Review: Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

March 5, 2010 at 8:03 am 6 comments

Percy JacksonPercy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Reviewed by Gary Leong (2A1)

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief is the debut novel in the renowned fantasy series. The plot centres around the battle between demons and  Greek gods such as Zeus. The hero is a young Percy Jackson, who is secretly a demigod—half god and half human; his father is none other than Poseidon. As such, Percy possesses amazing powers such as incredible fighting skills, with the ability to harness water as medicine and to manipulate water into any form he wants. This gives him a great advantage over the demons.

After Percy is accused of being a thief, his quest is to retrieve Zeus’ master lightning bolt in an attempt to affirm his innocence and to prevent a god war from breaking out. Two counterparts journey with him: Annabeth, daughter of Athena, and Grover, a satyr. Their journey involves conquests against demons such as a mighty Hydra, and culminates in an act of betrayal that leads to a climactic battle scene.

Rick Riordan carefully crafts a netherworld that is believable and haunting. The captivating plot combined with his unique vivid descriptions of character hold the reader—this is a riveting read. To cap this all off, his surreal setting, with Mount Olympus situated above the Empire State Building, provides the perfect backdrop against which to set the nonstop action.

If you enjoy fantasy punctuated with epic battles and peopled with intimidating demons, join Percy Jackson for the ride of lifetime.

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Entry filed under: Fantasy, Reviews, Young Adult.

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kean  |  March 22, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    Yes, indeed Percy Jackson is an interesting series of books. The fifth and final(i think) installment came out last June, so if you like the Lightning Thief, you should definitely borrow the rest; Sea of Monsters, Titan’s Curse, Battle of the Labyrinth and The Last Olympian. They provide a creative new insight of Greek Mythology and will make you want to find out more about it. Your knowledge about this subject will also be further enhanced. One thing I would like to point out however, Percy does not have a great advantage over the demons. The amount of water he can manipulate is quite limited and not as great as his father, Poseidon, the sea god. Its not like he can summon a tsunami or a giant cyclone. If he could, demons would stand no chance. But that is not the case. I say the demons and him are evenly matched, or if not, Percy has a disadvantage. I mean, against demons which can turn people to stone, giant pigs, 30 feet tall metal giants and fire-breathing dragons??? No way. ( They appear in the other books )

    Reply
    • 2. Jason Erik Lundberg  |  March 23, 2010 at 1:45 pm

      A thoughtful response, Kean. If it’s too easy for your protagonist to accomplish his or her goal (in this case, defeating the monster), then you have no conflict, and therefore no story.

      Reply
  • 3. Lim Sheng Yang  |  March 31, 2010 at 10:52 am

    Percy Jackson is indeed a very nice book but many of the stories are quite contradictory with science. This is seen by how they said that when Hade’s wife returns to earth, the season turns to spring. This is not true with science. I think they should explain this thing better in the story or not mention it at all as this will make readers wonder and is also a very good point to criticise for critics

    Reply
    • 4. Jason Erik Lundberg  |  March 31, 2010 at 11:57 am

      Sheng Yang, the Percy Jackson books have nothing to do with science; they are fantasy. Rick Riordan has tapped into very ancient Greek mythology for his books.

      Reply
  • 5. 2010 In Review « HCI Kong Chian Library  |  January 2, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    […] The busiest day of the year was March 22nd with 266 views. The most popular post that day was Review: Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. […]

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  • 6. Per Sheng Xiang  |  January 26, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    Percy Jackson and the lightning thief is no doubt one of few best books I had read. The characters and the setting captured my attention immediately and I was fascinated by the excellent plot written.
    I had watched the movie too and I think that the book is still better than the movie. A movie only shows us the scenes, but the book allows us to unleash our creativity as we try to imagine how certain creatures look like. The plot was very exciting and abit exaggerating since it’s a fiction.
    I agree with Kean that Percy Jackson actually does not have much advantage over the demons. However, what makes him stand out, other than the fact that he is a demi-god, is his bravery and adventurous spirit. I’m not sure whether that is part of Poseidon’s ability, but Percy Jackson really does have a brave spirit to counter any challenge, no matter how impossible is it. One example is when he fought against a Minotaur without hesitation as his mother and him were about to enter the “Half-Blood” camp.
    Even though Percy Jackson could not summon tsunami or a giant cyclone, I believe that he will acquire the ability as he grows up. However, the amount of water he is able to summon is still impressive at the last part of the movie when he beat Luke. I hope that that would probably be more series of the book coming up, describing the badge of Percy Jackson taking over. I would look forward to that.

    Reply

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