Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1): Review

Another review for today!

It's The Lightning Thief, the first book from the Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series.

A synopsis first before I start:

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's 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's 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.


Okay, I first heard of this book when the movie version was nearing to be shown in cinemas. So, I said, why not give it a try since there will be a movie adaptation, this might be good! So I got myself a copy and I was quite satisfied with what I've read.

The premise was good, a boy being a son of a Greek god and a mortal. Being raised in the mortal world, everything seemed to turn upside down as his other world comes to meet Percy Jackson. And what a good way to start a new life by being accused of thievery?! Much more of the powerful lightning that belonged to the god Zeus? He along with his friends: Grover (a Satyr), and Annabeth (Athena's daughter), goes into numerous adventures to prevent a great war between the gods from happening.

There are some great characters in the book that will captivate the hearts of the readers (my personal favorite would be Hades, the god of the underworld). The gods were portrayed in a very unique way that will change the way you look into the Olympian world. The demi-gods (half-mortal, half-god), as the main characters of the story, were also depicted greatly, with personalities that resemble those of their god parents.

The book was written in the first person narration. Some say that they do not like Riordan's style, but for me, I liked it. Though sometimes I think he grows tired of this narration and goes out of character. By character I mean, the-boy-with-an-ADHD-and-dyslexia character.

The downside of the book, for me, is the way the story moves. It was pretty episodic! In one chapter, Percy and friends encounter a new enemy and in the same chapter, they already defeated the enemy. It's like watching a crappy TV show! It felt like the story wasn't even flowing. Instead, it plays and stops, then the cycle goes on.

Speaking of stories, the book is based on Greek mythology, but sometimes I cannot help but to think that Riordan is only riding with the stories of mythology and not weaving his own. Sometimes you will be wondering "where is Riordan's story? All I see is Greek mythology retold with sprinkles of new characters!" Nonetheless, he redeemed himself by amazing characterization of the people (and gods and demigods) inside his story.

Recommended for young and teen readers. Maybe some adults will like this one, but I think this book will be preferred by the young ones.

More from the Percy Jackson Series.

Characters - 4 STARS
Story - 2 STARS
Writing - 2 STARS
Cover - 3 STARS
Overall - 2.75 STARS



  1. I recently purchased this book after seeing the movie. I found the movie entertaining so why not, lol. Thanks for this very insightful review.

  2. @paper cut reviewer - thanks for the comment! Hope you enjoy the book!