Percy Jackson has been kicked out of numerous schools in the last few years. Trouble always seems to find him but when school ends, it's no ordinary summer camp he's in for. Percy is sent to Camp Half-Blood, a place for children of a mortal parent and a Greek god.
Thrust into a world of half-mortals with no clue which god is his father, Percy is accused of stealing Zeus' lightning bolt. To prove his innocence and save himself from the wrath of the gods, Percy sets out on a quest with his friends, Annabeth and Grover, that leads him on a path to more discoveries than he could imagine.
'The Lightning Thief' was the first book to grip me throughout that I read this year. It is full of all the things you hope for in a novel but don't often find: great characters, adventure, plot twists, conflict, mysteries and humour.
I would never say no to some good interpretation of Greek mythology. I liked the way that so many aspects of the myths were reinvented and incorporated into modern-day New York. The thing about Medusa being Poseidon's "girlfriend" was obviously toned down for the children but over-all it was a very clever, intricate weaving of stories.
'The Lightning Thief' is not just a mishmash of old myths. Percy Jackson carries the story, along with his two companions and I was always caught by new twists. I couldn't guess where the plot was going and I liked that. Even when I managed to figure out one of the reveals at the end, Riordan surprised me with something that I never saw coming. That is some quality story-telling.
Percy is a wonderful protagonist. He sticks up for his friends and loves his mother, even if it means he has to put up with his horrible stepfather, Gabe. He's always getting into trouble but he hasn't got a bad attitude. He stands up to bullies and he doesn't take being pushed around. He's got a great personality and he won't abandon his friends and loved ones.
Annabeth is the brains behind the trio but she is feisty, too. She has been at Camp Half-Blood longer than most and she's got a mystery to her past, that Percy just can't seem to get out of her. She and Percy often conflict but they make a great team when it comes down to it.
Grover is that wonderful comical character with a great heart. He is there with Percy from the start and he has that loveable awkwardness about him. I liked the way his views of the world of the gods differed from Annabeth's and Percy's (his parentage is unlike theirs) but they still had the same goals. He gave a different insight into the story and I loved reading about him.
When I was done with 'The Lightning Thief' I hunted the bookshelves for the sequel, 'The Sea of Monsters' and devoured it. I look forward to reading the last three installments in the series and plenty more of Riordan's books.
I would recommend 'The Lightning Thief' to anyone looking for a great adventure with some wonderful mythology and characters you will want to read more of. The books is aimed at children or middle-grade readers but the way I see it, a good book is a good book is a good book...and this is one of those.