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The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
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The Lightning Thief (2006)

by Rick Riordan

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
19,0681033119 (4.09)1 / 641
  1. 231
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  7. 10
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    elbakerone: Both books deal with young boys coming to terms with a supernatural inheritance from their fathers and entwine action/adventure with friendship and family.
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  10. 10
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  11. 10
    Nobody's Princess by Esther Friesner (legxleg)
    legxleg: Although it is set in Ancient Greece, not modern times, Nobody's Princess and its sequel Nobody's Prize take a similarly fun and irreverent view of Greek mythology.
  12. 21
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  13. 21
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  14. 00
    The Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer (BookshelfMonstrosity)
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    Runa: Both series feature middle school aged kids who have superpowers, working together to solve mysteries and take down larger-than-life bad guys.
  16. 00
    The Blood Guard by Carter Roy (foggidawn)
  17. 00
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  18. 00
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  19. 00
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  20. 00
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(see all 32 recommendations)

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English (1,024)  Spanish (3)  German (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  French (1)  All languages (1,033)
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I've had my eye on you for awhile Percy Jackson, whenever a series of books, especially in young adult, becomes a phenomenon I make a note to try and read it at some point.

And there is a lot about the Percy Jackson series to like: the adventure, the jokes, the wish-fulfillment aspect of having a secret mom or dad who was actually one of the Greek gods making you a half-blood and eligible for training at, wait for it, Camp Half-Blood. Hogwarts it ain't, but I'll get to that later.

The premise here is that the Greek gods go whereever the heart of Western Civilization is, from Greece to Rome to France to Britain, a German state at some pre-Kaiser Wilhelm period and finally to the United States. The gods are still the gods, but the way they operate has been modernized to good effect. With the gods, of course, come the monsters of legend.

Riordan gets around the hurdle of all the fun mythological monsters being already dead by having them respawn at uneven increments. Vanquish the Minotaur and he might be gone for a lifetime or two weeks, for example.

My main problem with these books was not necessarily the sanitation of Greek mythology, some of the gory bits are left in, but we're supposed to think that these half-bloods were born because the gods and goddesses loved those mortals very, very much? I'm pretty sure I could count on one hand the number of god-human couplings that weren't forced, terrible things that left the mortal cursed or dead or a tree. Occasionally, like Ganymede, you could look forward to serving your rapist and kidnapper his food for eternity.

But I'm forgetting that these books are for the children. Which leads me to my next point, Riordan doesn't trust kids to remember anything. There is a need in a series to sum up certain relevent points in each book, but I'm pretty sure a kid is going to remember that Chiron is a centaur or that Percy Jackson is, I don't know, the son of Poseidon. There are only slim reasons to compare these to Harry Potter: pre-adolescent children discover they have powers, go to place to learn about them. There's a prophecy. That's it. But, as I was leading into with the Percy Jackson, who by the way has a father who is the ancient sea god, bit is that Riordan writes a lot of guff about a prophecy and doesn't deliver, he uses almost no foreshadowing at all, bits from one book to another are dropped or added. At one point a camper is killed on a mission and Percy feels sad about it, and I suppose the reader is to but why? Before ten pages before the character bit it there were no conversations with him, he was barely a name in their dining hall.

I must, however, acknowledge that Riordan understands that kids only need to talk in terms of "awesome" or "cool" and don't need to expand their vocabulary at all. Also that math and reading are hard. I'm sure as a teacher Riordan realizes kids will just pick up appreciation for those things elsewhere. Right. Really it just comes off as patronizing. He tops it off with the notion that ambrosia and nectar, the food of the gods that tastes like your favorite flavors, always tastes like cookies or fresh baked brownies to Percy. That just sounds refreshing, mmmm liquid cookie/brownies. All the time.

There's a suspician I have, and I had this even before I noticed it was a Disney publisher who put these books out, that Riordan uses a ghost writer simply because of how phoned in a lot of the 'meat' of the books are. He also has a lot of series running concurrently now that the original Percy Jackson is finished, R.L. Stine has some competition it seems like.

But, here I am rattling on and on about how simplistic and patronizing a series of books written for 11 and 12 years olds is. I know I would have liked these books, not as much as Redwall maybe (speaking of formulaic children's writing), but that's because I genuinely feel that Riordan didn't give Camp Half-Blood enough weight to become a place in a reader's head, which is the main thing if you want wish-fulfillment.

At times he really fulfilled the promise of a modernized greek mythology, Procruste's as a mattress salesman, Medusa shilling lawn ornaments, once when he hinted at the darker aspects of Dionysus' powers...also a rare appreciation of the much-forgotten Hestia. The books have a raving fan-base, the movie did pretty well, there just wasn't any spark to these books that made my reading Percy & pals tromping from one adventure to another anything but passing time. ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
It is the first book in 4 great series. lots of humor. ( )
  EpicE24 | Feb 16, 2019 |
Percy is a normal kid until he starts reading and and he realizes hes Posiden son and a Manatuar captures his mom he trains at a camp and Hades and all the other gods thinks he has the lightning rod a powerfull weapon and goes to tell hades he didnt do it but to do that he must go find 3 stones to open the portal one he fights a hydra one Medusa and the last one was a riddle master and tells Hades that he didnt steal it and the real lightningthief i sthe messengers son he delivers messengers between the gods he fought the lightning theif and gives the lightning weapon to Zeus.
  HunterT.B4 | Jan 16, 2019 |
Percy Jackson has a field trip with his class and then this girl named Nancy Bobofit throws something into Percy's friend's hair and Percy gets mad but he cannot do anything to her because he will be expelled from yet another school. Percy is chased down by a minotaur and his mom and the minotaur were later killed. Percy is at a camp for half bloods because he is a half blood and he is the son of Poseidon. Then Percy's once zeus has had the master bolt taken away from him and blames it on Poseidon so then Percy is sent to go get the master bolt to fix the problem. Later Percy finds out that the master bolt is in the underworld so Percy is leaving to got to the underworld which is in los Angeles. Percy is finally in the underworld and the master bolt isn't their nor the helm of darkness and hades blames it on Poseidon and says that Poseidon is power thirsty and while they are talking the master bolt randomly appears in Percy's backpack. Percy Jackson then encounters ares the god of war and when he encounter's him he is about to make war between he big three Hades, Poseidon, and Zeus. Percy is in a battle with ares and wounds him and Percy finds the helm of darkness.On the last day of camp Percy is lured into the woods by his friend Luke and Luke tells him that he stole the master bolt and the helm of darkness because he was told to by Kronos.

I really liked the book because it gives lot of details on the missions Percy has to do. Percy Jackson seems like he is tough and just wants to get the job done. Percy Jackson did not know that he was the son of Poseidon and when he figured it out he was amazed and so were the people around him. Groover perches friend is really nice and protective of Percy and loves him like he is his own brother. Percy is not afraid of anything if he could talk to the lord of the underworld. Chiron Percy's latin teacher which is acutely a god is very wise and helps Percy when he is in trouble. Percy Jackson is not no ordinary 12 year old Percy Jackson is special because he is the son of Poseidon one of the big three and that is really special. this book got the rating it did because it just tells you how hard working and determined Percy Jackson is. ( )
  ia.G3 | Jan 16, 2019 |
This book was what made me a voracious reader. It was recommended to me by a friend at the Scholastic book fair of 2010 (who rightfully told me to read the books before watching the movie). I devoured the books and read them twice (possibly more but it was so long ago). A friend of mine and I were discussing them because I was reading the Harry Potter series for the first time and we decided to start a IRL book club. And so for the first time in 8 years, I re-read The Lightning Thief.

I was so nostalgic reading this. I felt 11 again, in love with Percy and giggling at the little comments. However, I wouldn't be honest unless I said that there were some things that I hadn't noticed the first few times around that really stood out now. A lot of the situations were silly to the point of unbelievability, and sometimes even stupidly unrealistic.



I know, I know, this is blasphemy! But, come on, that ending with Medusa's head is...unsettling in its implications. Basically, Percy's mother jokes about committing and covering up cold-blooded murder. And its played as a gag.



That's...very wrong.




I found the narrative voice to be very juvenile, but not actually that of a 12-year-old. He felt pretty solidly 14 or 15 based on his own actions and the actions of his peers and authority figures towards him. It felt like an old guy trying to sound like a 12-year-old.

However! I still loved it. It will always hold the biggest spot in my heart and I'll always think of it fondly. It's middle grade (very obviously so) and so I will excuse some of the more...disconcerting aspects.

Note: Since it's fresh in my brain, I can say with some authority that Percy Jackson is not a rip-off of Harry Potter unless J.K. Rowling holds the copyright on black hair, green eyes, urban fantasy, chosen ones, and boy-girl friend trios, which she does not. ( )
  Faith_Murri | Jan 5, 2019 |
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"The Lightning Thief" is perfectly paced, with electrifying moments chasing each other like heartbeats, and mysteries opening out in sequence. The action never feels gratuitous; it draws its depth from the myths at its source.
 
Riordan's fast-paced adventure is fresh, dangerous, and funny.
added by khuggard | editBooklist, Chris Sherman
 

» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rick Riordanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bernstein, JesseNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rekiaro, IlkkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
To Haley,
who heard the story first
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Look, I didn’t want to be a half-blood.
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"Remarkable, really, the lengths to which humans will go to fit things into their version of reality." Chiron p. 155
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This LT work is the first volume (of five) in Rick Riordan's series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Please do not combine it with any other individual title or collection of titles from the series. Thank you.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0786838655, Paperback)

Book Description

In this stunning collectors' edition of The Lightning Thief, Percy Jackson's world is brought to life with eight full-color plates by the series jacket artist John Rocco. The edition comes in an elegant slipcase with a ribbon bookmark, rough edges, and cloth cover--a perfect keepsake for fans of this truly epic series.

After getting expelled from yet another school for yet another clash with mythological monsters only he can see, twelve-year-old Percy Jackson is taken to Camp Half-Blood, where he finally learns the truth about his unique abilities: He is a demigod, half human, half immortal. Even more stunning: His father is the Greek god Poseidon, ruler of the sea, making Percy one of the most powerful demigods alive. There's little time to process this news. All too soon, a cryptic prophecy from the Oracle sends Percy on his first quest, a mission to the Underworld to prevent a war among the gods of Olympus.

This first installment of Rick Riordan's best-selling series is a non-stop thrill-ride and a classic of mythic proportions.



A Note for Amazon Customers from Illustrator John Rocco

Dear Readers,

When I was about eight years old I had the great luck of stumbling upon my father’s collection of Classics Illustrated comic books. I instantly fell in love with the stories of Robert Louis Stevenson, Mark Twain, H.G. Wells, and James Fenimore Cooper. Many years later, when I became interested in illustration, I discovered the beautiful hardbound editions of these stories featuring the arresting artwork of incredible artists like N.C. Wyeth, Howard Pyle, and Maxfield Parrish. What I love about their paintings is not just the beautiful draftsmanship, color and composition, but their ability to capture a moment that held the promise of swashbuckling adventure. That promise let me know that if I read the words surrounding that picture, I could unlock the adventure.

That promise is what I tried to achieve when creating the pictures for this incredible series. My approach has never been just to describe a scene from the book, but to create an illustration that offers tension and mystery--an image that provides just enough information to leave the viewer wanting to know more.

When I was asked to create images for the Deluxe Edition of Rick Riordan’s The Lightning Thief it was a dream come true. It was my chance to illustrate what I consider to be a new classic. The Lightning Thief has so many wonderful moments it was difficult to choose what to paint, but I knew I wanted to create a balance of dramatic scenes and quiet moments and to capture the spirit of Rick’s unforgettable characters. It has been my own great adventure to help bring this book to life in a new way, in color, on the page.

I hope you enjoy this Deluxe Edition of The Lightning Thief.

Yours,

John



Illustrations from Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief Deluxe Edition
(Click to Enlarge)

Percy and a Nereid Percy and Annabelle on their way to Las Vegas Percy at the Entrance to Mount Olympus

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:16 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

After learning that he is the son of a mortal woman and Poseidon, god of the sea, twelve-year-old Percy is sent to a summer camp for demigods like himself, and joins his new friends on a quest to prevent a war between the gods.

» see all 20 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141319135, 0141329998, 0141330007

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