The Lightning Thief (Rick Riordan)

The Lightning Thief is the first book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan.

Percy Jackson’s life is far from perfect. He’s dyslexic, suffers from ADHD and his mom is married to an asshole. And then Percy finds out that his father is the god Poseidon, his best friend Grover is a satyr and his teacher is a centaur. But that’s only the start of his adventures since Zeus’ lightning bolt was stolen – and everyone thinks it was Percy who did it.

The Lightning Thief is not perfectly written but it’s a fun, quick read that keeps you engaged. And Rick Riordan manages to capture the characters of the Greek gods pretty well. Which makes things extra cool.

I promised yesterday that I would talk a little more about the differences between the book and the film.

In the book, the world is much more refined and makes more sense. The way the camp is built, for example, is absolutely awesome.
And there are a few characters that didn’t make it into the movie, most notably Mr D., who would definitely have deserved a role.
Another thing that was better in the book was the preparation for the sequels. The movie seemed hell-bent of making a completely finished story of it, as if they never expected to have a sequel made.
That nobody knew at the beginning who Percy’s dad was explained some things.

On the other hand, what was better in the film, was first of all the structure of the quest – that they didn’t just randomly stumble upon the monsters was a great help for me to suspend my disbelief.
That Percy was 15, not 12. The writing just didn’t fit a 12-year-old, but it did fine for a 15-year-old.

What was equally awkward in both film and book was the “hardwired to Ancient Greek” thing. (Seriously? I mean, SERIOUSLY?)
And the whole “not noticing that you’d need four ways to get back, when there are four people and not three” thing. *le sigh*

Anyway, so much for the comparison. The book in its own right is fun and engaging (as long as you ignore that Percy is supposed to be 12 and acts really stupid). There are some nice jokes and it’s so fluidly written that you’re done faster than you’d think.

It’s also great how the characters of the Greek gods are captured. Their pettiness and their fights… it’s just like I remember it from reading the stories about them as a child.

So, if you’re interested in Greek mythology and looking for a quick, entertaining read, these books might just be the thing for you.

7 thoughts on “The Lightning Thief (Rick Riordan)

  1. Pingback: Re-Watch: Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010) | Stuff

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