Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief


Title: Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

Author: Rick Riordan

Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1

Publisher: Disney Hyperion Books

Release Date: March 1st 2006

Rating:

Five Stars

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.

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“In a way, it’s nice to know there are Greek gods out there, because you have somebody to blame when things go wrong. For instance, when you’re walking away from a bus that’s just been attacked by monster hags and blown up by lightning, and it’s raining on top of everything else.”

In spite of his dyslexia and ADHD, in spite of his terrible luck on field trips and his tendency to be expelled from school, Percy Jackson is a normal 12 year old. Until his maths teacher turns into one of the three furies and tries to kill him on a class trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Percy, with the help of his Latin teacher and a sword which turns into a pen, kills her but when he returns to his classmates none of them have any memory of a maths teacher named Mrs. Dodds.

Percy becomes convinced it was just a hallucination, until he returns home again for the summer. While on a summer trip with his mother Grover appears, Percy’s best friend, and he reveals that Percy is no longer safe. While fleeing to Camp Half-Blood Percy learns he is a Demigod, the son of a human and a God, and has been accused of taking Zeus’s master lightning bolt from Olympus. Percy becomes lost in his new world, especially after losing his mother to the minotaur on the run to Camp Half-Blood, and then his father claims him.

Not just any half-blood Percy is the child of one of the big three, Poseidon, and the subject of a terrible prophecy. The only person who can be picked to find the lightning bolt and return it to Zeus before the war breaks out Percy goes on a quest, along with Annabeth, daughter of Athena, and Grover, to Hades to find the bolt.

“And do you know what a full-fledged war would look like, Percy?”
“Bad?” I guessed.
“Imagine the world in chaos. Nature at war with itself. Olympians forced to choose sides between Zeus and Poseidon. Destruction. Carnage. Millions dead. Western civilization turned into a battleground so big it will make the Trojan War look like a water-balloon fight.”
“Bad,” I repeated.

But asides from finding the bolt Percy has another aim in mind while travelling to Hades, to find and return with his mother.

Their journey is not easy. With monsters everywhere after the bolt Percy, Annabeth, and Grover have to face Medusa, the Chimera, and all three Furies amongst other monsters. Their journey soon becomes delayed and fraught with peril, and with a limited time before Zeus launches a war against Poseidon Percy and his friends are running out of time to reach Hades, find the lightning bolt and return to Olympus before the deadline; midnight on the summer solstice.

…The Characters

“Because I’m not normal,” I said.
“You say that as if it’s a bad thing, Percy. But you don’t realize how important you are.”

Percy has not had an easy life, even before finding out he is a half-blood and the son of Poseidon. On top of his ADHD and dyslexia he has been expelled from every school he’s been in and seems to be a magnet for trouble. While at Camp Half-Blood he comes into his own as a half blood and proves himself more than once on their quest. He may not be Athena camp smart but he is capable of coming up with plans on the go and more often than not, despite being dangerous and reckless, they help get the three of them out of trouble.

It’s only ever been Percy and his mother so when she is taken by the Minotaur and Percy believes she is dead his plan is to go to Hades and bring her back again. No matter what the cost he is determined to save her, determined not to lose the only parent he’s ever had.

“I’ve been waiting a long time for a quest, seaweed brain,” she said. “Athena is no fan of Poseidon, but if you’re going to save the world, I’m the best person to keep you from messing up.”

Annabeth is a daughter of Athena and has been at Camp Half-Blood since she was the seven, the longest of any other campers there. She has never been out on a quest before and is determined to prove herself, even if it means travelling with a son of Poseidon. Due to her mother’s history with Poseidon Annabeth doesn’t trust Percy at the start but quickly moves past that. Annabeth is the brains behind their whole operation, the one who comes up with the smart plans and who has the knowledge to know what they’re walking into and what monsters they’re facing.

“Look, Percy, I’m not as smart as Annabeth. I’m not as brave as you. But I’m pretty good at reading emotions. You’re glad your dad is alive. You feel good that he’s claimed you, and part of you wants to make him proud.”

Grover is Percy’s best friend and his protector. Getting Percy to Camp Half-Blood safely was his chance to prove himself after his first search for a half-blood in the outside world went horribly wrong. Grover, like most satyrs, is determined to get his searcher’s licence and become the one find the wild god Pan after he went missing years ago. However after his first two failures, the most recent one being bringing Percy to the camp safely, Grover is on his last chance to impress the Council of Elders when he joins Percy’s quest to Hades.

“What if it lines up like it did in the Trojan War… Athena versus Poseidon?”
“I don’t know. But I just know that I’ll be fighting next to you.”
“Why?”
“Because you’re my friend, Seaweed Brain. Any more stupid questions?”

The three of them all have different motivations for going on the quest; Percy to find and save his mother, Annabeth to prove herself after training for years in Camp Half-Blood, and Grover to prove his skills as a protector and receive his searcher’s licence. However all three of them understand the importance of finding and returning the master bolt before the summer solstice. The three of them also work really well together; Annabeth is the brains of the operation, Percy the impulse and recklessness which provides them with the chance escape the messes they find themselves in, and Grover the sense of responsibility which pulls them out of the fire.

…The Setting

“And yes, Percy, of course they are now in our United States. Look at your symbol, the eagle of Zeus. Look at the statue of Prometheus in Rockefeller Center, the Greek facades of our government buildings in Washington. I defy you to find any American city where the Olympians are not prominently displayed, in multiple places. Like it or not – and believe me, plenty of people weren’t very fond of Rome, either – America is now the heart of the flame. It is the great power of the West. And so Olympus is here. And we are here.”

I am a massive fan of Greek mythology so of course the setting for this book, the culture and mythology that came into play, was a major draw for me. Everything was so wonderfully written and, while I won’t claim to be an expert on Greek mythology to me, it all seemed incredibly accurate and true to history as well. The explanation of why Olympus had been moved to New York and Hades moves to Los Angeles, and the stories of the ancient heroes and monsters helping and hunting Percy was well laid out for the reader; Medusa in her abandoned town surrounded by statues, the Chimera and the mother of monsters, Ares and Aphrodite hiding their affairs from Hephaestus. However I also loved the modern twists that were added in as well; seeing Hades in the modern age, with the increase in population and the increase in people travelling over the river and through the Fields of Asphodel. Everything about the setting in this book was just so amazing and it only added to the story Rick Riordan was telling.


Honestly I’m not sure why it took me so long to read this book but now I’ve started it, and loved it, I’m flying through this series; which is a good thing because as I understand it there are more than a few books I need to catch up on. Also if anyone could let me know the reading order of the books after Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian that’d be great.

What did you think of Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

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31 thoughts on “Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

    1. So I wasn’t the last one to pick up this series then! 😀
      It took me a while to get around to it but oh this book was amazing, and from what I’ve read so far so is the rest of the series. I really hope you enjoy it Fatima, and I’m glad my review made you want to pick up this series! 🙂
      Thanks! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m sooo happy to hear that you are enjoying this series! 🙂 It’s one of my absolute favourites! I flew through them as well, I basically read all 5 books in two days. Plus I learned a lot about Greek mythology from this series, which is wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It seems to be so many people’s favourites and I’m just sitting here wondering how after blogging for seven/eight months it took me so long to get around to them 😀
      Oh yes the Greek mythology aspect of these books was such a major draw for me! All the stories and characters that are featured are just so brilliant!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahaha, well at lest you got to them! And you can love them with the rest of us! 😀
        I seriously NEED to read more books by Rick Riordan – so far I have “only” read Percy Jackson and the Olympians and The Heroes of Olympus. I really want to read his Egyptian mythology trilogy (and his other books as well). 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Better late than never right? This is one series that really applies given how long ago the first book was released!
        I have plans to (slowly) make my way through everything Rick Riordan has released so far, hopefully by the release date of his newest book in the pipeline. I’ve heard great things about everything he’s released (although wow I didn’t realise he had an Egyptian mythology series out too!) so I’m really excited to get around to them all! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yeah you are right! It’s better late than never. (I have honestly so many books on my TBR that that applies to.)

        I love marathoning his books, so I’ll at least wait until the second books are released – for both Magnus Chase and Trials of Apollo. Then I can read them back to back. So I plan on getting The Kane Chronicles soon and reading them! (They are the Egyptian mythology series!)

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I think as long as you get round to them one day that’s all that matters in the end isn’t it!
        I love marathoning books in general. I won’t super marathon Riordan’s books, so read everything he’s released one after the other, but I will marathon all the individual series. Guess after the Percy Jackson ones it’s the Heroes of Olympus.
        I’ll definitely have to check out The Kane Chronicles, I won’t say I know a lot about Egyptian mythology but I’d be interested in learning! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I can’t even say I really know the basics, but hopefully the Kane Chronicles will help me learn more.
        I almost feel like once I finish the first part of the Percy Jackson series I’m gonna want to go straight onto the next series! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I felt like that before I started! But literally everyone was recommending the books to me so I finally got around to picking them up, and yeah so far it’s an amazing series.
      I think like Harry Potter the Percy Jackson books don’t get old, so no matter when you read them I’m sure you’ll enjoy them as well 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t even express how happy this made me! I’m so, so glad you enjoyed this Beth. I can’t wait to see what you think of the rest of the series. 😊😊 You definitely need to read the Heroes of Olympus series before The Hidden Oracle. You can skip Magnus Chase though if you want. There’s a little reference in there that’ll make sense in The Hidden Oracle, but it won’t spoil anything.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, this is definitely an amazing series, and so far I have loved all two and a half books I’ve read so far 😀 I think when I was younger I was more of a Harry Potter fan than a Percy Jackson one, now I’m both!
      Thanks for the reading order! I probably will check out the Magnus Chase series, I like to read things in order but I reckon I’ll get through them pretty fast. My aim is to be completely caught up before the next book is released (although I’m not sure when that is!)

      Like

      1. Ahh, yay!!!! I only read the books a few years ago myself 😊 It would have been cool to be there from the start though! I kinda was for the Heroes of Olympus series so that was cool! The waiting wasn’t fun though 😅

        The next Magnus book comes out in October and then the next Apollo book comes out in May next year.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I kind of did that with the Harry Potter books so I feel I do have that experience (starting as soon as it’s released, going to the midnight release of the very last book, etc.) I guess the amount of PJ books that have been released so far the wait would have killed me long before now! And I guess once I’m all caught up I’ll have that experience all over again 😀
        Well in that case I’ll aim for October, with May as a back-up date, I reckon I can work to that! Thanks ❤

        Like

      3. I only went to the midnight release for the last one, the rest yeah I just got them the day they were released! It’s a great experience isn’t it, to be surrounded by people who have the same love for the series you do! 😀

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  3. I’ve been waiting so long for your review! I’m super happy you enjoy the books – I’m always scared I’m gonna recommend a book to someone and they’re not gonna like it.
    After the last Percy book you should read the first one in the Heroes of Olympus series, which is The lost Hero. 😃 Once you’re through with the Heroes of Olympus books, you should read the first Magnus Chase book and then The Hidden Oracle. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I know that feeling, you always want people to love the books you recommend don’t you? But that seriously wasn’t an issue with the Percy Jackson series, I loved it from the first page 😀
      Thanks! I think knowing the series helps in this case, I tried looking on Goodreads but just couldn’t tell which order anything was supposed to go in. Apparently I have a lot to catch up on though!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I loved these books in middle school. One of the first things I did as an elementary school aide was read chapters of the first book aloud to a group of kids. It was magical. Also, do you need the reading order for the follow up series, The Heroes of Olympus? The list is on their Wikipedia page, or I can tell you here. I haven’t read those yet myself, but I’ve heard awesome things!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely magical! I didn’t read these books when I was younger, I was more Harry Potter than Percy Jackson, but reading them now is still a treat. And it’s definitely the kind of series that never gets old! 😀
      I’ll check out the Wikipedia page thanks, I tried checking out the Goodreads site but there were so many novellas and bind up of novellas I weren’t sure which were just repeats.

      Liked by 1 person

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