The Lightning Thief

I had orginally checked out, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel (Percy Jackson & the Olympians) by Rick Riordan at my son’s request.  As often happens at my house, I end up reading these books as I read most things that cross our doorstep. This one I did enjoy.

In this fantastic world, mythical gods still exist and still sire children.  To keep these children safe, they are sent to a weird sort of camp. Percy, the main character, discovers he is the son of a god when his mother drops him at the camp right before her death. Then, a series of threats to the world force him to embark on an epic adventure.

Certain parts of this books were glib the way children’s books sometimes are, for example, the death of his mother causes no tears, only a sort of befuddlement.  The book plays into our cultures current fasination with fatherhood, much as that is a evolving role.  In this case, the father is awesome and great, but distant and perhaps indifferent.  Many young people can relate with this as well as his parents’ separation.

The book moves rapidly and stays true to its imaginative space. There is a variety of creatures yet the author is able to incorporate them into the modern world either with disguises or explained away by tabloids.

It’s interesting how well this is played out here, especially after just seeing Wrath of the Titans. The story line was exactly the same: a son of a god on quest to save the world.  Mars was even the enemy in both.  Yet while the special effects of Wrath of the Titans were spectacular- the story was hard to follow.  I was indifferent to the characters.  Percy Jackson and his friends are solidly human, full of the awkward bravado and insecurities of a young teen.  They make mistakes, and they build relationships between each other, and those friendships are very real.


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