The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1) by Rick Riordan
Publication: March 1st, 2006
Genre: YA Fantasy
Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse – Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half-Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena – Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.
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This book was just as amazing the second time around. I first read them in high school and I fell in love with them right away. Now I am even more in love the second time. Riordan brought a wonderful mesh of fantasy, Greek mythology, action, and comedy to bring about the start to this series. In the first book of the Percy Jackson series, we follow Percy Jackson on his first-year adventures of discovering he is a demigod. The book starts off with Percy at school and he is attacked by his math teacher who turns into some weird creature. His best friend Grover and Latin teacher Mr. Bruner seem to be acting strange and everyone in the school is acting like Mrs. Dodds never existed. Lo’ and behold Percy is a demigod and even more, he is a son of the Big Three. When Percy finds out he is a son of Poseidon his life becomes even more complicated. Not only does Zeus think he stole his master bolt, but the gods are also fighting and he is hearing a voice that seems to be stirring in Tarturus. He goes to Camp-Half Blood to learn all he needs to learn but gets thrown into a quest at such a young age but he has Annabeth and Grover along for the wild ride.
I really love this plot because it is action packed from beginning to end. Percy is so powerful at such a young age and he is one of the best male characters ever written honestly. I mean he killed the Minotaur at only 12-years-old before he even fully realized what he was, he doused Clarisse in water, had all the gods shook like Zeus (I mean he was only 12 & did not know who he was but they thought he stole his zig-zag), mouther off & defeated Ares, dragged Ocean water to Denver, and much more. No one is touching his power. He works hard to help restore the balance and save the world at such a young age. He deals with new friendships, new found power, betrayal from someone he trusted, a titan who is rising again and a prophecy that he doesn’t know fully but is looming closer the more he ages.
This books prophecy & meaning:
You shall go west, and face the god who has turned. (Ares wanted war w/ the gods)
You shall find what was stolen, and see it safely returned. (Master bolt & Hade’s healm)
You shall be betrayed by one who calls you a friend. (Luke)
And you shall fail to save what matters most, in the end. (His mom)
I love all the characters in this book. The trio Percy, Annabeth, and Grover are the greatest and make my heart swell. Percy is the son of Poseidon and he can control water. He is so powerful at such a young age. His fatal flaw is that he would do anything to save his friends, family, and anyone he deems worthy. I think my favorite thing about Mr. Jackson is his wit and sarcasm even in the face of villains and gods alike. He doesn’t hide his fear but he is so brave none the less. Annabeth is the daughter of Athena. She is amazing in battle and extremely wise. Her passion is architecture and her fatal flaw is pride. She has been at Camp-Half Blood long and never went on a quest so she jumps on the chance to be apart of Percy’s. They have a rocky start because of who their parents are but they work through it. Grover is Percy’s best friend, protector, and Satyr who is trying to get his searcher’s license to look for Pan, the god of the Wild. In order to get that he needs to help a demigod complete a quest successfully. While he does want that he goes along with the quest because Percy is his best friend. I love that the author shows Grover as a male character very in tune with his feelings and is not afraid to cry. The gods and goddesses are hilarious and add such depth and craziness to the whole tale. I also love all the other demigods in this book.
Riordan is one of my favorite authors. I love his writing so much. Riordan includes diversity, comedy, action, and romance in his books. I laugh so much and truly feel connected to the characters and the story. The Lightning Thief is engaging and full of excitement that I can never get over. The mythology is also a HUGE factor in the story that Riordan did so well with. You can tell he did so much research which is what helps him to take liberties in the stories but also keep true to them.
Being a half-blood is dangerous. It’s scary. Most of the time, it gets you killed in painful, nasty, ways.
“You want to gargle with toilet water again, Clarisse? Close your mouth.”
“My father?” I asked, completely bewildered. “Poseidon,” said Chiron. “Earthshaker, Stormbringer, Father of Horses. Hail, Perseus Jackson, Son of the Sea God.”
“I am impertinent,” I said. I looked at Annabeth, daring her to criticize. She didn’t. She seemed resigned to the fact that I had a major talent for ticking off the gods.
“Your mother is a queen among women,” Poseidon said wistfully. “I had not met such a mortal woman in a thousand years. Still…I am sorry you were born, child. I have brought you a hero’s fate, and a hero’s fate is never happy. It is never anything but tragic.
For the first time at camp, I felt truly alone. I looked out at Long Island Sound and I remembered my father saying, The sea does not like to be restrained. I made my decision. I wondered, if Poseidon were watching would he approve of my choice? “I’ll be back next summer,” I promised him. “I’ll survive until then. After all, I am your son.”