the lightning theif cover

THE LIGHTNING THIEF by Rick Riordan

Reviewed by McKenna

The Lightning Thiefis a modern fantasy that is based on ancient Greek mythology. By combining history with modern culture, Riordan balances learning and entertainment. New York City makes a surprisingly perfect backdrop for Mount Olympus. The height of the Empire State Building provides a wonderful place for Zeus’ heavenly kingdom. Camp Half-Blood is the home to not only Percy, the book’s hero, but also the half mortal children of the Greek gods and goddesses and other immortals. Percy, the son of Poseidon, is a heroic and likeable character in this book. Grover, a half goat, is Percy’s best friend, and Annabeth, the beautiful daughter of Athena, uses her fighting skills to support Percy in his quest. We learn at the beginning of the book that Zeus’ lightning bolt has been stolen, and Zeus threatens war if it is not retrieved by the Summer Solstice. Percy has been wrongfully accused of stealing the bolt, so he sets out on a quest to find it. In his journey, he faces many challenges that threaten his survival and keep you rooting for him throughout the book.

Percy Jackson, the narrator of The Lightning Thief, tells the story in an exciting and entertaining way. The descriptions of his battles with the monsters are full of action and detail. In the beginning, we meet the main characters and discover the plot. The rest of the book is devoted to Percy’s adventures and his growth into a hero. We also grow interested in Grover and Annabeth’s characters as they help Percy escape from deadly situations. The book moves quickly with constant action, unexpected plot twists, and each chapter ending in a cliffhanger. Riordan describes each scene with a lot of detail, which keeps the reader’s imagination engaged. In order to keep the plot moving, Riordan uses simple, clear, and straightforward narration as well as a lot of dialogue.

In The Lightning Thief, Riordan explores the question, what does it mean to be a hero? The author also develops the theme of growing up because the reader grows with Percy as he becomes a man and a hero. Finally, Riordan uses the theme of fate to explore Percy’s future.
This book is geared toward young adults but is suitable for all ages. The characters’ youth makes the themes more appropriate for young readers, but the action and suspense will make it a good read for anyone. I recommend this book to both boys and girls because it contains action, romance, and adventure.  This book will especially appeal to readers who are interested in Greek mythology. This book is the first of a series, which is great for readers who have a hard time starting new books. The books following The Lightning Thief are The Sea of Monsters, The Titan’s Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, and The Last Olympian. Fans of this author may also enjoy his other book, 39 Clues, and The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart.

 

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