). While the story is enjoyable, we couldn't fully enjoy it for itself because we were so busy comparing it the ingenious Potter series.

Overall Rating: 3 Kit Kat Bars

by Lindsey

Review of the Characters:Percy– Son of Poseidon, Demigod and our protagonist. Percy was an admirable kid, brave and loyal true and true. He was also brash and stubborn (a lot like Harry Potter) but they were realistic flaws that led him and his friends into realistic problems. Realistic demigod problems anyway. For the first novel, the author did a great job with establishing a distinct voice for Percy, we get a sense of who he is from the very first page. I look forward to seeing more of him throughout the series.Grover– I really loved Grover, probably because out of all the characters he was the one that grew the most. He learned to face his fears. With a person like Percy its hard to keep up but Grover not only did but supported his friend the entire way through. I absolutely adore how passionate he is about his cause (his life mission is to find the lost god Pan and restore Earth to the way it was before pollution). He was a great balance to Percy and I hope has more appearances.Annabeth– I love that there is a strong female like Annabeth depicted in children’s literature. She was more than a match for Percy and save the trio from trouble many times. She had a strong presence throughout the novel and I’m so happy with the decision she made at the end of the book. I can’t wait to see what the author has in store for this character.Review of the Story:I’m a bit biased because I LOVE greek mythology. I’ve always been fascinated with it so give me a book with a thousand allusions to it? Yeah, I’m going to enjoy it. The author did a fantastic job weaving the mythology into the story without overwhelming the character. I never once felt like I was reading a textbook on the subject so he gets points for that. The idea of Camp Halfblood is so fun and original. It also leaves potential for numerous opportunities and that is where the real genius lies in this book. The adventure was entertaining (silly at times) but definitely a fun read.Review of the Writing:I’ve read a lot of young adult novels but this was the only book where I was left feeling like it was too young for me. The fact that a god would leave giant spider robots threw me off, it just didn’t fit the character and seemed like it was added in only to appeal to kids. I mean, it is aimed at middle schoolers but so is Harry Potter and for me The Lightning Thief was missing that element that transcends ages. Besides the juvenile writing though, the author did a great job shaping his story and aligning it with greek mythology. Camp Halfblood was well fleshed out and I’m sure it will star in children’s dreams for years to come.Rating:A fast and entertaining read, The Lightning Thief is an exciting novel that will take you on a wild adventure. If you like children’s novels then I highly recommend this book as it’ll leave you eagerly anticipating the next in the series.

too trite

by Mara Zonderman

My first problem with this book is that there was a lot of talk about Greek mythology in a Latin class. That just seemed like an odd setup. The author could have made it any class he wanted, and chose to make such an odd pair. It grated on me every time it came up.Although the idea of using Greek mythology is quite clever, the story itself is fairly trite. Our "hero" is possibly one of the dumbest 6th-graders ever. It could be that he was written that way on purpose so as to allow for long expositions by other characters, but I found it annoying that he could not pick up on what was staring him in the face.Perhaps my many problems with this book came from the fact that I listened to it, and the narrator decided to tell the whole story in his surfer-dude voice. Any seriousness there may have been to the story itself was completely driven out by this. If this is the reason I didn't like the book, it's a pity, because I'd heard really good things about this series. If I ever decide to read the next two books, I'll make sure to actually read them myself.

What a Fun Debut!

by Mark Baker

Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of yet another boarding school. But before that can happen, his algebra teacher attacks him and he overhears a conversation where he is being discussed.While those things are weird, they are nothing to what happens when he gets home. A weekend away with his mom turns into a run for their lives as Percy learns an amazing fact about his father. Soon, he is given a quest. With the fate of the world hanging in the balance, can Percy find the lightning thief?Yep, I'm one of those people who picked up this book because of the movie coming next month. But I've got to say I am glad I did. This is a fun story from start to finish. Yes, parts feel borrowed from Harry Potter, but then again Harry borrowed from what came before as well. This book also takes plenty of great twists of its own. And I really loved Percy and his friends.Granted, the plot could have been better. I figured a few things out early, and it did get bogged down a little before Percy gets his quest. Even so, I was so engrossed in his world that I really didn't care.I am going to have to get the rest of the books in this great series. And now I really can't wait for the movie.

Greek gods redrawn

by Melvin Anderson "author Diabetes?What's That?"

The book starts out well, the hero, Percy Jackson, is introduced as an average American boy with problems. Then he starts having real problems with monsters no one else sees as he does. from there on, it is all down hill from one perspective, the surroundings are all normal except when percy gets involved with monsters, At this point time seems to halt, the ambience changes but only Percy notices this, the other normal characters, or even only spectators, see nothing abnormal; their senses are distorted into seeing events as normal occurrences and their accounts of what they have seen fit into what is normal and media accounts follow this line. In accordance with this method of writing, Percy's mother sacrifices herself for her child, and Percy winds up in a school for the Greek God's children. Now Riordan goes wild, he starts bringing in Greek myths and their characters. He has a lot to choose from. Greek mythology is ripe, there is the Iliad, the Odyssey, Hercules and his seven labors, Perseus and Medusa, Jason and the Golden Fleece, hundreds, if not thouands, and I have no idea how many Rick Riordan has brought up in his books. Still, a good way to introduce a classical education.Percy is given a quest and in the pursuit of it his father, the god, Poseidon, reveals himself. Other Gods come tripping in, to show their character, at least those who have revealed themsxleves to the school Percy is now attending. He has been kicked out of six other schools in six years, now it is reveaked whym it is because he is this god's son. Superman sprouts, Psercycan call on his father for help when necessary, and the battle between the gods and the Titans is mentioned. It seems there is to be a resumption of it, the old gods want to be reborn and become top dog. artifacts are stolen under unbelievable circumstances, wrong people are accused, and war seems imminent. But hold on, Percy to the rescue. The artifacts are recovered and returned to their possesors, by Percy and false accusations are dropped. The story ends with Percy discovering the true thief and things smooth out. Now it is time for the second book.

greek gods in the modern U.S.

by Michael Dea

Mildly interesting for adults, especially for those interested in classical mythology. I can see that it would be popular with kids, as it is fast paced, with lots of adventure and humour.

Can't wait to read the next one!

by Michelle L. Beck "Always the Devourer of Good...

Percy "Perseus" Jackson knows he is different. He sees strange things (like letters floating off the page and shadows where they shouldn't be); has a small problem with his math teacher (Mrs. Dobb) who'd like nothing better than to kill him; doesn't really remember his father (but wants to); hates his stepfather, Gabe (who literally stinks); and finds himself constantly switching schools (because of the bizarre occurrences that happen around him). Learning that he is the half-blood of the God of the Sea (Poseidon), and must retrieve the one item (Zeus' Thunderbolt) that can prevent a war and return it to Olympus. Fearing for his life, and the end of the world as we know it, Percy must travel to Camp Half-Blood to discover the truth of who and what he is.However Camp Half-Blood is but the first stop in his travels on the way to Olympus. With the help of his two most trusted friends, Grover (a can eating satyr) and Annabeth (a half-blood), Percy not only gets an opportunity to kill a minotaur, behead Medusa, meet his father and returns his uncle's most prized possession, but he also uncovers a plot meant to destroy peace among the Gods. Needless to say, everything is not as it seems. And while worrying about saving the world may sound simple, Percy has to do all this while solving the riddle of what the Oracle meant when she gave three dire predictions, one of which he fears may be concerning his mother.My 11-year-old son gobbled up this book (and those that follow in the series), and challenged me to read it. He assured me that Percy's adventure rivaled no other, and once I read the first one I would be unable to stop myself from reading them all. Guess what? He was right. Riordan's tale made for several hours of reading enjoyment. There was magic, fight scenes, action, adventure and a wonderful story, which are all necessary to build the foundation of a terrific and mind-blowing series. And finally, my son was right, I have the rest of the series stacked in a pile (next to my bed) waiting to be read, and I can't wait.

Pop Greek Mythology

by Middle-aged Professor

The five-star rating is my 12-year-old son's view of this book. We listened to it together and, while I only liked it compared to his loving it, I would certainly recommend it for kids to read or families to share. Much about the book is standard fare, reasonably well presented: outcast kid discovers he has special powers in magical world and, together with two friends (a boy and a girl) must undertake a dangerous adventure to save the world, figuring things out that the adults overlooked along the way. Of course, so many books follow that particular line for a reason, and this book is well-enough executed to make it a success.What makes the book special is the introduction of greek mythology. The kids are the products of a mortal parent and a greek god parent--giving them special powers related to their immortal parent--and the book is chock full of greek mythology in the midst of the modern world, from Medusa's statuary shop to Hades beneath L.A.. While at times one is reminded of an episode of Cheers in which Dr. Crane introduces a maniac, killer clown to keep the rest of the patrons interested in his retelling of A Tale of Two Cities, I felt the mythological side significantly enriched the book. Both my son and I were constantly going to Google to refresh our recollection about various ancient myths, and it helped to keep fresh the story's familiar pathway

amazing book

by Mid-Praire Teen

in the tale of The Lighting Thief,by rick riordan, we find our hero Perseus jackson, or percy, in the city of new york. After an attack from his algebra teacher who for some reason no one seems to remember, Percy starts to realize more and more weird things happening in his life. as if finding out his best friend was half goat one day wasnt bad enough, that very same night percy gets in to a battle with a minotaur killing his mom, and almost himself. after forcing himself to realize whats happening around him, and that he really is the son of poseidon, he is sent on a quest to retrieve Zeus' mysteriously stolen master bolt, and traveling to the underworld for his own intentions to save his mom. fighting monsters and gods along the way this is not an easy task for percy or his friends. in the first of the series of percy jackson and the olympians percy needs to stop an explosion from a bolt that would make a hydrogen bomb look like a fire cracker, and try to stop a war between the gods that would deystroy the world. this is a great tale of action, suspense, and thills. i would highly recomend the lightning thief.

Awesomely cool man!!

by Miller

Rick Riordan is one of the best authors I have ever read!!! When I first read a greek myth, I didn't understand what they meant. But when I read this book,I understude the myths more and I read any myth I can get my hands on!!!

Haven't read something this good since...well, it's been a while

by molly

Despite the obvious Harry Potter resemblances, The Lightning Thief is a wonderful, original look at Greek mythology that is actually fun. I recently studied the entire Greek section of a mythology book, an endeavor that took about two hours, only to find I would have had to reread it if I had not first read this. So it has practical uses, too!Some parts are obviously derived from the myths of Heracles (Hercules to Romans) and Perseus, Percy's namesake, but there are some truly inspired ideas such as the all-healing nectar that takes on a different flavor depending on who drinks it, the idea that Mount Olympus is now at the top of the Empire State Building, Crusty's Mattresses, Cerberus's ball, Riptide the pen that's a sword, and so many others. (I couldn't pronounce Poseidon for the longest time, though, I thought is was Pose-ee-id-on.)Percy Jackson is, by his own definition, a troubled kid. But he's in no way prepared for the information that he's not just that -- he's a demigod, a hero, the son of not only one of the Olympian gods, but one of the Big Three forbidden to have any more children with mortals: Poseidon, Lord of the Sea, Hades, Lord of the Underworld, and Zeus, Lord of the Sky. (Three guesses what god drowning-immune Percy has as his father.)So after a battle with the Minotaur that Heracles killed all those years ago in Greece (monsters always resurrect, you see), Percy is ushered to Camp Half-Blood, a summer camp for demigods. At first, everything seems great, but when it's discovered that Hades has stolen Zeus's lightning bolt to cause an Olympian war, and Percy is blamed for it -- well, of course he has to set off and put things right. And this includes nothing short of fighting a chimaera disguised as a chihuahua, diving from a skyscraper into the depths of the Hudson River, meeting up with the same dear old Medusa that his namesake defeated ages upon ages ago, traveling to the depths of the Underworld to meet Uncle Hades, and making the unpleasant discovery that maybe the identity of the lightning thief isn't so obvious as it seemed...The highlight of the story is its humor. It really is funny, everything from the chapter titles (I Accidentally Vaporize My Pre-Algebra Teacher; Three Old Ladies Knit the Socks of Death; and I Become Supreme Lord of the Bathroom come to mind) to Percy's own dry internal monologue. He's just funny.I'm waiting for The Sea of Monsters to come out in paperback, but since The Titan's Curse comes out shortly afterward I don't think I'll be able to wait for the third one in paperback...PS. Sorry. Had to add this. If you read this book for no other reason, read it to see the frequency of the phrase, "I uncapped my sword." I mean, really...when are you ever going to get the chance again?Rating: Very Good

Just a GREAT book! No need to compare !

by Nmhuyler "~nicole~"

I am so glad I read this! I started out a little wary of it because I am not "into" Harry Potter, or vampires or any of the other fantasy type genres. I am strictly a murder mystery reader. I have however always, as long as I can remember been interested in Greek Mythology. I think that the characters in this book are likeable and interesting enough to care about. I enjoy the first person point of view narration, because I feel that you can understand the characters feelings and thoughts better. HIGHLY entertaining! I am definately going to continue reading this series. It is a very welcome and refreshing break from my typical reading material.. :)

Liked It a Lot

by Ohioan

When I first began to read this book, I was upset by the seeming ripoff of Harry Potter, particularly the part with two boys and one girl, the girl being much smarter than the boys. But as I continued to read, I became engaged in the story of Percy Jackson and saw that this was its own story, not an imitation. Perhaps the author was inspired by Harry Potter, but he has made this story his own. I liked the imagination at work here, delving into the Greek gods and their history, traits, and who/what each of them ruled over. It was fun watching the kids try to figure things out. There are enough strange happenings here and enough challenges to keep a reader very satisfied.

Fun read

by P. Eberhardt "One Book At A Time"

I've always been interested in Greek mythology, so this book caught my eye really quick! The story is extremely simple, which is not suprising since it is written for middle schoolers. But, it was a fun and fast read. My only issues were the ease in which the problems were solved and the mythology presented in the book. For example, why would a 6th grader be able to take out a minotaur so easily? And then beat Ares, the God of War, in a battle? There was also a lot of mythology introduced in this book, with little explanation behind it. I knew most if because I've studied Greek mythology in high school and in college. But, how much of this would the average middle schooler know? Still, a very fun way to introduce mythology to young readers! I'll continue on with the series.

The Lightning Thief

by P. Newhart

Percy Jackson is your average, troubled twelve year old. Getting into trouble at various schools and diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia, he just wants to manage to find a school to call home for more than a few months.However, things quickly turn weird for Percy when he finds out he is the son of Poseidon and is sent to a summer camp for demi-gods. On top of that, he is also being blamed for the theft of Zeus' thunderbolt. Now, he needs to go on a quest to find and return it.This is a fantastic story for the young and the young at heart. I was completely taken into the world of the Olympians and couldn't put the book down. I can't wait to read the rest of the series!

No Question

by Pop Bop "Pause and Reflect"

There are a lot of books out there that are similar to the Harry Potter series, and a surprising number that come close to the Potter experience. But, for the most part, either with regard to characters, backstory, overall plot, creativity or writing skill, they don't entirely measure up.Well, the Percy Jackson books not only measure up, but in many ways exceed the Potter standard. A hipper hero, more intriguing companions, more action and conflict, more plotting variety over the course of the series, more accessible writing. If you need a Potter fix, a Potter alternative, or just a cool book to intrigue a young reader - this series has it all.

Fair enough...

by Prabal "All paths lead to God..."

This is a story about a boy who is a demigod, his adjustment problems in many a school, discovery that he is what he is and entry to a boot camp where his "type" of people live etc etc. I couldn't really suspend my disbelief, but I am good to read the other books in the series. I would say it is above average book with few laughs thrown in...

Decent - but no Potter.

by Ray J. Palen Jr. "Ray"

I typically like to read a novel before the film version comes out to compare my vision (and that of the author) with the film-makers.With the coming release of "The Lightning Thief", I jumped on Book One of Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson Trilogy with great zest. I was not disappointed - though this book is nowhere near J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels.The best thing about the book is how it brings the Greek Gods and other Olympian legends back to life for a new generation to enjoy. Percy Jackson turns out to be a 'half-blood' - born of a mortal mother and dad being the great God, Poseidon. This makes him a target for some less than nice Gods and others and the first adventure spends a lot of time setting the foundation for the series as Percy gets adjusted to life as a 7th Grade Demi-God.A decent read with plenty of action - but I think it will make for a far better movie.


by ReadingIsMyLife

THESE BOOKS ARE FREAKING AMAZING!! LIKE BREATH-TAKING GORGEOUS!! AND FANTASTIC!! I read them two years ago but never had the chance to write a review. Honestly, I cant be glad or thankful enough that I have read them. They changed my life. They added a whole different world into mine. They made my imagination and perspective bigger. They made me believe more. They made me excited, and happy, and sad and so many another emotions. If you haven't already read them, I'll tell you this; you're missing out A LOT. So hurry and read them. You wont regret it ;) and don't be mad at how much they changed the movie, you cant ever expect a movie to be as good as the book. I'm fifteen and I think these books are good for anyone and everyone. Enjoy reading!! :D

Great start to a new Harry Potter-esque series

by Regina Niesen "Gina"

Goodreads Description- Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school... again. And that's the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy's Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he's angered a few of them. Zeus' master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus' stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.I have to say that when I found out that I had to read this book for a book club I was a little apprehensive. I am not a fan of the fantasy trend in young adult literature and worried that this would end up like some of the other popular teen reads (which will remain unnamed) that it would be filled with star crossed teen love and angst along with the ever popular vampires, shapeshifters, and other popular paranormal creatures. I haven't seen the movie and only had the small book description to go on for the plot introduction. I knew it had rave reviews, but so do all of the other young adult fantasy series that are being published at an astonishing rate. However, despite my true lack of interest, I hesitantly started to read. And guess what...I was hooked! I loved the characters and how the author developed them for the reader by revealing their identities slowly. I really liked the idea of the Greek gods still ruling the earth and spawning children with mortals. It seemed to me like a unique storyline and NOT like the other recent teen novels.The book moves at a fast pace because the reading level is more for middle grade students rather than high schoolers but the story was still interesting enough to keep my adult attention. Percy's quest had just the right mix of action that was fully developed rather than just cut off to keep it short. This wasn't a novel that I would criticize and say that I wished it were longer. The author did an excellent job at writing a full novel filled with everything an adult wants in a book that is fit for a 12 year old to read. As a former teacher who knows something about children's literature, it is a wonderful talent if an author can keep the adult and children interested.The only reason I didn't give it a 5 star rating was that it seemed to copy the Harry Potter series. The main character, Percy, was comparable to Harry and his two friends, Annabeth and Grover, doubled as Ron and Hermione. I wish he was able to develop the main characters into something more unique.I would definitely recommend this novel, especially to people like me who are leery of the whole fantasy genre. I am going to go ahead and get the next books in the series from the library to see what Percy and his friends are up to next. 4 stars.

If you didn't get enough of Bullfinch's Mythology

by R. Kyle

"The Lightning Thief" is definitely a fun continuation of those stories for both young and old audiences. It seems the Greek legends are still among us and living pretty much as they always did.Percy Jackson's a kid in trouble. He's got ADHD and has been kicked out of every private school he's gone to. I knew I was in love with this kid when he disappeared his math teacher.Turns out, he's a half blood and the son of one of the Big Three (Zeus, Poseidon, Hades) of the Greek gods. His Mom's been keeping him undercover all these years. When he and his mother are under threat, they run to the only safe place, a summer camp for all the other children of the gods.There, Percy learns his true heritage and is sent on a quest with his satyr friend Grover and half-blood daughter of Athena, Annabelle. They've got to settle a feud between the gods. And they've got to face some of the scariest legends in Greek mythology to do it.Okay, the book's for 5-8th graders, but I had a blast reading it. The humor's good and the pacing's fast. I very much enjoyed the saga and would probably pick up another volume of it at a later date.Rebecca Kyle, January 2009

Great easy read...can't wait for the movie!

by R. Massengale "mom of four girls"

This book was whitty and fast paced which was great, took only a couple of days to read and on to the next adventure. My children are now fans also of course after their 34 year old mom was! I agree with the other review...a hipper harry potter!

"Hail, Perseus Jackson, Son of the Sea God..."

by R. M. Fisher "Ravenya"

I had been hearing good things about Rick Riordan's YA fantasy series, but it wasn't until a half-price sale at the bookstore and the release of the movie (which I still haven't seen) that I finally decided to catch up with the bandwagon. I knew that it followed the basic premise of the typical coming-of-age drama in a fantasy setting, in which a troubled youngster discovers that he has innate power and a lot of trouble to go with it. To harness his power, achieve his goals, and discover his place in his newly discovered world is Percy Jackson's ongoing character arc. Though it is clearly inspired by the success of Harry Potter (right down to the format of the titles: variations of "Hero's Name and the Intriguing Noun"), it's never openly derivative.Percy Jackson is a twelve year boy who finds it difficult to stay out of trouble. Constantly expelled from school for bad behaviour, he's finding his current position in a private school palatable thanks to a sympathetic teacher and a good friend with a muscular impediment in his legs. But he struggles with his dyslexia and fumes over his unhappy home life (his mother is married to a beatnik), he becomes swiftly aware that there are stranger things going on around him.His teacher Mr Brunner and his friend Grover clearly know something about him that they're not sharing, and after a terrifying encounter with a nasty teacher, Percy discovers the truth. As you probably already know from the blurb, Percy (and many others like him) is the child of a mortal and a god; a "half-blood" whose very existence makes him a target of malevolent powers in the world. The only safe place is Camp Half-Blood, a summer camp for the children of the gods, where they can learn about their skills, heritage and powers. There he discovers the real identities of Mr Brunner and Grover (a centaur and a satyr, respectively) - but he looses someone infinitely precious to him on the way.As he goes through his training he learns more about this new sub-world, particularly that each half-blood is expected at some stage to undergo a quest to prove themselves, much like the demi-god heroes of myth and legend. Percy, along with his new friend Annabeth, the daughter of Athena, get their chance when a conspiracy is uncovered. Someone is trying to foster discord among the gods by stealing the master lightening bolt of Zeus, casting the blame on Percy for the theft. To clear his name and prevent a catastrophe, Percy sets off toward Los Angeles where the entrance to the Underworld awaits, with Annabeth and Grover in tow.This is really only the barebones of the plot, as this first installment of the Percy Jackson series is surprisingly complex. Basically, Percy has a lot of stuff to do and there's no time to waste! From his home life to his camp life to his journey across America, things barely slow down in a plot that contains everything but the kitchen sink. Riordan's most innovative feature is his "updating" of Greek mythology into a contemporary setting, and it is the readers who know their rudimentary legends that will derive the most enjoyment out of seeing familiar characters pop up in their modern forms.Percy himself is a nice enough kid, struggling with his differences but keeping a hopeful outlook whenever things seem to be at their worst. Told in first-person narrative, it's Percy's own voice that guides us through the story, and he remains chatty and natural throughout. Grover makes for a great sidekick/best friend, with a back-story and personal problems of his own, and though Annabeth initially comes across as the typical feisty "I ain't no damsel in distress" love interest, she also comes into her own as the book progresses. But at times the trio can be unforgivably stupid. Say that you're on a dangerous mission, and know full well that deadly monsters are attacking you at every available opportunity. Would you take time out to go sightseeing in the Gateway Arc? Would you enter a suspicious casino where the waiters ply money into your hands and cater to your every need? Would you follow a creepy waterbed salesman into his shop? Every time the kids fall for this sort of thing, my respect for them dropped as swiftly as their IQ points.If anything, the plot is perhaps a little *too* busy, with the protagonists racing at breakneck speed from one dangerous situation to the next, several plot coupons floating in and out of the story, and the themes of parental abandonment, responsibility, teenage delinquency, and the power of friendship piling up. And was anyone else a little disappointed that after all the fuss over Zeus's lightening bolt, it never actually got *used*? (Judging from the trailer, the film rectifies this problem).Still, this was an immensely satisfying read, and a sympathetic hero, a race against time, a fusing of past and present, the mystery of a missing parent, action and adventure, and plenty of material leftover for the sequels, means thatThe Sea of Monstersis definitely on my reading list.

Authors need to do more research

by R. Stone

I liked the overall style of the book, the action moved along pretty good, and it was fun figuring out which god or monster Percy was facing by the hints the authors dropped. However, I kept running into little bits of things that really irked me. For example, camaros do not have four doors. And riding Amtrak, you do not go through St Louis on your way from New York to Denver. Little things like that, while not really that material to the story, are still enough to irk me. I would have enjoyed the story a lot more if those hadn't kept jumping out at me.

I'm hooked!

by Ruth Anderson "Book Reviewer"

Once upon a time, I used to love reading the myths detailing the adventures of the Greek and Roman gods and goddesses, and the exploits of heroes like Perseus and Theseus. Rick Riordan takes a unique approach to the old stories by updating the legends and placing them squarely in 21st-century America with his Percy Jackson & the Olympians series. The new Olympus (found by taking the elevator to the 600th floor of the Empire State Building, no less) relocated to America because the gods and goddesses, birthed in ancient Greece, the "cradle of Western Civilization," must follow those ideals and principles wherever they exist the strongest in the world.The Lightning Thief is the closest book I've read that's come to capturing the charm, humor, and unbridled creativity found within the Harry Potter series. Comparisons are inevitable, and Riordan's hero, Percy Jackson, owes much to Harry Potter. Both story arcs involve a troubled orphan discovering his magical heritage (wizard/half-blood son of a god), who goes to a special school (Hogwarts/half-blood summer camp), acquires some friends (a brainy, plucky girl and a loyal, but somewhat goofy best friend), and must save his world from destruction. But what sets Percy's adventures apart is his voice, replete with a wry sense of humor and a healthy dash of sarcasm, and the way Riordan has placed age-old figures like Zeus and Poseidon in the modern-day world. Seeing the way the mythology now functions in a world of television, cell phones, and all other modern conveniences is hilarious and wildly entertaining. Mortals are blinded to the activities of the gods around them, making for some alternately funny and dangerous misunderstandings. It's wildly funny but appropriate that Ares, the god of war, would masquerade as a threatening biker in California, and that Cerberus, the threatening three-headed dog guarding the entrance to the Underworld, would respond so well to modern-day obedience school techniques, just to name a few of the modern and ancient world mash-ups. Touches like these set The Lightning Thief apart, because the total integration of the real and mythological worlds is so fully-realized.The Lightning Thief is an excellent first chapter in Percy's quest to become a hero worthy of his noble paternal heritage. I loved seeing the way Riordan made the mythological and modern-day worlds collide, like when one of the Furies masquerades as a math teacher or Percy's sword is disguised as a ballpoint pen. Camp Half-Blood, where the children of the gods get their training (if they survive monster attacks to adolescence), is a fun little microcosm of what makes this story work. The modern attitudes of all the kids, and how they each express different traits inherited from their immortal parent (and constantly clash with each other) puts a really fun spin on the school/camp angle. Percy's first quest is action-packed from start to finish, and the novel has this perfect balance of humor and intensity that makes it a real page-turner. There are some well-planted hints of the overall threat Percy will surely face by the end of the series, and like the Potter books I suspect each installment will take Percy one step closer to realizing his potential as a full-fledged hero. I'm definitely looking forward to reading the next installment in Percy's adventures.

A fun adventure

by Ryanne

A fun adventure. Though it never felt deep or gripping, it was colorful and always entertaining the whole way through.

An exciting adventure for all ages!

by Sally Pink Reviews

Riordan fashions a modern tale of the Olympians that will keep you turning the pages with "The Lightning Thief." Percy Jackson is a 6th grader with a lot of problems. Diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia, school isn't easy for him. His step-father is barely civil to him. Then there's a horde of monsters who want to kill him. Things only get more complicated when he discovers he's a son of Poseidon.Percy is not invited back to his school, so his mother takes him down to the coast to spend some quality time with him. Unfortunately, their time together is ruined when monsters attack. Percy's mom hurries to get him to Camp Half-Blood where he'll be protected, but not before she disappears.At the camp, Percy meets his old teacher, Chiron, and learns he's a demigod - a half blood, son of a mortal woman and the god Poseidon. A part of him is thrilled to finally find a place where he belongs with friends, Luke, Annabeth, and Grover. A part of his is sad over the loss of his mother.After visiting the oracle, Percy's given a quest. Zeus' lightning bolt has been stolen. Zeus holds his brothers, Poseidon and Hades responsible. Percy must discover who has stole the bolt and why. His journey takes him across America with Annabeth and Grover. Will Percy embrace his heritage as Poseidon's son, or will he turn his back on the Olympians?Riodan's writing is crisp and sharp, engaging the reader from the get-go. His creativity shines, giving the Greek gods a unique, modern spin that allows them to relate to young readers while fueling their curiosity about Greek mythology.Riodan uses a good economy of words to paint vivid pictures of his settings. The plot never lingers, moving at a brisk pace while holding the reader's attention.The main characters are interesting and complex, each having to face their problems. Percy can channel a lot of power as Poseidon's son, but he must learn to tame his emotions so he can grow as a hero. Annabeth craves her father's love, but finds it difficult to fit into his world as Athena's daughter. Grover wants nothing more than to prove himself worthy to receive a seeker's license, but the path his must take challenges his courage and bravery.What I enjoyed most was watching Percy grow as a character. He's got a good heart, but unless his traits are channeled in a positive way, he'll never discover his true potential, and that's a message middle school children can relate to."The Lightning Thief" is well written, riveting, and full of action that will take young readers on the adventure of a lifetime.

Light Reading for Adolescents

by Sargon

I thought this book was going to be something different than it was. Although obviously geared for juveniles, I had just finished The Iliad and was primed to read more on Greek mythology. So once I started reading this, I decided to finish it. Of what value Greek mythology (and religion overall) is to modern society is certainly questionable--Jeopardy's esoteric questions perhaps. In grade school I had little interest in mythology, but as it is part of our history, it is important to know it simply because it is part of the evolution of religion. As for as this book is concerned, it is simply fantasy, as is religion. I recommend The Power of Myth and the Encyclopedia of Mythology for anyone wishing to learn more on religion and to get an overall understanding.

If only my college mythology course had been as interesting

by S. A. W.

In The Lightning Thief, Rick Riordan offers up a fun twist on ancient Greek mythology. Percy Jackson is a thoroughly modern kid with a wry sense of humour that makes his appealing to both the young and the young-at-heart. The book zips right along and although I could tell where the story was going, it had no problem holding my attention.Perhaps the most telling indication of the book's quality is the fact that I've already picked up the next book in the series.

A lot of fun

by Shala Kerrigan

I got to these books late after having many people recommend them. I'm glad I finally did read them though.Percy Jackson is an absolutely believable young man and we meet him in this book for the first time.He's had trouble all his life in school, strange kinds of trouble but he starts out this book with a teacher he really likes and a close friend. We get to see him find out that he's demi-god, the child of one of the old Olympian Gods and a human. He makes new friends and finds out who his father is. A war in Olympus seems very likely, and it's up to Percy and his friends, Annabeth (another demi-god) and Grover (a satyr) to find out who stole the item of power from Zeus.The characters all have their own voices and personalities, and liberal appearances straight out of Greek myth are everywhere, kept true to the myths but updated to a modern world. The Furies as school teachers? Brilliant!Great for independent readers, interesting enough to keep more challenged readers into it. It's also a great way to introduce kids who haven't had much interest in mythology and how Greek and Roman culture influenced western civilization to those subjects. It may well spark more interest.My number one thing with any juvenile fiction is "Was it good enough to keep my daughter interested?" She's more interested in cook books and DIY books than fiction. This definitely was. She's read the first three books in the last week and is working on the fourth book now.

lightning theif

by Shawn Cole "destiny jumper"

i am very surprised about how good it was. i frist picked up the book when it Came in the mail i thought "just great another stupid book!" my dad ordered it and he is in to the monsters and vamipires type of books. So i started to read it and it was so good i mean if you want a book of intertainment then you came to the right place i loved it and sure you will too. percy jackson is the typic troblesom kid and if you are 13 or 14 then you know how he feels you dont mean to but some how you end up always in troble he a "normal" kid always getting in troble but every thing goes wronge when 12 year percy is attacked by his evil kindly one teacher then every thing move its like his whole world shifts to the right he learns secrets that he thought were just myths but are not and play huge rolls in his life he has two uncles one is a guy who basically controls any thing in the air like a guy who deals with airoplanesand the second one deals with dead people like an advanced smitary guy they are like normal people but they are far,far from it and theres smelly gabe if you read this book you will want to puch gabes lights out when i frist read this book i hated gabe as much or more than percy. I hope you get it and enjoy it.sincerly sorryD.J.C

Brilliantly Imagined and Entertaining

by Sir Furboy

A brilliantly imagined series that will entertain readers, and indeed educate them somewhat. This was a grand adventure in which Percy Jackson discovers he is far from ordinary. In fact he is the son of a Greek god. Not just any god either - one of the big three! And with he discovery comes responsibility and adventure and much unfairness. Accused of a theft, he must use his wits, his talents and his friendships to battle through and prevent a catastrophe of epic proportions - a potential war of the gods.This book is undoubtedly worth reading. It is a wonderful adventure, although at times I felt plot elements and explanations were contrived. It is a funny book too. Not as hilariously tongue in cheek as Harry Potter of Angie Sage's Magyk, but it certainly has something in common with these books.This was not the greatest book I ever read but it was a good enjoyable read that kept me coming back for more, and I will certainly be buying the next in the series.

Ejoyable YA fantasy

by S. Silverman "ReaderGeode"

This YA fantasy is engaging for its story, characters and creativity, although this reader thinks it owes a bow to the Harry Potter tales because Thief has its own trio, two males and a female, who go on a quest not entirely of their own choosing. At the story's outset, Percy Jackson, our first person hero, thinks he's just another ADHD and dyslexic chronic failure, a hothead who seems to find and be found by trouble entirely too easily. He is humorously good at snappy comebacks, sometimes dangerously for himself. He is at a boarding school, but has lived with his mother and stepfather, a man whom he doesn't like, with all evidence being with good reason. A weekend at the beach with his mother becomes a turning point, when the weather becomes threatening and they run for a `summer camp' his mother has long known of. Percy's entry is a mixture of triumph and disaster, and takes him into the camp where he finds out who and what he is after wondering at past hints. He spends time there, finding out about the other rather special campers and staff, and then is sent on a quest in search of the solution to a festering disagreement that seems headed directly to catastrophe for both mortals and those like Percy. Without spoiling the details of who and what Percy is, and what his quest is, this reader enjoyed the story's characters, the ties to Greek mythology, the cleverly created bad guys and threatening situations, and the pace and development of it all. I'm already looking at book two, and will be back.

Pretty Good

by Stephen Taylor

When I started I expected a pretty good book, and that's what I got.Negatives:-The Harry Potter resemblance is evident. It's not as bad as I'd heard, but the influence is clearly there.-Percy's 'colloquial' narration is sometimes over the top. It just sounds like he's trying way too hard to sound casual.-For the middle 50% of the book, the plot moves in a pretty episodic way(one monster encounter and then another). It's not necessarily bad, but it does interrupt the central storyline.-Lots of unrealistically and unstylishly simplified stuff, most especially with some very fortunate coincidences when the characters need them, and some adults who just act like idiots. The worst part is that most of these little plotting slipups are covered up with lame jokes. The main plot is setup uber dramatic. The subplots mostly involve one or two silly escapes, not quite meshing well with the main one.Positives:-Good pacing, decent characterization, interesting ideas, and a good overall balance to the novel. It starts and ends on similar notes, resolving the most important issues.-Easy reading. It's never ponderous.-Exciting reading. Despite the Harry Potter discipleship, this book has a lot of good things purely of its own. It's engaging from the very start.Overall:Worth reading, and good enough to be read again. A solid 3.5 stars.

the lightening thief got to read it

by Tech Student

Ask any knowledgeable person what the best way to kick off a series is, and I bet you they'd say "The Lightning Thief" by Rick Riordan, the first book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. The book gives a great amount of suspense, violence, friendship, action and adventure.The half-blood (which means that one parent is a God and another is a mortal) goes on a quest with two newly acquired friends to either prevent or let World War Three happen. Percy is a child of Poseidon, a big three god which means he could possibly determine the fate of Olympus.Percy's quest is to get Zeus's trident and bring it to Mount Olympus. If he fails then mankind will have to face the worst war they've ever seen. Along the way, Percy has to fight a bunch of monsters and take down the Ares, the war god. Percy is still also only 12 and is still learning how to use his powers. Consequently he'll encounter trouble that he doesn't know how to deal with.I mostly recommend this book to readers who enjoy fantasy, Greek mythology, and adventure. But don't read it close to bed time because it'll be a scary night for you!an other review by, Alice KreiderPercy Jackson and the Olympians Paperback Boxed Set (Books 1-3)Percy Jackson and the Olympians Paperback Boxed Set (Books 1-3)Percy Jackson and the Olympians Paperback Boxed Set (Books 1-3)New York time #1 best seller seriesage:17For me the lightening thief was interesting to read. The book "The Lightening Thief" is an exciting and fun book. And it is great for mythology lovers. The lightening thief starts off about a boy named Percy Jackson.A troubled boy who always gets in trouble who has ADHD.When he starts realizing that his teacher and best friend are protecting him from his pre algebra teacher who turns in to turns into a monster called a "fury" and is trying to find out the right time to attack him, he must go on a wild chase to half blood camp where a Minotaur attacks him killing his mother in action.When he is safely held in camp half blood camp he is told that his father is a god so he must stay there for safe keeping from monsters that will stop at nothing to kill him.He easily makes friends and enemies while being closely watched by elders to decide who his dad is. After realizing water heals him and he can control water ,Poseidon claimed him as his son. Leaving him the son of one of the 3 big gods which is very rare and unlawful because they made a agreement to never have a kid with a mortals.I really don't want to give the book away to you I guess you just have to read the book. ( you can find it in banes and nobles kids/teens section.)

A Fresh New Fantasy Tale For Children!

by T. J. Jones "TJ"

Rick Riordan steps into the world of children's publishing after a successful adult writing career with the very well imagined new fantasy adventure; "The Lightning Thief". Percy Jackson is a 12 year old boy who up until he finds out that he is a half-blood (the son of a mortal and a god), thought that he was just a stupid loser with ADHD who kept getting thrown out of boarding school after boarding school. After a disaster filled year at his latest boarding school where he accidentally vaporizes his evil math teacher; Percy finds out that his best friend Grover is a Satyr, discovers the wonderful Camp Half-Blood where kids like him go for the summer to train against monsters, and also that he is accused of something so terrible that it just might cause the war of all wars between the gods. Percy is a realistic character who has a tougher edge than most fantasy characters out there with a sardonic undertone. He's been through a lot of bullying at his many schools and he's no whimp which makes reading about his adventure all of the more exciting. The supporting characters however are not as realistic and 3-dimensional. Grover the Satyr and Annabel, a daughter of Athena, accompany Percy on his adventure to stop the war between the gods and that seems to be the only reason that they are there; to make a trio. They do have some back story that makes them almost interesting, but not enough to reach the caliber of Percy. The real power of this story that makes it so great is the element of Greek mythology that has never really played a main part in books before as much as it does in this one. The creativeness that Riordan uses to blend the mythology with modern times is what really makes this book enjoyable for all children everywhere. This book is a great original read for kids, with a movie version already on the way. Although it has some flaws, it is very enjoyable, action packed, and full of creative ways that modernize the classic Greek myths. Children everywhere are sure to be clamoring for the sequel.

The Lightning Thief

by T. Misbach

Alright, so I'm kind of working backwards here. I've already reviewed a few of the Percy Jackson books, but I always skipped over reviewing the first. I'm not exactly sure why. However, I came across the book today and I couldn't resist.As corny as I may sound, I think the Percy Jackson series started a movement. What I mean by this is, this books really made kids start reading. The main character is praised for his faults and weaknesses-things he works through make him strong. Any kid who has similar problems is going to relate. And then to make him a hero? A kid's hooked.Percy Jackson is an average kid. Except not really. He has dyslexia, ADHD, bad grades and he's been kicked out of almost every school he's been too. When he is again at a new school, everything changes. His teacher suddenly shifts into a monster and tries to kill him. His best friend has goat legs. And Percy finds out he's really the son of a Greek god.After thinking he lost his mom and almost dying himself, Percy is sent to Camp Halfblood, a camp for children of Greek Gods. He likes at first, this is where he belongs and he finally found it. But soon after he discovers who his father is and the troubles that go along with it. He's accused of stealing the master bolt from Zeus and the only way to disprove this, is to retrieve the bolt himself.The book is a great read and a ton of fun. I can read that book a million times and never get bored. It's a book that will never be forgotten.

Good action, but something was missing for me

by Tony Bertauski

3.5 stars. I wanted to give it 4, but just couldn't do it.The opening chapters were very good. Gets right to the action and let's us know there's a lot more to come. I was all in until his mom and stepfather were introduced. Just too cliche. The fat, greasy no-good stepfather that plays poker and calls the protagonist a punk. The mother is a clone of Polly Purebred, the goody damsel in distress.Riordan's writing is tight and fast-paced and he kept me invested in the plot, so I looked past my disappointment in the parents. But then I really wished he hadn't used "half-blood" to described the half human/half god children since JK Rowlings universalized the term. I realize it's an appropriate description, but after reading it I couldn't stop seeing the parallels between this book and Harry Potter. It got distracting.But Riordan kept me in story. The ending was lukewarm. The parents resolution not all that satisfactory. Luke's attempt to kill Jackson with a scorpion reminded me of Austin Powers. Why not just rid of him?It felt like a middle grade book, and his target audience clearly loves it, so he succeeded without question. And that explains why his characters don't use any language beyond 'jerk' or 'punk'. At times, I thought the plot was getting interesting but then got very jokie-joke (like getting past Cerebus with a red ball). Rowlings managed to avoid this (sorry for the comparison, but 'half-blood' made me do it). She injected humor when appropriate and got serious when the plot needed it.Riordan is a good writer and he'll continue to succeed with his demographic.


by T. Perlich

First I want to thank two of my friends who were the ones who recommended this series. I hesitated for a while before trying it out. The first couple pages and I was hooked. I really love this series and cannot wait to read the next book.I hope that you enjoy this series as much as I do. If you like this book, I suggest you try out Redwall series and the Warrior series. I wish you good luck for my suggested series.PLEASE NOTE: this review is written by a nine year old.

cutesy mashup of "Harry Potter", "American Gods" and Hamilton's "Mythology"

by twisted little puppy "demi"

WARNING! SOME MILD SPOILERS BELOW!!For me, "The Lightning Thief" wasn't too original. Plot wise, it takes many of the components of "Harry Potter" (Percy=Harry, Annabeth=Hermione, Grover=Ron, Chiron=Dumbledore, Clarisse= Draco, Camp Half Blood=Hogwarts, Kronos=Voldemort, etc), tossed with a bit of Neil Gaiman's "American Gods" (ie, the idea of mythological gods living in America in modern times, their world kind of hidden from mortal eyes). Anyone who has read Hamilton's "Mythology" or has a working knowledge of Greek mythology will recognize some of the characters long before it's revealed (it's pretty obvious who Percy's real dad is, for example). for kids new to Greek mythology, this book is a great introduction to some of these myths (it does a decent job of touching upon some of the lesser known ones, such as the story of Arachne and how Medusa was transformed).There were some issues/annoyances I had with this book:-the pace was rushed. I loved it was fast paced, but it was almost to fast paced. Percy seems to only be in camp for a few days; indeed the entire book takes place in the span of less than 2 weeks. I suppose kids like these ultra fast paced books, but it doesn't leave much time to know the other characters and so a lot of them turn out rather flat (Percy is by far the most well rounded character.)-the know-it-all attitudes of the other campers are starting to aggravate me. They roll their eyes and laugh when Percy asks a question, as if he should somehow know this. This sets up a delayed explanation that is then delivered by Annabeth. it's evident in the next book as well and quite irritating after a while-the actions of the characters are really silly, even for a YA fantasy book. the main trio fall into ridiculous, obvious traps, the villains are mostly inept, and in the end, a character basically commits murder (and this is handled in a nonchalant way).-as an adult, I like reading young adult and children's books, but this is a book that just didn't appeal to me on an adult level. it was a bit too "cute" and simple. I can't really explain why I feel this way, but I've read other YA fantasy books that felt more adult than this book, more gritty and believable.overall, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book to a child since it is a great way of introducing them to mythology, but I just don't feel like this book lives up to other YA series like "Chronicles of Narnia". "His Dark Materials", and of course "Harry Potter". the premise is interesting, and Percy is a fantastic and funny character/narrator, but that alone doesn't make up for the fairly weak plot, which is basically just a revolving door of characters from mythology (I'll be interested to see how this is kept out through a 4+ book series)

Gods in the Modern World

by Wyvernfriend

Although I might disagree that the USA is the centre of Western Culture, this is a fun read. Percy Jackson is just such an interesting character. When we meet him first he's in his Sixth school in as many years and this school is a school for troubled kids. Strange things keep happening around him, he's got ADHD and Dyslexia and his stepfather hates himWhen he realises that he's the son of a Greek God and that because of this he's the subject of interest from monsters from myth and legend. He gets a chance to go to Camp Half-Blood, where Mr D (or Dionysus) supervises the half-gods. However someone has stolen Zeus' Thunderbolt and Percy is the primary suspect. Will he survive to find the real thief or will the Gods kill him.

A great start to a series

by yearningtoread

How would you like it if you were the nephew of Hades? What if Zeus, Hades' brother, was your uncle?What if Poseidon, the god of the sea, was your father?Welcome to the world of Perseus Jackson, a troubled, dyslexic student from New York. He's never met his real father and his mother is married to a jerk who doesn't care one bit about them. After a failed attempt at a vacation with his mother because he was being chased by monsters, Percy lands on Half-blood Hill with his best friend Grover. There, he discovers his incredibly old heritage. After some training, Percy is picked to go on a very important quest: to find Zeus' lightning bolt, which has been stolen. Zeus is blaming Poseidon, who is angry with Zeus for accusing him. If Percy doesn't find the lightning bold before June 21st, the Summer Solstice, there will be a great war between the gods that could be impossible to stop.While I enjoy and love a lot of the books I read, there have been a few thorns in the rosebush recently. A lot of people said they loved the Pendragon series, but I hardly got through half of the first book, and that was with skimming. So, even though everyone I've talked to says they love this book, I was a bit skeptical...I am skeptical no longer! I was surprised at how well-written and easy-flowing this story is. Percy is a real kid, one you would see at a school. He's got human weaknesses and personality traits and strengths (excluding the powers he's inherited from his father). Rick Riordan does a wonderful job at making Percy Jackson a kid you can relate to and at least like. The other characters, too, even with their powers or god/monster-like deformities, seem real.And this story is funny. I've found myself enjoying the humor way more than expected. Grover is always hungry and talks about food in his sleep. There is a lot of sarcasm about Percy's life, and Percy himself has a nice sense of humor.I love Greek and Roman mythology, so this was a real treat. Riordan is very knowledgable in this subject and gives you the facts as Homer would have, except at a much easier level. Riordan has created a wonderful series that I can't wait to finish. The second book has yet to come in at the library, but I'm looking foward to it!

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