Hello, BOOKDRAGONS! Today, I’m going to review one the five books I was able to read during the BOOKTUBE-A-THON week. If you don’t know what that is – it’s a YouTube event organized by the BookTube society. It takes one week and it’s dedicated to reading. Participants are competing in all sort of challenges, all connected to books. This was my first BOOKTUBE-A-THON and an READ-A-THON as well, and I had the best time. There were video and Instagram challenges but most of all there were seven book challenges.
Today’s book The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan is the first book of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. It was published in 2005 and it’s a young adult novel (YA) following Percy Jackson – a demigod who is starting his mythical adventure.
Percy is a 12-year-old boy, who always knew he was different and when he finds out that he is actually a half-blood – part human, part god – his life changes irreversibly. He, the son of Poseidon, Annabeth, the daughter of Athena and Grover, a satyr, are going on a quest to prevent a war between Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades.
I enjoyed the book a lot. It consists of two main themes – one is the very fast moving quest and the other is the incorporation of the Greek mythology into the modern world. I have to say that I’m a sucker for both and that the author has successfully done both and in a way that was intriguing and funny. The concept is familiar one that I love and Greek mythology has always been something I was interested in. Ever since 4th grade, when I first encountered Greek Gods in my literature class, I have been dedicating a lot of time reading about them and watching movies in that theme. That is why I did watch the first movie based on these series. However, all I remember about it is that I liked it, which is why I had no problem reading the book.
One thing that I was not able to escape from while reading it, was the similarities in the plot and concepts with the Harry Potter series. Now, I confess that I’m 100% biased when it comes to Harry Potter since it is my favorite and I’ll let you decide if I am being wrong or right.
First, the story is about a 12-year-old boy, who was different than his peers and that made him an outsider. He has lost a parent and now lives with an abusive semi-parent. He finds out his mother and fathers were a part of another mythical world and this world is now calling for him. Are you with me so far? I admit that unlike Harry, Percy had his mother but very early on he loses her. That gives us a lot of moments where he is hurt and angry about his loss and misses her.
Second, the main character is accepted into this new school/camp where children like him can learn to use their abilities. He meets a young girl, who is obviously very bright and who eventually becomes his friend and goes on a quest with him. He also meets his school nemesis very early on, who is not the big bad evil in the story but is the bully, who he will have to fight. Before meeting those two, he meets his best friend-to-be, who is the one to explain this new world to him and joined him on his adventures.
Third are the tone of the book and the way it is told from the perspective of the main character, which allows us to learn about the mythical new world through him and have a front row seat to his inner strangles.
I didn’t mind those parallels at all. They obviously make a story interesting and capture the reader to continue the series. I will.
I give this book 6 out of 7 DRAGONS.
The reason is simply that I wasn’t able to relate the same way I did with Harry Potter. I think that is because I’m not so close to the age of the characters and I believe that if I was still a teenager reading these books, I would’ve connected better with them. I’ll recommend it to everyone with a little fascination with Greek mythology and a taste for heroes and quests.