Friday, June 28, 2013

Book Review: Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Publisher: Hyperion Books
ISBN13: 9781423134947
Format: Paperback

I first came across Percy Jackson when the film of this book was released, but at that time I didn't realise there was a book series behind the film.  I haven't been into children's literature for nearly 30 years, so when the film came out it was completely new.  Then once I'd started this blog and the Top Ten lists I kept seeing Percy Jackson here, there and everywhere.  I thought I enjoyed the film well enough, and it's well received by many fellow bloggers, so I might as well give it a chance.

So glad I did!

Short synopsis:  Percy Jackson is a troubled pre-teen, sufferer of ADHD, Dyslexia and so on.  He kills his maths teacher on a school trip when she turns into a monster.  His mother takes him away on a trip during which they're attacked by a Minotaur and his mother disappears in a flash of light, presumed dead.  As it happens this is just outside a camp for special kids, the half human children of the Greek Gods.  PJ is one such child and soon finds himself on a quest to save his mother and find Zeus's stolen Lightning Bolt.  Along for the ride are his half goat friend Grover and fellow half-blood Annabeth.  On his journey he meets many mythical creatures, only most of whom try to kill him.

What I liked most: The Greek myths are fascinating, I definitely want to learn more!  Also I loved the chapter titles, they really made me want to read on.

What I liked least:  Not much to dislike as far as I'm concerned.  I would like to read a more adult equivalent I think.  If anyone has any suggestions I'd love to hear them.

A little bit of controversy:  I've read some brilliant reviews and also some complaints about the similarities with Harry Potter.  Personally I don't see anything to suggest that Percy Jackson is a complete rip off of Harry Potter, there are some commonalities, true enough, but those also predate Harry Potter by a long way!  I've read the second Percy Jackson book as well, and can honestly say I like both HP and Percy J.

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