Last week I read Rick Riordan's The Lightning Thief, a fast-paced fantasy that combines ancient Greek history with contemporary situations in a mix of suspense and humor that made the book hard to put down. So, here is my review:
Gods and goddesses of ancient Greece have long been discounted as myth, right? In The Lightning Thief, these “immortals” still live, and their half-mortal offspring walk among us, pursued by monsters.
Percy Jackson is in trouble again at his new boarding school. He’s dyslexic and he suffers from ADHD, and he assumes that’s why he has the kinds of mess-ups that get him regularly expelled from schools. What Percy doesn’t realize is that he is one of the demi-gods. Monsters find him; after a narrow escape, still unaware of his identity, Percy heads home to his mother. New developments cause her to take him to Camp Half-Blood, a safe haven for demi-gods.
At Camp Half-Blood, Percy discovers his heritage, but soon finds he is the main suspect in the theft of Zeus’s lightning bolt. He has less than two weeks to track down the real thief and to prevent a war between the gods that will rival the Trojan War. Percy is also desperate to free his mother, who is being held hostage by Hades.
Percy’s friends, a demi-goddess named Annabeth, and a satyr named Grover, accompany him on his mission. One mystery leads to another: More than Zeus’s lightning bolt has been stolen. More is at stake than a war between rival gods. Riddles and prophecies abound. Percy and his friends encounter an array of legendary creatures and Olympian gods, and Percy learns there is more to being a hero than he ever imagined.
Rick Riordan’s sly humor keeps the tension high in laugh-out-loud scenes. The Lightning Thief is a must-read for middle grade readers.