Monday 14 November 2011

REVIEW: Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan (4*)

(Puffin, 2008)

Life is about to get very interesting for Percy Jackson.  Slightly unusual things have been happening to him his whole life, but when he accidentally vaporises his maths teacher during a school trip, it becomes apparent that something much bigger is afoot.  Within a matter of days he has arrived at Camp Half-Blood, met a god, discovered that his best friend is a satyr and his father is Poseidon, and been accused of stealing Zeus's master lightning bolt.  Can he find the bolt and return it to Olympus before the gods turn on each other and ignite a cataclysmic world war?

It's really a very clever premise, and one that would have completely swept me away as a younger teenager.  I'd have been in the library poring over books on the Ancient Greek gods before you could say Apollo.  Now, in my mid-twenties, it was a really fun way to brush up on some of the myths and legends I used to know - and I'm probably more likely to remember who's who on Olympus after reading Percy Jackson than if I'd read a textbook instead!

The story roars along at a cracking pace, with lots of exciting action and adventure and some hilarious little touches - like Cerberus, the three-headed canine guardian of Hell, playing catch with a red rubber ball, which made me smile.  Riordan mixes the modern world with the mythology of the Greek gods beautifully, bringing them right up to date while maintaining their dignity and all-powerful other-worldliness.  I loved it - and needless to say, I'll be reading on with this series very soon!

Source: I think I bought this book from Amazon UK?