Review: The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1) by Rick Riordan

The Lightning Thief
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

YA just became fun again.

Pros:
– Fun read
– Brings up serious issues in a way that makes them easier for children to talk about and understand
– Makes ancient history both exciting and relevant to modern day

Cons:
– Annoyingly similar characters to the Harry Potter series
– The dialogue isn’t too great, it comes across as wooden and forced, particularly in trying to sound too much like a young person

I’ve been avoiding this series for a long time for a couple of reasons: firstly, it’s widely criticised as a cheap Harry Potter knock-off in many devoted communities of Harry Potter lovers I’m part of, and secondly, I mistakenly had the impression that it was very sea-orientated due to its fan art and the handful of reviews I’d read about it (for whatever reason, I’m no big lover of anything nautical).
On both counts, I’d placed too much focus on the opinions of others and that meant I missed a trick here. What changed my mind is the film playing on mute in the background while I was at my parents house – a cyclops, some sort of youth camp, all sorts of weird and wonderful creatures – I knew I had to find out more about the series!

The big impression I was left with after reading this is something that has been a missing, but incredibly important, element in most recent YA fiction – fun.

Whatever you have to say about this book, you can’t deny that it’s brilliantly fun to read without sacrificing any of its poignancy in highlighting some topical issues. For instance, it manages to give some insight into the challenges of ADHD and dyslexia in children while weaving it into the storyline which is a refreshing way to approach the subject. It does this a few times with the right balance of delicacy and childish innocence to really help start conversations about serious things that might trouble the book’s target age group. To do that while at the same time delivering heavy doses of Greek mythology and ancient history all the while having a great character voice and effortless humour makes this book is an all-round winner.

View all my reviews

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