The Lightning Thief
by Rick Riordan
Percy Jackson is a troubled kid. He never knew his father, and his mother is married to a world-class slimeball named Gabe Ugliano, a.k.a. Smelly Gabe. He has dyslexia, a rebellious streak, and a habit of getting kicked out of one private school per year on average. But he doesnt know the meaning of trouble until one of his teachers turns into a bat-winged, taloned monster who wants to kill him.
One thing leads to another, and Percy finds himself at Camp Half-Blood. The kind of Half-Bloods at this camp have a human being for one parent and a god for the other. A Greek god, that is. Like Athena, Dionysus, Ares, Hermes, you name it. Some of them only spend the summer at the camp, others live there year round. Why? Because theyre safe there from the monsters who always want to challenge semi-divine heroes (also known as demigods), and who can easily kill them. Unlike gods as such, demigods arent immortal though they do have some powers, if they learn to use them on time. Hence, Camp Half-Blood.
Percy has very little time to settle in to his new home, his new identity as a half-blood hero, and his knowledge of who his father is and the kind of destiny in store for him. For someone has stolen Zeuss thunderbolt and the prime suspect is Percy. He has no choice now but to go on a quest to retrieve the thunderbolt from the one who really took it, and bring it back to Zeus by the summer solstice...about a weeks time. Accompanied by two friends a daughter of Athena named Annabeth and a young satyr named Grover Percy travels across the country, encountering many perils monsters, traps, hostile gods while a disturbing prophecy dogs his steps, while freakish dreams ruin his sleep, and while his ulterior motive of saving his mother from the underworld threatens the existence of the western world.
Who knew that in the 21st century, Mount Olympus would be located in New York City? Who knew that the entrance to the Underworld would be in West Hollywood? Who knew that a story containing a motorcycle-riding god, a wheelchair-bound centaur, a giant waterbed salesman, and a goat boy in winged sneakers could be so thrilling, so scary, and so funny? This hip update to ancient Greek myths has a great deal of educational value for example, who after reading this could ever mix up Chiron and Charon again? But thats by the way. What really hooks you is how much fun this book is to read.
The Lightning Thief comes closer than any book I have found to capturing the same combination of originality and literary recycling, of excitement and horror and comedy and rip-roaring fun, that have made the Harry Potter series such a worldwide phenomenon. Best of all, this is only the beginning of a new series! This book is styled Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book One. Book Two, The Sea of Monsters, has already been written. Ill be looking for it.
Recommended Age: 12+
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