Friday, 1 January 2010
CBR2 Book 17: "The Lightning Thief" by Rick Riordan
Page count: 400 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Date begun: December 26th, 2009
Date finished: December 27th, 2009
Percy Jackson has been expelled from a number of schools. He is known as a troublemaker, dyslexic, diagnosed with ADHD, and hates his slob of a stepfather, but adores his mother. His father left his mother before he was born. On a school trip to the Met, his maths teacher suddenly turns into a clawed, winged monster and tries to attack him. He manages to vaporize her, and as they are going back to school, it appears that they have had a different pre-algebra teacher all year. Was it all a hallucination?
Percy and his mother go to Montauk when he returns for the summer, that was where his mother and father met. During a sudden, mysterious storm, his best friend from school shows up saying Percy is in danger, and his Mum pushes them into the car to get them to a safe place. When their car is attacked by a giant bullheaded man, who Percy correctly identifies as the Minotaur, Percy realizes that there is a good reason why he always felt different. He is.
When Percy arrives at a special summer camp, it turns out the wheelchairbound history teacher from his most recent school is a kentaur, the camp is run by Dionysus, and all the kids there have one mortal and one divine parent. Percy's father is Poseidon, one of the major Greek gods, and Percy is in great danger, as Zeus thinks Poseidon sent him to steal his lightning bolt. If the bolt is not returned before the summer solstice (in about two weeks' time), Zeus will declare war. Percy has to go on a quest to find the bolt, to prove his innocence and prevent the war.
The Lightning Thief is the first in the series Percy Jackson and the Olympians, which looks like it's one of the many fantasy/adventure series that Hollywood hopes will succeed Harry Potter as a lucrative adaptation project. The first book has already been turned into a film, and there are five books in the series (so far). It's a perfectly entertaining adventure book geared at teenagers, with clever twists on Greek mythology. I am looking forward to checking out the other books in the series.