Thursday, March 18, 2010

Children of Gods

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Written by: Rick Riordan

Released: July 28, 2005 by Miramax Books

Summary: Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse. Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. Percy’s mom decides its time that he knew the truth about where he came from. She sends Percy to Camp Half-Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends; one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena, Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

I have to say that I was a little sceptical about this book but I figured that, if they made a movie about it which had a relatively interesting movie trailer, then the book might be alright. So, I was pleased when it was just that and a little more.

Sure, the book may be a little too young for me, but I thought that the story was fresh; after all, who wouldn’t want to be the love child of a Mount Olympian god or goddess? And I liked how it was a Herculean adventure story since it seems as though there are so few of those written in recent years – at least to my knowledge. Percy was an entertaining protagonist who was able to perform his tasks at hand rather well for someone who seemingly has lost a lot. Of course, this detail is debated at the end since apparently he hasn’t lost all that much… or so you begin to think.

Something that I really liked about the book was how well it was able to incorporate ancient Greek mythology figures into modern day America. I also enjoyed how they explained the similar Roman gods and goddesses and how Mount Olympus was able to move as ideologies changed and populations migrated. It was a nice spin on ancient history. The idea for the summer camp was also quite ingenious as a way to tie everything together as a starting point.

Admittedly, I am curious to see the movie, especially since I now want to see how the two hold up to each other. I also want to read the other books in the series, though I think I’m going to see about getting them from the library instead of buying them. I’ve heard good things, though, from some kids who have been customers at the store where I work (they were buying one of the books in the series and I asked them what they thought about the other ones that they had read).
I give this book a 6/10 though I do believe that in the future I will pass it on to younger family members and share it with them; they would probably enjoy

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