Tuesday, 10 August 2010

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson has constant problems at school and home. At school because he is dyslexic and has ADHD, at home because of his horrible step-father Gabe who treats his mother like a slave and Percy as if he were an intruder. Because of his learning difficulties, Percy is vaulted from school to school, finally landing at Yancey where he meets his friend Grover, who has difficulty walking and his teacher Mr. Brunner, who believes in him and challenges him to do his best. Then one day the school takes a field trip to a museum where one chaperone, Mrs. Dodds, turns into a Fury and nearly kills him. Percy’s world is turned upside down over night when he finds out he’s not quite as human as he thought he was and the Greek Gods weren’t quite myths after all.

This is the kind of book that makes me glad I still enjoy reading young adult books from time to time, or perhaps even more often than that. There are just some really fabulous stories out there and The Lightning Thief is one of them. I enjoyed reading this and can recommend it to anyone who wants a light, fun read. The only negatives I have about the book are: sometimes the writing doesn’t flow as well as it could and Riordan occasionally demands a little too much willing suspension of disbelief, or better put, his explanations for some phenomenon fall a bit short. However, for someone who wrote the book for his kid, he does pretty well for himself and I’m fairly certain he’ll get better as he goes along. I will certainly be checking out the rest of the series to see if I’m right or not.

Where the book gets huge plus points from me is with the integration of mythology. Learning about the Greek gods can be a bit tedious, especially when learning the list of “Zeus is and he did this”. It’s easier in the context of the stories and will be even easier in this context. It might even inspire some to go on and read the original stories. Any book that gets someone interested in learning for learning’s sake is a good book in my opinion, so big thumbs up for that.

Overall, 4 out of 5 for The Lightning Thief.

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