Sunday, February 2, 2014

Book Review: The Lightning Thief

Title: The Lightning Thief, book #1 in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series

Genre: Children/Young Adult Fiction. Modern day mythology. Action

Plot: Percy Jackson isn't a regular sixth grader. He's gone to multiple schools and has been expelled from multiple them. On top of that, he's dyslexic and has ADHD. He's at a boarding school for troublesome children, away from the only one who cares about him, his mother. Things get worse. At a field trip, one of his teacher turns into a monster before his eyes and tries to kill him. It's just getting started.

After getting kicked out of the boarding school, he soon learns that he is more unusual than he thought. Going on a vacation with his mother, he is unexpectedly found by his best friend, Grover who leads him to Camp Half Blood... but not before his mother is kidnapped. At the camp, he learns that he is a demigod, half human, half god. After being with people like him (other demigods), he starts to like his new life. But then he finds out the he is the son of Poisden, the sea god. His uncle, Zeus, the god of the sky, believes that he stole the most powerful item in Olympus, the lightning bolt.  To stop a war, Percy, his friend and fellow demigod, Annabeth, and Grover, a satyr, must consult the god of the underworld, Hades, in order to find the lost lightening bolt.

 What I liked: This book was really exciting. Once I got to the exciting parts, I couldn't put it down. Every chapter had me on the edge of my seat. More than that, there was a humorous aspect. It wasn't all action. Percy's voice was sarcastic and hilarious. I was laughing some of the time too. These characters were brave and likable.  Percy was dyslexic because he was meant to read Ancient Greek. Grover hid behind his crutches to make sure no one found out who he really was. From first glance, someone might look weak and dumb, but outward appearances can't define who you are. The friends sacrificed themselves for each other. Percy and his mother are very close, showing a great mother-son relationship. It portrays deception the way it is: not obvious, but deceiving. This is a great, exciting read.

What could've been better: Okay, these gods aren't perfect. Not that they should be, but they're wrong doings aren't seen as terrible, even when they hurt other people. These gods have many children from affairs with mortals. None of these affairs are put in any detail (expect for Percy and Annabeth), but you know from the many children they have. The gods in Olympus can pretty much do anything like want and don't get criticized. Even if they do, it doesn't affect them much.

In the end, an act of revenge is seen as a good thing when it wasn't right. The director of Camp Half Blood, hates his job and doesn't care for the kids.

I know nothing of real spirituality can come out of this, but reading this book did remind me of the awesomeness of the true God. I mean, man might try to create his own world and make his own gods, just like the Greeks did, but he can never, repeat never, create a god like ours. These gods sinned and hurt their children. A few of them were bloodthirsty and unforgiving. We can be grateful that our God isn't like that. He is holy and perfect. He loves his children. More than that, unlike like gods, God has everything under control. Nothing ever slips past him and nothing ever will. By His own grace, we can have a personal relationship with Him. That was a good thing to think about after reading this book.

Percy is one of those characters who actually deserves to be a main character. He's brave, but still has a lot to learn. He has his faults, but learns to make the best of them. I really liked this book as a fictional story. 4.5 Stars

WARNING: If you have heard of the movie and want to watch it, read the book first. I watch the second movie after I read the first book. I liked it until I watched the first movie and disliked it. It had the same goal in mind: save the mom, get the lightning bolt, but other than that, it didn't work. So please read the book, so you can have an open mind.

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