Percy Jackson and the Olympians is such a Middle Grade classic that… I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t read it until now. In fact I haven’t read any Rick Riordan books prior to this one, so I was excited to delve into this series and see what the hype is about!
Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse – Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena – Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.
Percy Jackson was a likeable character with a relatable, humorous voice. He wasn’t a great student and had a knack for getting into trouble (and getting kicked out of schools), but he had a good heart and was protective of his only friend. Little did he know, he was more than an average kid—in fact he was a demigod! I couldn’t help but root for him as he journeyed across the United States to fulfill his quest.
I can’t speak much for the accuracy of representation, but I liked that disabilities (such as Percy’s English teacher, who used a wheelchair, and Percy Jackson himself, who was dyslexic) were presented in a positive and even fantastical light. It’s pretty cool that this was the case even though this book was more than a decade old.
I loved the premise of this story which took Greek mythology and incorporated with the world as we know it today! The world building was awesome in that even historical events, such as the World Wars, were explained in the context of mythology.
It was a fast read for me and very rarely left me bored!
While the ending wrapped up the story in a satisfying way, it also presented a bigger, unresolved problem which got me excited about the next book!
Without giving any spoilers (in case any of you guys haven’t yet read this book)… I felt there were some moments where Percy had a hunch out of the blue about a piece of the mystery and he turned out to be right, even though there was barely anything leading up to his discovery.
Although I think it’s a cool premise, I’m not too sold on the way the world worked. Maybe I’m just not too huge of a fan of Greek mythology? In any case, I’m not about to call it quits yet and I’d be interested in reading the next book in the series.
The Lightning Thief was a fun and fast-paced MG fantasy novel that was so easy to sink my teeth into. I’m not too huge of a fan of Greek mythology-related stories but I’m willing to give book 2 a try!