In One Word

In One Word, The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan is…

lightning thief

  • Published in 2006 in the UK by Puffin Books
  • Format: Audiobook
    • Narrator: Jesse Bernstein
    • Listening Speed: 1.3x (by the end)
  • Listening Time: 5 questing days

Acceptable

  • Another one for the Golden Trio Reading Challenge. This one is for the ‘Defence Against the Dark Arts’ prompt since it’s certainly about a battle between Good and Evil. I’ve never read a Percy Jackson book so I’m not entirely sure what to expect from this.
  • Channelling a middle-school aged voice a bit too well at times, especially at the beginning. This is understandable since Percy Jackson is a middle schooler who starts out as a normal if very unlucky boy who, after getting expelled from yet another school, is rushed to Camp Half Blood with monsters right out of myth hot on his heels. There, he discovers that the father he never knew is a Greek God, which are still alive, powerful and very capable of starting a war when Zeus’ Master Bolt goes missing. Percy is given the unenviable quest of finding and returning the bolt with the help of fellow demigod Annabeth and satyr friend Grover, all while fighting off persistent monsters and meddling gods.
  • Can really tell the author did their research on Greek mythology. Not only do they draw in the usual heavy hitters but they also some of the more obscure myths such as Echidna (who really hates Australia and probably feels the same way about Sonic The Hedgehog). I appreciate books that look right into the lesser known corners of Greek mythology for inspiration rather than rehash the well-known stories.
  • Entertaining interpretation on how the Greek gods came to America and how they live in the modern world. Particularly entertaining is the lengths one of the gods goes to in order to catch his wife cheating on him. No spoilers because it’s really funny.
  • Percy is a pretty decent main character and he develops rather well. He certainly learns how to win battles with his wits over just lashing out randomly. Annabeth and Grover are rather well-developed too. I think I can safely say I liked Annabeth the best, though.
  • This definitely feels like it’s borrowing a lot of tropes from Harry Potter, especially the ‘Golden Trio’ trope complete with a brainy girl, a comic relief boy and a ‘chosen one’ leader who came from an abusive household. There’s even a sneaky Harry Potter reference close to the end.
  • A bit unsure how I feel about Percy’s ADHD and dyslexia being linked to his demigod powers. I understand this was well intentioned and the book does show understanding of these disabilities. It also makes it clear later on that these disorders are still present even after he realises his potential and I’m glad that Percy has a flaw but I’m still a bit uncomfortable with the implications.
  • Becomes a bit repetitive once the quest gets underway as the trio keep running into different monsters and gods along their journey. The pacing is decent throughout and it is enough to keep the reader’s interest but, after the third chance encounter with a monster, it gets a bit tedious. Once the trio makes it to the Underworld, it picks up a bit.
  • Like the way his mother’s story was rounded off. It neatly avoided the ‘damsel in distress saved by son’ trope and the original ending of the myth. In the process, it gave it a much more satisfying ending.
  • Ending and revelation of who the titular Lightning Thief was really took me by surprise. An excellent twist which leads nicely into the sequel (while dodging the first-book-as-guided-tour-of-the-world trap).

Goodreads Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Did you agree with my rating? Can you think of a better word to describe it? Please let me know with a like, share or comment.

2 thoughts on “In One Word, The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan is…”

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