Percy Jackson The Lightning Thief
This is Riordan’s first book in his Percy Jackson series. It is about a 12-year-old boy who, much like Harry does in the Harry Potter series, finds out that his is special. He finds out that he is a half-blood, meaning that he is half mortal and half god, also known as a demigod. His father is one of the Greek gods, which are all still alive today and have continued to produce demigods with mortals. Of course, this brings him not only powers that he is just beginning to understand, but proves to sweep him into a dangerous world he never knew existed.
There are many similarities to the Harry Potter series in this book. Percy finds a close-knit group of friends that it becomes clear will help him through his years of discovering his powers while fighting to stay alive. Percy starts out the book with a warning to those reading, “If you’re reading his because you think you might be [a half-blood], my advice is this: close this book right now” (page 1). You see, when demigods start to realize who they are, their lives become endangered. They are suddenly more discoverable to those who would harm them. Percy makes it to “Half-Blood Camp,” which is a training grounds for those like him. He begins to learn how to survive in the new world that he finds himself in.
This time is short-lived, however, as Percy accepts a quest to go recover stolen property from Zeus and return it to him in a very short time with almost no training and preparation. Though he is not alone on the quest, he must battle alongside his friends new monsters and makes dangerous enemies along the way, which assuredly will provide complications in future books as well. Percy comes face-to-face with several gods in this novel, and while some encounters go well, some leave Percy with a feeling of doom. It will be interesting to see how these relationships grow in the coming sequels.
In this book, Percy begins to discover the world of the ancient Greek gods that is hidden around us still today. It is a very interesting and entertaining book, and Riordan does well to explain how these things might be possible under our very noses. The fight scenes end rather abruptly in most cases, and aren’t as intricate as in other similar books, but the story keeps the reader entertained. I think that this book would do great to appeal to kids targeted in the reading group, but also can be a fun read for adults as well. The recommended age level is 10 and up; I’m 27 and I enjoyed reading it. There’s nothing dark or disturbing in the book, and no reason it couldn’t be acceptable for anyone. The book leaves out enough information about certain things that leaves you wanting to read the rest of the series to find answers to your questions.
This book isn’t as complex or intricate as other books in a similar genre (Harry Potter), but it is a good book and worth the read if you like things in this category. It is meant for younger audiences, and I think it would also be a great book to get someone started on reading that might be reluctant to pick up a book. There are five total books in the series, and all are available, so you might just find yourself starting one book and having to read the next four.