Book Review: Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

When you look at other series out there that die-hard fans would say comes anywhere near to Harry Potter, the Percy Jackson series will feature on a lot of people’s lists. It’s got the young cast, the great friendships and the magical elements. But how good actually is Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief.

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief book review
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Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief is the first of technically seven books in the series, however, there are spin-offs too. It features our main character Percy Jackson, accompanied by mythical friends, all of whom are children of greek gods (literally, not just ridiculously good-looking people.)

Plot – 3.5/5

Comparisons are made to Harry Potter because it features the general story of a boy who doesn’t feel like he fits in in the regular world and soon finds out that’s because he’s not a regular boy. He’s swooped off to a “school” where he’s taught to be the hero he was destined to become. However, when it is revealed that Zeus’ master lightning bolt has been stolen and Percy is the prime suspect, he begins to run into a lot of danger from some very dangerous famous villains.

The plot of this novel didn’t blow me away as it could have. It was very easy to read (because obviously it’s written for a younger audience) but sometimes I felt like this hampered the quality of the story too as the action scenes didn’t quite feel dramatic enough for me. However, it was really interesting to see these famous greek legends and myths incorporated into our everyday lives and read about how a teenager would deal with these. I love history and I think everybody who’s a bit of a nerd (me) finds greek mythology really cool.

Characters – 4/5 

The characters in this first novel each have their own distinctive personality. Percy isn’t as bland as many young heroes are – he’s used to being a bit of a rebel at school, he’s not used to always doing the “right” thing and this comes across often and makes for a far more interesting protagonist than pretty much any other book of its type.

The accompanying characters are all quite well fleshed out too. I think Rick Riordan went into this novel knowing how he wanted each of the characters to act and react and has managed to pull this off resulting in each of them having their own ways of dealing with things.

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief summary – 4/5

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief is a solid first book in the series. It didn’t quite grab me by the collar like many first books have, however, I can see the potential here and I have a soft spot for Greek mythology ad everything that encompasses. Rick Riordan writes in a really approachable and open way, making it easy to stay on top of the plot and he’s also creating some genuinely likeable characters here and a slight love interest that, despite their age and the book’s demographic, is actually quite interesting to read.

I’d recommend Percy Jackson to anybody who is into greek mythology, those into fantasy would like it also and if you’re looking for something. to fill your Harry Potter void – this may well be the start of a series that can do that for you.

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