The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan: Book Review

THE LIGHTNING THIEF by Rick Riordan Book Review
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1

I was unaware of this series until I saw the previews for the film. The trailer caught my interest, so naturally I looked up the book the movie was based upon. I still haven’t gotten a chance to see the movie, but I finally was able to read The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan while camping this weekend. Since I prefer to read books before watching the movies, it’s a good thing I got around to reading it.

Book Summary: Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school…again. And that’s the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy’s Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he’s angered a few of them. Zeus’s master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.

Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus’s stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

It’s not that often that I like a book by the first ten pages, so immediately, The Lightning Thief scores major points by hooking me into the story by the eighth page. They tell you not to judge a book by its cover. I usually tell myself not to judge a book by the first fifty pages. I try, but sometimes it is extremely difficult to let go of first impressions. To me, first impressions of a book can usually tell me how much I will end up enjoying a book. From the first eight pages alone, I knew that I was going to enjoy The Lightning Thief tremendously. I was not wrong with that judgement.

One of the reasons why I probably liked The Lightning Thief so much is my fascination of Greek mythology. It was something I have always had an interest in. I thought I knew a lot (especially since we covered a few tales in Latin class…) but apparently not. I learned a handful of things about Greek mythology while reading the book.

I’m always hesitant about reading a book geared towards younger readers. I read a lot of middle grade fiction at internship, and I find that sometimes, they just aren’t as enjoyable to an older audience. I was proved wrong with this book, however. Though the protagonist, Percy Jackson, is only twelve years old, I think his story is great for all ages. While reading, it was so easy to forget just how old he is. Rick Riordan’s writing doesn’t make you feel like you’re reading your kid sister’s book.

Throughout the whole book, I found myself at the edge of the seat. I couldn’t stop reading, and I was constantly trying to guess the ending (I couldn’t do it). I loved reading about how Percy uncovered the secrets about his birth and Camp Half-Blood. I loved meeting Gods and other creatures throughout their travels. I loved the modern day descriptions because I thought that it reflected the Gods and creatures so well. Riordan flawlessly incorporates these myths from the past, and in this story, it feels like the Gods and Goddesses have always lived amongst us. Also, living so close to New York City, I found myself constantly wondering the existence of the 600th floor on the Empire State Building. I know the book is fiction, (though the first page of the book suggests otherwise) but I so want to believe in Mount Olympus.

After reading the book and enjoying it immensely, my fingers are itching to get a signed copy of the book from Books of Wonder. Oh, the temptation!!! I’m definitely going to read more of this series.

Rating: StarStarStarStar


  1. It’s an amazing series, I read it last year and fell in love, right before the movies were announced– do no… fall into the movie hype, however. It took a turn for the scandalous much like the Sixth Harry Potter movie installment did. Amazingly important plot points were left out to make way for new, kind of shifty story for a movie release… I didn’t enjoy the movie nearly as much as the book.

    Also, get the rest of the series… it will absolutely be worth it. :D I can’t wait for more.

  2. I’m the same as Drea…great book…not so great movie.

    The book is very captivating and hard to put down once you get into it. I give it two thumbs up…save your money on the movie.

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