Monday, May 20, 2013

The Lightning Thief Book Review

Rawr Reader,

     After finishing the behemoth Game of Thrones, I figured I'd take a break from an epic and pick up on a middle school series which I hear nothing but fantastic things, The Percy Jackson and the Olympian series. And I enjoyed the humor in the movie. I'm very intrigued by Greek mythology so I figured no matter what, I think I'm going to like this book. This synopsis of The Lightning Thief is provided by Goodreads:

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' 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' 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.

The movie! Which I loved... don't judge me! *she whispered to herself*

(safe for those who haven't read this book)
   What I liked, what I liked, what I liked... Where to begin? Greek mythology has always been fascinating to me and I love learning about the gods and demigods and all of their conquests and deceptions. And honestly I don't know how accurate the monsters and "histories" are, but I enjoyed them nonetheless. And now after finishing the book, I understand why everyone hated the movie, it was sooo off. 
   This series is targeted for middle schoolers, which I knew, but I should've known that I shouldn't have gone into it right after reading the Game of Thrones. I spent about four days reading GoT, enjoying every single minute of it. Then I jumped into another series and am smacked in the face with the fact that not every book is like that. Now I don't know if it's because I already knew a little bit about how this story was going to end or just familiar with the world, I couldn't enjoy this book as much. Especially the first 150 pages, I found it only entertaining when their quest began. 
   I loved the witty moments Percy would have with all the characters, and I especially loved that he didn't exempt anyone from it. He insulted everyone! And he was a troublemaker as it was, having  low tolerance for anything that pulled his strings, changing schools constantly. And it wasn't only Percy who had a smart alec mouth, Grover and Annabelle had it too. A bunch of characters did and it made the less interesting parts a little more entertaining. My favorite sassy speaker so to speak was Mr. D. If I met him in real life I'd probably hate him, but fortunately I don't because in this story I enjoyed whenever he appeared and only wish he had a bigger role in the book. Hopefully later in the series, who knows?
   What probably makes this book so amazing I find is that these kids travel across country to these American national monuments and cities and the unexpected happens, I love that I can't predict what monsters they'll face and the places they'll go. Even though I already knew where they were going (for the most part the movie was at least slightly accurate), I still enjoyed going to the different places. 
   I do have to say though what made the beginning really unenjoyable for me were those moments when Grover and Mr. Brunner wouldn't answer Percy whenever he asked a question. I found it very distracting in the Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instrument series whenever Clary would be cut off, almost every single time she spoke, and while Riordan didn't do that with Percy, the boy would never receive a clear answer when he asked a question. I forget which page it was, but it was just after Percy got to Camp Half-Blood, one of the counselor/teachers who was escorting Percy around wouldn't answer him, he told him it'd be explained later-- twice-- ON THE SAME PAGE. I almost pulled my hair out. Not really, but I was very annoyed. I was happy it got better later when the quest began. 
   Also something that annoyed me was Annabelle's character. She sounded so strong when it was facing Percy or Grover, but when it actually came to the action and fighting, she was weak and appeared like a scared little girl. Sorry, I needed to get that off my chest.
   Overall, this book was really fun and if I hadn't seen the movie before, I probably would've enjoyed it a lot more. Because this world that Riordan made alongside reality really is so unique and clever and enjoyable. The characters are fun and can do unexpected things or have unexpected pasts. I excited to read more about them and tag along in their adventures.

I give this book 4/5 stars.

Author's Quote:
“It's funny how humans can wrap their mind around things and fit them into their version of reality.”
-Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief

My Goodreads:

Next To Read:
The End of Mr. Y by Scarlett Thomas

River Song's Spoilers:
(unsafe for those who haven't read this book yet, so don't read this section)
    Can I just say I sort of like the movie version better in one aspect, that the reason the lightning bolt made more sense. While in the book they explained why Luke stole the bolt-- for Kronos-- in the movie it was for revenge on the dad. Reading the book, I found it entirely random that Kronos chose Luke to be the thief. So that's probably the only thing I liked that was changed from the book. Otherwise...
  And I hate it when movies are based from a book and then completely butcher characters and their appearances. Like Annabelle for example has blonde hair, not red. I see in the trailer for the next movie they're attempting to clear up some of the mess-ups, and I hope they fix a lot more than just that.
   I'm very excited to find out in the next book what happens to Grover after his search for Pan. Does he find him? Does he not? I know he survives since the next movie shows him in it. The only thing I really know about Pan is from the movie Pan's Labyrinth where Pan is a faun and he looks pretty beast. I hope he makes an appearance in the next book and figure out why he was missing in the first place. Two thousand years MIA? Antisocial much?
   While I enjoyed this book, I didn't find Percy to act much like a twelve year old. The youngest I would have guessed would be fifteen. Grover who was twenty-eight acted more like a twelve year old to me. 
     My favorite part was the quest of course and all their meetings with gods and ancient Greek follys (the Lotus Hotel and Casino) and Gnome Emporium. Ares was probably my more favored villain than Luke because he was an almighty god, while I do find Luke more villainous since he's human (more or less).

Until Next Time,
Nicole Ciel

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