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The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

The Lightning Thief (original 2006; edition 2006)

by Rick Riordan (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
13,014790175 (4.11)1 / 556
Title:The Lightning Thief
Authors:Rick Riordan (Author)
Info:Miramax (2006), Edition: 1, Paperback, 392 pages
Collections:Read but unowned, Read in 2012
Tags:fiction, YA, american literature, fantasy

Work details

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (2006)

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English (780)  Spanish (3)  German (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  French (1)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (788)
Showing 1-5 of 780 (next | show all)
Read this because of my inextricable attraction to Greek mythology. Much better than I expected and passed the time waiting for appointments with my GP!


Nothing like watching your relatives fight, I always say.

I have an inexplicable obsession with Greek mythology. My parents gave me a picture book with a number of retellings of the myths (without the naughty bits, of course) when I was a kid which definitely started the whole thing, but I can't explain the persistence of this, and not, for example, my love affair with Dragonball Z. However, here we are.

This modern day tale, loosely based on various aspects of Greek mythology, casts a dyslexic kid with ADHD in the role of Perseus, and sends him off on his merry adventuring way. Percy is a reasonably likeable kid, though I would absolutely have hated him had I been his contemporary at school. If there's one flaw, it's that his voice is very young in these books, and, I would say, inconsistent with his age in many parts of the book. It's made clear that Percy grows up a lot over the course of the novel, and that he has a lot to deal with at home, which he seems to have a reasonably deep understanding of even at the start of the novel – his understanding of the dynamics of his mum's relationship for example. As such, I found it somewhat baffling that he so often sounds so utterly juvenile. Fair enough at the start of the book, where Riordan's trying to showcase “wild-child” personality, but I felt like by the end of the book the character had outgrown the box that the author was trying to squash him into with the dialogue he was giving him.

I liked all the little twists on the Greek stories that occur throughout the book. Some of them are obviously a bit shoehorned in, but I found it still worked quite well. Also, I'm a sucker for stories that involve boarding school/camp type things. I don't know if it's my inner only child that somehow thinks it would be great to be around peers all the time (and also recoils from any such suggestion!) but there's something fascinating about scenarios where children and young adults break away from their families at such a young age.

This is a really good book for children who are less likely to read, I think, and it definitely feels like a boy book, which is outside my usual reading. For all it's flaws – it is rather simplistic and clunky – I think I'll be reading the next one. Also, I think it's a pretty good introduction to Greek mythology – and indeed the concept of mythology – for the very young. I give The Lightning Thief six and a half out of ten. ( )
  humblewomble | Oct 19, 2014 |

First of all, I LOVE PERCY JACKSON! How can you not love Percy Jackson? Percy is one of those characters that you love at first glance. He's cute, funny, strong, brave, loyal, and a little dorky sometimes. And he always puts family and friends first.

Annabeth is also a very awesome character. He is very brave, very strong, and very smart (after all, her mom is Athena).

I also really love Grover the satyr. He is so sweet. Percy, Annabeth, and Grover make an awesome trio.

I liked Luke, [spoiler] until I found out he was a traitor.

I think it's funny that all the Greek gods are modernized, like how Ares looks like a biker, and Poseidon wears a Hawaiian shirt, shorts, and flip flops .

Another character I like is Percy's mom, Sally.

And what I am about to ask is a pretty big spoiler, but is it save to assume that Percy's mom turned his step dad into stone using Medusa's head?

And we can't forget Clarisse. To me, Clarisse is one of those characters that you love to hate. She's a daughter Ares so that explains why she's so quick to pick a fight, and is angry for most of the series.

And Poseidon is a pretty awesome character compared to the other Greek gods.

I love the part when Clarisse was trying to give Percy a swirly and He made all the water shoot out of the toilets and showers and soaked all the Ares kids; and when Percy found out that Grover was a satyr; and another part I love is when Percy comes to Camp Half-Blood for the first time. ( )
  barbiekait | Oct 16, 2014 |
  mshampson | Oct 15, 2014 |
We travel with Percy through his difficult life and journey as a demigod. A demigod is a child with a human and a god for parents making them half god. These children have amazing powers but they are also in great danger. Percy finds out he is the song of Poseidon, god of the seas. Olympus is in trouble of being destroyed and with the help of his friends Grover and Annabeth Percy with go on a journey to save the world. This is the first book of a very interesting series. ( )
  amccann | Oct 7, 2014 |
I was really pleasantly surprised by the novel (I'd unfortunately already seen the movie and therefore wasn't expecting much).

The plot was fast paced and very easy to read, building to an intriguing mystery as the story progressed. Although the story had a satisfying conclusion, it also left a lot open which really made me want to pick up the next book to find out what will happen next. The tone of the book was wonderfully light-hearted, with Percy's tongue-in-cheek commentary adding plenty of humor to the story.

While I can see the deep similarities with Harry Potter, I did not find them to be especially offensive. It seemed to me that Riordan had taken far more inspiration from Greek mythology and I simply adored the way that he had incorporated and adapted this to fit his tale. Olympus now rests at the top of the Empire State Building, Procrustes owns a store selling water beds and the lotus-eaters have left their island and moved to Las Vegas to run a casino that people never want to leave. By far my favourite image was that of the Fates as old ladies sitting in the side of the road knitting socks. They're only see once in the story but it's just such a vivid image that it's unforgettable.

By far the strongest part of the story was its primary cast. Percy is a very strong and relatable lead and I loved the attitude that he took towards the gods (they'd never done anything for him so why should he be respectful to them?). I also really liked the fact, even though Percy was the most powerful protagonist, there was no way that he could succeed alone. Annabeth and Grover also both had unique abilities that they brought to the group that were necessary for the completion of the quest.

All in all it's a fantastic opening to the series and I can't wait to read the sequel. ( )
  ArkhamReviews | Oct 4, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 780 (next | show all)
"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 editionsconfirmed
Bernstein, JesseNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rekiaro, IlkkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
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To Haley,
who heard the story first
First words
Look, I didn’t want to be a half-blood.
"Remarkable, really, the lengths to which humans will go to fit things into their version of reality." Chiron p. 155
Last words
(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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Wikipedia in English (4)

Book description
Percy Jackson is the son of Poseidon, the Sea God. Percy never knew this until he goes to Camp Half-Blood. The Gods want to kill Percy because he is the son of one of the main gods whom had made a promise not to have any more children. Zeus' master lightning bolt had also been stolen and Percy named the prime suspect. Percy, Grover, and Annabeth go on a quest to find Zeus lightning bolt. In the midst of a series of adventures they get tricked by Ares the God of War. Eventually, they discover that Ares took the lightning bolt and tricked Percy into carrying it. Percy must deliver the bolt or war will ensue.
Haiku summary

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.



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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:36:14 -0400)

(see all 8 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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 17 descriptions

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[The Lightning Thief] (with spoilers) in Hogwarts Express

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Five editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

Three editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141319135, 0141329998, 0141330007

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