Monday, 12 April 2010

The Lightning Thief

Author: Rick Riordan
Genre: Supernatural/ Young Adult
Pages: 375
First Line: "Look, I didn't want to be a half-blood."
Recommended by: my 10 year old son, "Cub"

Synopsis: Percy Jackson has some of the typical troubles of an 11 year old boy including dealing with ADHD and dyslexia. When Percy finds out that he's about to be kicked out of yet another boarding school he's not sure how he's going to break it to his mom and his horrible stepfather. When Percy starts seeing mythological creatures that's just icing on his crazy cake and he thinks he's losing his mind.

Things become slightly clearer, but more dangerous, when Percy finds out that he's the son of a famous Titan who abandoned him as a baby. Percy is sent to Camp Half-Blood, a boarding and training school for children of the gods. While there he's kept safe from the many monsters who want to hunt him down and he learns to train with his new powers.

When Zeus' main lightning bolt is stolen and Percy becomes the main suspect he's forced to go on a quest with 2 of his new friends to prove his innocence and to stop an all-out war of the gods which would destroy the human world.

My Thoughts:
My 10 year old son, "Cub", inhaled these books and kept asking me to read and review the book(s) on my blog. A few months ago "Cub" and I had a 'date' night and went out to see the movie based on this book and I loved it! Unfortunately, I usually like to read a book before seeing the movie because 9 times out of 10 the book is better. Welllll, I actually liked the movie a little more and I think that's because I already had the movie in my head and when the book didn't match the movie I was a little let down. I'm surprised that the movie people changed so many small things about the plot of the book actually. They were little changes for the most part (except for the great hydra scene in the movie that NEVER happened in the book) but I just didn't see why they'd change things up when it didn't effect the storyline.

Don't get me wrong. The book is still a great read. It's full of action, great mythological creatures (which was a great review for me from my university mythology course) and has a good 'who dunnit'. The ending is a big cliffhanger so I know I'll be reading the second (and most likely subsequent books).

I found it funny how Riordan explains away some of the things we humans take for granted. For example, the gateway to hell is, of course, through Los Angeles. The reason for all of the earthquakes there? When Hades gets ticked off and blows a gasket. Percy also finds out that he's actually not dyslexic. Because he's half-god, his brain has been hardwired to read ancient Greek making reading english a trial for him.

One of my first thoughts when "Cub" told me the storyline was that it's fairly similar to the Harry Potter series (one of my favourite series). An eleven year old boy sent to boarding school for 'special' kids, put on a quest to save the world, our world is full of supernatural stuff that us simple humans just don't realize .... Yup, you could make that assumption. But Harry Potter was written for adults (though many people assumed they were written for kids) and the Percy Jackson series is definitely written for the 9-12 year old crowd. While it has a good plot it's not as complicated as Harry Potter. If you're looking for a light read with lots of action (for yourself or your kids) this is a great beginning to a very popular series.

My Rating: 4/5


Kelly said...

Hey "BB"! Love the new look of your blog! Also just finished reading your 101 things about me. Interesting stuff! I love your blog - keep up the good work!

PS - as a recently diagnosed Celiac sufferer, if you know of any good gluten free recipes, please post them!

Laurie said...

Hey Kelly,
I didn't realize you were Celiac. We tried a gluten free diet for a bit and I totally feel for Celiac patients. It's hard staying away from gluten!! Unfortunately, I don't have any gluten-free recipes that I've personally tried. I bought a vanilla muffin mix (which was pretty good) but that was about the extent of my cooking sans gluten.

I did receive a gluten-free banana muffin recipe from my MIL's friend. I'll post that for you. :)

Kelly said...

thanks! it totally does suck actually! It's soooo expensive to go gluten free, so I'm always looking out for good recipes that actually taste good and don't have horribly grainy textures. I tried some glutenfree brownies, and they turned out like chocolate pita bread! so weird! I'll try the flour mixture for sure. Thanks!!!

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