My nephew is obsessed with the “Percy Jackson & the Olympians” series. He has read them all, and has sparked my son’s interest in reading these books. I like to know what my kids are reading, so when The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan came in at the library, I grabbed it to read it first. (Mean, I know, but Nathaniel had schoolwork to do!)
Personally, I found it a little difficult to get into the book. There were so many unexplained events, so many questions that I thought took a long time to get answered. Nathaniel, my 11-year-old, had no such problem. In fact, he left the room that had the TV on (a rare event in our house) so he could read The Lightening Thief uninterrupted.
The Percy Jackson & the Olympians books are similar to Anthony Horowitz’s Alex Rider books in that they are action-packed. However, unlike Alex Rider, Percy Jackson is fantasy, in case you didn’t figure that out from the title of the series. The series is based on the idea that the Greek gods were real, are still alive and working today, and still running around messing around with humans and having children who are demigods, or half-bloods, or heroes (used interchangeably in the book).
Percy has to figure out how to live in the “real” world while fighting monsters from the mythical world. He has some good friends, mentors and a magical pen, which turns into a sword he can use to fight the monsters. In The Lightning Thief, Percy is required to go on a quest, fighting all sorts of monsters, gods, and traps along the way.
Nathaniel told me this morning, “That book is really scary.” And it is, so I would not recommend it for grade-school children – especially those who are afraid that monsters live in their closets or under their bed.
But for boys old enough to handle the action, The Lightning Thief will capture, and hold, their attention and imagination. Nathaniel can’t wait to read the rest of the series… especially since he’s already done with the Alex Rider books.