Friday, 21 June 2013
The Lightning Thief - Rick Riordan Review
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: April 1st, 2006
Rating: 4.5 stars
Blurb: 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.
In short: Just fantastic, incredibly entertaining.
I loved this, no matter how MG it is. The plot is really driven and light, with not a trace of introspection to be seen. It was just all-round entertaining! Sometimes, when a book isn't very entertaining I go and see if the premise deserves praise, and this one has both a great premise and an exciting plot - win-win!
I loved Percy/Annabeth (Pannabeth? Percabeth?) SO MUCH. She was just so sassy and superior, making for hilarious scenes between them. And she calls him Seaweed Brain. What more could you ask for? Yes, she was set up as a *very* obvious love interest, but so what? She was a great very obvious love interest!
The Greek mythology was handled really well! It was made very entertaining and relevant, and there were some great nudges hidden in there (like: 'Someday they'll think you're just myths, too'). Also, all the gods and their abilities were described so well, it's making me quite inarticulate. The whole thing was brilliantly atmospheric and dramatic.
The description of the cabins and Mount Olympus was beautiful and I really felt like I was right there! While I'd choose to go to Hogwarts over Camp Half-Blood any day, it was still absolutely epic. The characterisation was done really well too, even with the secondary characters. It's not that the writing was especially delicate or beautiful, but it was clear and just a pleasure to read.
I just loved how the quest went, and how the hero's arc developed. I especially loved his awesome powers in water. The foreshadowing was very heavy but just in a MG way, so I didn't mind - with a book as popular as this, you're going to know some of the basics anyway (such as Percy's identity - hmm, I wonder who his father is?) and I can't fault it.
It was interesting that Percy had ADHD and dyslexia and was being shuffled around schools. The explanation was that his brain was 'hardwired for Ancient Greek', which was a bit silly. Your brain isn't THAT hardwired for a language - if I was brought up speaking French from birth, I'd be fluent. It seems like a gimmicky ploy to make ADHD etc. kids feel better about themselves, because it might just be because you're half-god, and besides, look at these super-duper reflexes! Still, that's not necessarily a bad thing.
I don't know what I can say other than that I really recommend this. I'm definitely getting the next four in the series, whether I have to beg, borrow or . . . buy. And here is a shoutout to Aylee at Recovering Potter Addict, who HAS to read this book soon and post a review on her blog!
Also, it's been made into a movie. And Logan Lerman is gorgeous, you can't say no to that.
I'm reading one I'm really excited about at the moment, Control by Kim Curran, so look forward to that!
And I have just realised that I've been doing Labels completely wrong, so my Cloud is all messed up. I'll be fixing that in the next few days.