Disney-Hyperion, 2005. 978-0-7868-5629-9.
Synopsis: Percy Jackson is a ‘troubled’ kid who, through no fault of his own, has a knack for getting into trouble. But when ancient Greek monsters start attacking him, Percy learns something far more disturbing: he’s actually the son of Poseidon, God of the Sea, and not only has he been accused of stealing Zeus’s Master Bolt and Hade’s Helm of Darkness, he’s actually not supposed to have been born. Not to mention his favorite teacher is a centaur and his best friend Grover is a goat. Taken to the safe haven of Camp Half-Blood and being told of the charges against him as the lightning thief, Percy is sent on a journey with Grover and fellow camper Annabeth Chase (daughter of Athena) to retrieve Zeus’ bolt before the summer solstice. Being a demigod is certainly a lot more dangerous than it sounds….
Why I picked it up: This was another recommendation from a friend who loves Greek mythology and was curious to see what Riordan had done with it. I was similarly inspired by this comic.
Why I finished it: I like what Riordan has done in terms of giving Greek myth a more modern twist. It definitely has the potential for getting people interested in Greek Gods (crash course from Wikipedia). The first person narrative was great in terms of getting into the characters and the story without being too cinematic – Percy is clearly out of his element and the reader can definitely feel the confusion, but luckily, both Percy and the reader are brought up to speed with demigod lore and expectations. My favorite chapter was the Capture the Flag: definitely dangerous, but totally awesome at the same time. Riordan is definitely capturing some of the essence of what teenagers go though growing up, demigod or not: the struggle to fit in, make friends, deal with raging hormones, and live long enough to get a driver’s license. This is the first book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.
Other related materials: Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (movie); The Sea of Monsters (Book 2) by Rick Riordan; The Titan’s Curse (Book 3) by Rick Riordan; The Battle of the Labyrinth (Book 4) by Rick Riordan; The Last Olympian (Book 5) by Rick Riordan; The Lost Hero (Heroes of Olympus Book 1) by Rick Riordan; the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling; The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan; Olympians series by George O’Connor