I’m sure almost everyone is familiar with the story, but if you aren’t, the book follows 12-year-old Percy Jackson, an ADHD and dyslexic boy who is constantly kicked out of school due to regular mishaps and bad behaviour. On a class excursion at his newest school, Percy is attacked by a teacher who turns into a horrible monster and he discovers a truth about himself: he is a demi-god, half-human half-god, and the son of the sea god Poseidon. The Greek gods are alive and real and living in New York City. Percy is taken to Camp Half-Blood where he meets more of his kind, including Annabeth, the daughter of Athena, and Grover, a satyr. Not too long after he arrives, Percy discovers that he has angered the gods, especially Zeus, who believes that Percy has stolen his lightning bolt. Percy, Annabeth and Grover are sent on a quest to find the bolt, as well as Percy’s mother who was kidnapped, and the mysterious lightning thief.
Perhaps I read this novel at the right time in my life or maybe it was just that good, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I was entertained from the first page, right until the very end. I am completely enchanted by the world Riordan has effortlessly created. It is such an amazing concept. I’ll admit, I was a little sceptical that the gods would simply just be there with no explanation aside from, “Yeah, they’re still alive,” but that was not the case. Riordan eloquently described how the ancient Greek gods are still kicking it. The gods, as well as Olympus and anything else attached to their realm, had followed the natural progression of Western Civilisation, becoming the central deities of whichever country or Empire happened to be in charge at the time. They started (obviously) in Greece, moved to Rome where the Romans deigned them with different names; then to Western Europe and the Renaissance, kept alive through the rebirth of classical literature and artwork. Today, the gods have settled in the current most powerful country in the world: America. Olympus can be found on the 600th floor of the Empire State Building and the entrance to the Underworld is in L.A.
The world-building is amazingly complex, detailed and well thought out. Everything makes perfect sense as Riordan divulges certain pieces of information and history into the text at precise moments. Riordan’s writing was a little elementary and simple, but considering his protagonist is 12 years old and the novel is middle grade fiction, that’s understandable. The writing matched the tone of the novel – fun, witty and comical.
I found the story-line engaging and I would frantically flip the pages, so excited and intrigued to discover the truth and what will happen next. I loved the inclusion of so many of my favourite characters from Greek history and mythology. Each time a new, recognisable character was introduced, I practically squealed in excitement.
The Lightning Thief was a delightful series-starter that left me wanting more. This novel was so fun and entertaining it was impossible to put down.