Friday, October 12, 2007

What I'm Reading: The Lightning Thief (redux)

As promised-- my review of: The Lightning Thief

Now-- let me preface this review by saying that I'm not a book snob. I've met lots and lots of book snobs in my life and I can't stand them. I'm talking about the people who refuse to read anything unless its a literary masterpiece. Oh please! Get over yourself. I read for the thrill of the story, the engaging characters, and the use of language. Also, I read for pleasure-- and if your book is too dense for me to enjoy, then I wont. I'm not afraid to say that.

However, over a year ago when my friend suggested I read The Lightning Thief, I completely ignored her. I wasn't really interested in the premise of the book and thought it was just 'the next Harry Potter' a marketing term that makes me cringe (which will be discussed in a later blog). Even though I adore children's literature-- I gave this book a pass. It wasn't until a box of books arrived at my job (containing The Lightning Thief) that I finally buckled down and read the book.

After reading the first three books in the series back-to-back I'm not sure why I procrastinated so long. Rick Riordan's books are a complete joy! His books are funny, witty, and above all LIGHT HEARTED. Its the sense of fun and adventure that hooked me.

Percy Jackson is your average twelve-year-old dyslexic trouble marker (oh, and the son of the sea god). When he discovers that his Math teacher is a Harpy and his best friend is a satyr, he realizes he's in for even more trouble.

Percy is sent to a summer camp Half Blood Hill (very unfortunate name) where he finds out that the Greek Gods and Goddesses are very much alive and actively interfering in the mortal world (they have now relocated to a new 'Mount Olympus' on top the the Empire State building). He and his fellow campers are all 'half-bloods' or half mortal/half demigod. All of the campers are trained in battle combat (with ancient weapons of course), archery, and survival skills they are being groomed to be 'heroes' and change the fate of the world.

When Zeus's master lightning bolt goes missing it is Percy's task to retrieve it. Aiding him in his quest is a feisty daughter of Athena and his trusty satyr pal. What follows is a rip-roaring quest through America (with Medusa owning a garden statuary shop and cooking the best burgers in town) wherein Percy and his friends find themselves face to face with mythological characters. Riordan's humour makes this book read like a treat. While its moral isn't the deepest and at times I wished that Riordan would have explored less common mythological creatures I highly recommend this book.

Honestly, the book is so slender that I'm afraid to say anymore (I don't want to give away too much of the plot). Pick this one up-- you wont regret it.

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