I have always been fascinated by ancient history and the knowledge we gain from ancient cultures. I enjoy reading the numerous Greek myths to understand the lessons they have taught humanity. After watching the film, and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, I learned that it was an adaptation of Rick Riordan’s novel by the same name. I had hoped that by reading the novel. Riordan would explore the dynamics of the characters and add to their character development.
Rick Riordan is a New York Time’s best-selling author and has written over twenty novels for young readers. Riordan had written other well-acclaimed novels such as The Kane Chronicles, The Magnus Chase series and The Trials of Apollo. For fifteen years, Riordan was a teacher teaching history and English to elementary students in Texas. Riordan states that the story of The Lightning Thief started out as a bedtime story for his eldest son.
The Lightning Thief Plot
Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, is the first book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. Percy Jackson seems like an ordinary kid except for the times that he gets in trouble at school. His mother tries sending him to boarding-school but even that isn’t enough. His mother finally caves and tells him of his birth and his lineage to the Greek god Poseidon.
She sends him to Camp Half-Blood, a safe-haven for demigods. While at the camp he befriends Grover Underwood, who is a satyr. Grover tells Percy of the prophecy, that one child of Zeus, Hades, or Poseidon would help stop a catastrophe on Mount Olympus. After befriending Thalia, the daughter of Zeus, they set out on an adventure across the United States in search of the gates leading to Mount Olympus.
The Lightning Thief Characters
Percy Jackson (Perseus) is the son of Poseidon and the protagonist of the novel. His name Perseus in Greek means good luck. His mother gave him the name in honor of the Greek hero, Perseus. He was the only hero who had a happy ending before dying heroically saving the lives of others. Percy recalls that as a baby he was attacked by a snake, but was able to strangle it with his bare hands, just like the demigod Hercules.
Annabeth Chase the daughter of Athena, the goddess of wisdom seen by Annabeth’s intellect and fascinate with architecture. After running away from home, she meets Luke, the son of Hermes, and Thalia, the daughter of Zeus, and together the trio arrive at Camp Half-Blood, which is a summer camp for demigods and the children of gods and goddesses. Annabeth is seen as being arrogant when she firs meets Percy, but later befriends him.
Thalia Grace is the Greek demigod daughter of Zeus and mortal, Beryl Grace, and the sister of Roman demigod Jason Grace. She is currently the lieutenant of the Hunters of Artemis. Thalia encounters Zeus under his Roman form of Jupiter at the age of seven. Beryl requested Zeus to visit their home often hoping that in time he would grant her eternal youth or visit Mount Olympus. Beryl later has another child with Zeus, a son named Jason, and as punishment Hero kidnaps him and takes him to Luna.
Luke Castellan is the son of Hermes god of messages and communication and the antagonist of the novel. After running away from home to escape his mother’s mental illness, he meets and befriends Thalia, the daughter of Zeus. Luke is later killed when defeating the titan Kranoa. With Annabeth’s dagger and stabbing himself ensured that Kranos was destroyed and couldn’t be brought back to life.
My Opinion of The Lightning Thief
I found this novel interesting because it put a new spin on Greek legends. The novel focuses on the demigods that are the children if major and minor gods. The novel is set up in the style of the sonnets told in ancient Greece. You have a hero that faces trials to prove their worth as a hero. To make the novel modern the gods and goddess are given modern clothing and modern forms of transportation.
From the first novel. my favorite character is Annabeth because she represents the spirit of Athena, but also how most girls wish to be portrayed in an action novel. It’s no surprise that Percy is my least favorite because he is slow on the uptake of what is going on around him. My favorite scene is when the trio go to the gardens and face Medusa. Medusa is the queen of the gorgons and can turn others into stone with her gaze.
I would give this a rating a six out of ten. I enjoyed the action scenes and the reveal of the monsters found in Greek legend and how they give a modern twist to the old gods. That the story is a play on the old hero stories of legend. However, they expect those reading the novels to already have a basic understanding of the ancient myths. The story is written for children and young teens. This is clear because everything is laid out in the open with no twists or hidden themes. Everything is made simple and easy to figure out before the novel is even halfway over.
Furthermore, its clear that the author was a fan of Greek mythology and wanted to breathe new life into these myths. Riordan wanted to get children excited about ancient cultures knowing that the day people stop caring about the past is the day history lost forever. The story does a good job blending the past with common themes found in the future.
Any teen reading the novels will feel a connection to one of the characters in the story Being the new kid trying to find your place in an unknown universe, the tough kid trying to prove yourself to your peers or parents, or the outsider trying to find the place where you fit in.
Now, shush, I’m trying to read,