Saturday, January 9, 2010

Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief - Part 1

The Lightning Thief was written by Rick Riordan and was published in 2005. It is the first book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. The book is clearly inspired by the Harry Potter series. I first heard of this series when Jack reviewed it in his blog, and I read the first few chapters of the first book in Borders recently to see whether I should purchase the books. I liked what I read and ordered the set. I recently finished reading the first book, The Lightning Thief.

The premise of the book is that all of the gods and goddesses in Greek mythology are real and interact with humans in modern times. The average person has no idea that the gods and goddesses are real and are responsible for the weather, natural disasters, war, and pretty much everything else that happens in our world.

Percy arrives at Camp Half-Blood to learn that he is the son of one of the Greek gods. He is a demigod, half human and half god. Unfortunately, one of the gods wants to kill Percy because Percy has been blamed for the theft of an important possession. Not only that, but monsters try to kill the demigods whenever they are not at Camp Half-Blood. The demigods can be killed by both mortal and immortal weapons, so they are doubly vulnerable.

Camp Half-Blood sounds like a pretty neat place. Here is a scan of the map of Camp Half-Blood that came in my boxed set.
Camp Half-Blood is a safe haven for the demigods and is where they are trained. It is a place kind of like Hogwarts. Another similarity to the Harry Potter books is that Percy's home with his mother and highly-unpleasant stepfather is also a safe place for Percy where his enemies cannot find him, like the Dursley home is for Harry Potter.

—to be continued


Jack C said...

Wait until you read the next book... I've only read the first two, but the third is on my radar! So many books to read!

Jennifer White said...

I just finished the second book, and it's great. I almost decided to read the second book again before I continued to the third book but then I wanted to see what would happen in the third book.

They are very good!

stratomiker said...

I started reading the first book at Borders, too, and I didn't like the style. Continual non-sentences and one-word paragraphs really try my patience, and I consider it bad writing. One of the good things about Harry Potter is that the books were very well written in a wonderful literary style.

The reason I looked into Percy is that a movie is coming out soon about the first book. I saw the previews recently when I saw AVATAR (don't miss it!), and the movie looks great.

I go to the bookstore every day, if at least only to get coffee, so I'll give Percy another whirl. I just wish that boom-boom staccato style of one-wording and non-sentencing would die out. I find it totally annoying.


Jennifer White said...

The books are written in a very colloquial style. I didn't like the style at first. I noticed that sentences ended with prepositions, just like with the Twilight books. However, I was able to get into the first book pretty easily. This was when I had my copy and was actually reading it. When I read the first part at Borders, I decided that I would probably like it, but I really didn't know for sure. Once I read further into it, I loved it.

When I read some reviews, I realized that the book is supposed to be colloquial and hip and that the book is written as Percy's thoughts, therefore it is not grammatically correct. For that reason, I was able to ignore the grammar and just enjoy the story.

The books are really funny. The chapter titles are hilarious and often mean something completely different than what they appear to mean. I was just looking at the chapter titles in the third book, and one chapter is titled, "I Have a Dam Problem." That is funny!