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Book Review: The Lightning Thief

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Nicole Tracy | Literary Columnist
“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.”
The above is the storyline
to the young adult novel,
The Lightning Thief (Percy
Jackson and the Olympians:
Book One) by Rick Riordan.
This book explains Percy’s
strugglesome journey as
he sets out to recover Zeus’s
Master Lightning Bolt.
As the story progresses,
the trio deals with evil Gods
and monsters, who try to
deter them from finishing
their journey.
Throughout the story,
author Riordan fuses Greek
mythology with the hysterical
view of an adolescent
teenager, making this a fun
and creative book to read.
Riordan creates a world
with realistic descriptions
of the people, places, and
monsters in the book.
He also paints a picture
between the myths and present
demigod life very well,
so that even if you knew
absolutely nothing about
the Greek myths, the book
would still make sense.
The characters are exactly
what you would expect
a teenage demigod to be,
complete with the prototypical
teenage attitude.
If one liked the Harry Potter
series by J.K. Rowling,
The Lightning Thief and its
four follow up novels would
be a great series to read as
well.
This book was suggested
to the reviewer by her teenage
son, with the reasoning
that “Since you loved Harry
Potter, give these a try. I
guarantee you’ll like them as
much, if not more.”
The reviewer will admit
that the jury is still out on
whether or not Percy Jackson
and crew are better
literary characters than the
ones found in Harry Potter’s
universe.
Both stories are pretty
enjoyable to read, though.
The Lightning Thief is a great
read for both young adults,
and yes, adults too. If one
likes Greek mythology, this
book will fit the bill with how
it manages to interweave the
story with the mythology,
and makes it come to life in
a whole new light.
The Lightning Thief (Percy
Jackson and the Olympians:
Book One) is available at
the Howard County Public
Library.
Copies are limited, so if
it is unavailable, ask at the
front desk to be put on a
waiting list for it.