A few weeks ago Tobril mentioned he was reading one of the Percy Jackson books. I’d heard of them, mainly from when the first film came out, but never actually read any of the books. With his recommendation I decided to pick up the first of the set for my Kindle and give it a go. I’m going to try not to spoil the story for anybody who hasn’t read it but just in case – skip to the end for a general review 🙂
Still here? OK – I’ll still try not to spoil things.
Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief is the first book in the Olympian set and is written by Rick Riordan. It is a story about a young boy who finds out his father is one of the Greek gods – who are not, contrary to all modern thoughts & opinions, legends but are alive and kicking in Mount Olympus (which just happens to be situated at the top of the Empire State Building in New York).
What I did find was some immediate comparisons to Harry Potter. Maybe it’s because the book is aimed at the same age range but there were quite a few things:-
- Hero is young boy
- Intelligent “uppity” female sidekick
- Goofy “can’t do anything right” male sidekick
- Weird things happen as main character is growing up
- Special school once his ‘destiny’ is revealed
- The school has groupings for the pupils
I guess it’s hard to read any book of this nature without comparing it to Harry Potter. The series had such a huge impact on reading for both young & adult audiences that it’s kind of inevitable. But I was a bit surprised about how much seemed to match directly between the two series. That said, the story is completely different. It’s content is based on ancient Greek myths, with plenty being introduced in this first, reasonably short book.
To sum up, if you like Harry Potter there’s a fairly good chance you will like this book. If you like Greek myths & legends you’ll probably like this book. It is a young adult book, so don’t expect anything complex or intricate. But it is a fun easy read. The story line moves along at a good pace, the characters have just the right amount of detail and I can see that growing as the series continues, keeping the readers interest. I do intend to get the next book & hope I’m right about the characters developing further 😀
Have fun, see you around!