Review: Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief

A few months ago, a friend of mine was talking about reading Percy Jackson. I thought immediately about Peter Jackson and figured she had mispronounced Peter’s first name, because believe it or not, it happens. Then it occurred to me, as far as I knew, Peter Jackson hadn’t written any YA novels, which is what my friend reads.

It wasn’t until weeks later when she brought it up again, when the buzz of the new movie came out, that I realized she wasn’t talking about the Lord Of the Rings Peter Jackson, she was indeed talking about Perseus Jackson…

With my feet deep in RUNAWAY CHOICES, UNSEEN and the third book of THE MANORDIAN PROPHECIES, I wasn’t sure when I would have the time to read this novel, but knew I should. Specially when it was about to hit the big screen. I can’t see a movie before reading the book… that is hypocrisy!

I will not include spoilers in this review… so no worries there. However, I will not sugar coat my review either. Reviews are meant to help the potential readers understand if this is their type of book… So on with the review.

From the get go, Mr. Rick Riordan’s writing caught me by the scruff of the neck, dragging me through the thoughts and dialog of Percy Jackson. Excellent, excellent writing… the man has some great skilz! I felt like I was right along with Percy, seeing the things he saw immediately when they happened. Excellent point of view… one I will reference in the future.

The story started out running and boy did it take us for a run! If you are familiar with mythology, this book will be right up your ally. He has done his research and knows each of the gods talents and what they are known for. Great work in that aspect.

However, (and there is the but) I thought that the story was a bit derivative… Young boy waltzing into danger when he knows full well he should be running for his life and doubting everything he comes across. Riordan does a good job with painting the pictures, but I found myself more then once rolling my eyes when he, “went into the woods… alone… in the dark… with no weapons…” kinda thing. It was like, okay, how many times are they NOT going to use their God given brains to realize they should NOT be doing… that! It was unbelievable. Not just figuratively but literally unbelievable.

Now in saying that, I realize they have to get into trouble in order to make a good novel, but having them waltz in unchecked was a little much.

So, once I got past the fact they were idiots (the kids) the book was enjoyable. Like I said, I really love Riordan’s writing style and when the kids weren’t dancing their way into trouble with brainless choices, it was an engaging book. However, I was pulled out quite a number of times because of the choices these kids were making.

Yes, I understand they were twelve, but my eight year old wouldn’t make some of the choices Percy and his friends make.

While I did have some negative things to say about this book, again I say I loved the way he wrote it! And I will read his sequels and the 39 Clues series that he has also written. Because his writing was really intriguing.

I can’t give it five stars because of the children’s brainless choices… I would love to say even I would give it four stars because his writing redeemed those qualities… but I would be lying if I didn’t say I was let down by the character development here. So it gets 3.5 stars… hoping in book two I can give it the five stars his writing deserves.