The Lightning Thief

The Lightning Thief

Since its release, Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series has been published in over 35 different countries and sold over 20 million copies. The series consists of five novels: The Lightning Thief (2005), The Sea of Monsters (2006), The Titan’s Curse (2007), The Battle of the Labyrinth (2008) and The Last Olympian (2009). It has since been followed by a sequel series titled The Heroes of Olympus which also ran for five books. For the purpose of this review, I’ll be looking at The Lightning Thief only.

Twelve year old Perseus “Percy” Jackson is a problem child. Suffering from ADHD and dyslexia, he has difficulty focusing in class and has been expelled from six schools in as many years for his poor behaviour. His teachers don’t understand him but Percy can’t blame them. How can he explain to them that he is reacting to monsters that they can’t even see? Although Percy has always been lead to believe that the creatures are hallucinations brought on by his condition, he has recently begun to doubt the truth in this. Both his Latin teacher and best friend Grover seem to know more about him than they are letting on but they will not tell him anything.

Following his most recent expulsion, Percy and his mother take a trip to a cabin by the sea but while they are there they are attacked by the Minotaur. Although Percy manages to escape with help from Grover, his mother is taken by the beast and disappears in a flash of light. Percy wakes up to find himself in Camp Half Blood – a summer program for the half-human children of Greek gods. As Percy has managed to enter the camp it means that he is also one of these demigods.

As Percy settles into life at the camp and tries to discover the identity of his father, he discovers that all is not well on Olympus. The master bolt, template for all of Zeus’s thunder, has been stolen and he blames Poseidon. Their argument shakes the heavens and threatens to spark a war between the gods. On discovering that the true thief may be Hades, Percy is sent on a quest to the Underworld to receive it. Travelling with Grover and Annabeth – a daughter of Athena – he braves attacks from monsters and vengeful gods. They know that they must find the master bolt before the summer solstice or Zeus will unleash his wrath on his brothers.


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