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The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

The Lightning Thief (original 2006; edition 2005)

by Rick Riordan

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12,933781177 (4.11)1 / 549
Title:The Lightning Thief
Authors:Rick Riordan
Info:Puffin (2005), Edition: UK edition-first printing, Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (2006)

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English (771)  Spanish (3)  German (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  French (1)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (779)
Showing 1-5 of 771 (next | show all)
Once I read this book, I couldn't stop. The entire series are remarkable. I learned a lot about Greek mythology from this book/series. ( )
  TeresaCruz | Sep 8, 2014 |
One of the most difficult things about this book is reading it while trying not to compare it with the Harry Potter series. And boy, that was a tough one. There is just too much in this book that reminds you of Harry Potter. Mostly the characters and the way they act, but several elements of the story were pretty much a copy/paste from the HP series.
Trying hard not to compare Rick Riordan's book with Mrs. Rowling's books, I'll say that the Percy Jackson series does have its potential. The background story is pretty good, the Greek mythology roots are pretty neat. The characters... could have been better, but they do have their charm. I actually found them too naive, even for 12-year-old kids. At certain points of the story, what was about to occur was so obvious I couldn't stop myself from rolling my eyes. The ending was an attempt to sound surprising, but like the rest of the story, it was actually very predictable. But the whole story was fun and charming, so I'll forgive these aspects and just face The Lightning Thief as "an interesting book for young people". And, well, I have to admit it brought me back a bit of the Harry Potter nostalgia, which is good. ( )
  aryadeschain | Aug 26, 2014 |
For more reviews, Cover Snark and more, visit A Reader of Fictions.

It’s kind of funny how time can change things, and in really strange ways. I read The Lightning Thief back in 2008 when I was first really getting into YA. At the time, I thought it was okay, but I wasn’t particularly charmed by the characters and got bored of it by book two. Now, though, I’m appreciating it a lot more, so I really think I tried the series at the wrong time. What I was in the mood for then, I suspect, was YA and romance. I picked up The Lightning Thief on a recommendation and there are all these 12-year-olds and it was so not what I was hoping for. On the reread, though, I was prepared for a middle grade and my expectations were way lower, so Percy Jackson soared way above them.

The best thing about liking Percy Jackson, aside from Debby not flying across the Atlantic to kill me in my sleep, is that I always felt a bit weird about the fact that Percy Jackson was one of the characters I named my cat for. Why would I name a cat for a character for whom I had no emotional attachment? But now I can honestly say I enjoy the series. Plus, I think Percy Jackson’s character is a fairly good fit for my Percy, though the cat version really hates people. No telling where he got that from.

Right, the book. I should probably stop reviewing my cat.I’m curious why younger me wasn’t more impressed with the world building. Maybe I was and I just forgot over time? Either way, now I feel the need to praise it to the skies. Riordan clearly has a lot of knowledge of how awesome Greek mythology is and plays homage to it in amazing ways while fitting it into the modern world. Tying the pantheon to the center of Western Civilization is absurdly clever. Plus, I’m all about Greek mythology. The Lightning Thief is pretty heavy on the world building and dropping knowledge, but Riordan does that primarily in hilarious and entertaining ways.

The pace of The Lightning Thief is really fast. All told, I probably read it in a few hours. Percy’s pretty much always got a goal to accomplish, even when it’s not an official quest. In every chapter, he’s up against something, even if it’s just his creepy uncle. Riordan clearly has a sense of how to keep his target audience engaged, or any audience really. He also assembles a cast of characters that’s vaguely Harry Potter-esque: Percy, who’s always been an unwanted screw-up (except by his mom who loves him dearly), Annabeth (who’s a total know-it-all genius), and Grover (who’s a disappointment to his kind and a bit of a comic relief character). There are a couple of other similarities, particularly at the start, but thankfully there’s so much unique in the world building that they didn’t overwhelm me at all. Plus, Percy doesn’t brood nearly so much, though that could come with age.

The humor does often skew slightly young, but a lot of it still amused me. It’s silly humor, but not scatological like some middle grade books (this is my line). The characters do read a bit young, but they’re intelligent and, from everything I’ve seen on the internet, are going to grow up fast. I’m looking forward to seeing them not be twelve anymore. Come on, age where I can not feel creepy about shipping things!

Percy Jackson hasn’t quite gotten me in the emotions yet, but I can see some possibility here. I love the foreshadowing of tragedy in the coming books and the fact that I KNOW Riordan is actually going to go to those places, based on the wails of many fans. The Lightning Thief is fun, but it’s also the first book. There’s lots of room for Percy to grow in age and knowledge. The Lightning Thief has occasional middle grade moments where a twist is really obvious to me and not so much to the characters. Plus, sometimes Percy didn’t know basic things about the gods, but then he’d know what a caduceus is, which was a bit uneven and distracting. ( )
  A_Reader_of_Fictions | Aug 24, 2014 |
I'd seen the preview for this movie on TV, and decided I'd try to read the book before I saw it. I'm glad I did. The book was very cute, Harry Potter-ish without copying it. I'm looking forward to seeing the movie, and I'll probably read the other books in the series as well. ( )
  sammii507 | Aug 19, 2014 |
A story for middle school kids so adventurous that it can be compared to Harry Potter. That's right, I said Harry Potter. I couldn't help but be reminded of that amazing series while reading this book. There were three kids on a quest to save the world, two guys and a girl. The girl was highly logical, the main character a hero and his male friend. Sound familiar? Now, don't get me wrong, in no way am I implying that this book lacks an original storyline. I mean it is based off of Greek mythology, but it isn't what I would classify as a retelling. Oh yes, you heard me right, it incorporates Greek mythology, I LOVE GREEK MYTHOLOGY!

Rick Riordan is really excellent at world building, he has incorporated Greek mythology into the modern day world, which I didn't think was possible. He also doesn't assume that you know all of the Greek myths and fills you in whenever he mentions one. He keeps the pace fast and the story light. I can tell that this is another series I will love.

I just wish that I read it when I was a little younger. WHY AM I JUST HEARING ABOUT THIS BOOK NOW? Seriously though, it's like 9 years old, where have I been?

My only fear continuing on is that the following books will not be as good. That is typically the rule with a series, the only exception is, of course, Harry Potter. ( )
  manka23 | Aug 18, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 771 (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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Original publication date
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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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References to this work on external resources.

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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Average: (4.11)
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1 21
1.5 6
2 130
2.5 37
3 640
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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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