The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson Book 1)

I am reposting this 2011 review because the Kindle Edition is on sale for $0.99.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians Paperback Boxed Set (Books 1-3)

Takeaway: Fun young adult fantasy novel. Some serious themes but written in a way that is appropriate for 11 and up.

I have been reading a lot of fairly heavy theology recently.  The heavier the theology books I am reading, the more likely I need light fiction to off-set my brain.  I share a kindle account with some younger people.  And they picked up and read the Percy Jackson series last spring.  I have not seen the movie (although I probably will now) and really did not know anything about the books going into them.

I am a fan.  These are quick reads for an adult, I do not think I have spend more than 2 or 3 hours on any of them.  (I am in the middle of the fourth right now; all in a week).  I also think they are appropriate for kids age 9 and up (depending on reading level.)

The basic story line is that Percy Jackson is a bad student.  He is always getting in trouble, has ADHD and dyslexia.  He loves his Mom, but he knows he is making her life difficult because he is always getting in trouble at school.  Eventually we find out that one of the reasons Percy has a problem is that he is actually the half son of one of the Greek gods (a half-blood).

The story does a very good job of bringing in a lot of Greek Mythology and explaining it for people that are not familiar (I would assume most young readers do not have much background in Greek Mythology).  Percy makes his way to Camp Half-Blood, where all the other kids like him go to summer camp and learn how to defend themselves against the monsters that are always trying to attack them.  He meets some friends and is sent on a quest to prevent a war among the Gods.

I have seen some complains that these books are too formulaic: monsters, summer camp, quests, journeys, more monsters.  But I think that is part of the young adult genre.  There is some variant between the books, and unlike some other YA books, I am still reading after four books.

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