Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Mini-review: The Lightning Thief
Percy Jackson and the Olympians book 1
Read: 2–7 August 2010
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. Percy's mom decides it's time that he knew the truth about where he came from. 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. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.
This was a quick and easy read, but it soon became clear that it is written for a younger audience than me. As it was, I found it somewhat superficial. I felt the characters could have been more developed, and their bad judgement made me shake my head in exasperation more than once. I didn't quite connect with Percy, but I liked Annabeth and Grover (and Chiron). The author has obviously borrowed more than one idea from J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books, but he has succeeded in changing them sufficiently to make them suit his own story.
I wish this series had been around when I was twelve, because I think this story is best enjoyed from a kid's point of view. I have a feeling I might like the movie better though (and that's not just because Pierce Brosnan is in it).
My rating: 3