Book Reviews: Percy Jackson & the Olympians, Books 1 & 2 – Rick Riordan

Title: The Lightning Thief & The Sea of Monsters
Author: Rick Riordan
ISBN: 9780786838653 & 9781423103349
Pages: 400 & 304
Release Date: June 14, 2005 & March 21, 2006
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Genre: Fantasy, Teen/YA
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary:

Percy Jackson is just an ordinary sixth grader – or so he thinks.  True, he seems to get himself involved in mischief far too often, but things just happen that he can’t control.  As a result, he’s gotten himself kicked out of countless schools.  But when even stranger stuff than usual starts happening, culminating in a swordfight with one of his teachers, Percy learns that he isn’t as normal as he was led to believe.

Review:

I’ve heard great things about the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, and now that all five books are out, I knew I wanted to give it a chance.  I had the perfect opportunity on a plane ride, as I figured these books would be great traveling fare.  I was right – the first two books in the Percy Jackson series are light, fun, and very entertaining.

As a child, I was fascinated by Greek mythology, so I loved that this book incorporated many of those themes.  It’s a wonderful way for children to learn about these myths in a fun way.  As an adult, it really took me back.  Riordan did a great job making the themes that run through the mythology current, and his way of incorporating the gods into the stories is both intriguing and amusing.

Percy himself is the reluctant hero.  He often times feels abandoned by his father.  He’s your typical pre-teen with conflicted emotions, yet he has the best qualities of heroes.  He is strong, intuitive, and loyal to his friends.  He’s a great main character for these books and I look forward to reading more about him in the last three novels of the series.

While these books aren’t perfect (for example, a lot of what happens seems a little too convenient), they’re definitely a lot of fun.  They’re great easy reads and are definitely good for when you want something light and enjoyable.

Comments

  1. I think these books are great for kids and fun for adults as well. Glad you liked them.

  2. I think these books are great for kids and fun for adults as well. Glad you liked them.

  3. I’ve never been tempted to read this just until recently. They are certainly popular with the kids at school, although my daughter couldn’t get through the first one (she used the words boring and dumb, which is about all her vocabulary consists of these days). I would imagine after the success of the first movie, we will see some sequels, so perhaps I need to have a week or two of Percy Jackson reading one of these months.

  4. I’ve never been tempted to read this just until recently. They are certainly popular with the kids at school, although my daughter couldn’t get through the first one (she used the words boring and dumb, which is about all her vocabulary consists of these days). I would imagine after the success of the first movie, we will see some sequels, so perhaps I need to have a week or two of Percy Jackson reading one of these months.

  5. My students just finished reading The Lightning Thief for their English class. They really enjoyed the book. I know this because I teach history and they kept hiding the book in their laps sneaking a read – I thought they were texting 🙂

  6. My students just finished reading The Lightning Thief for their English class. They really enjoyed the book. I know this because I teach history and they kept hiding the book in their laps sneaking a read – I thought they were texting 🙂

  7. I’ve been curious about these, but wondered if they’d be too young for me. I’ll keep them in mind for travel reading.

  8. I’ve been curious about these, but wondered if they’d be too young for me. I’ll keep them in mind for travel reading.

  9. I have the same hesitance that Candace does. I haven’t tried this series, though I do have the first in the Peter series- Peter & the Starcatchers. I think that might be up my alley because Dave Barry is so hilarious 🙂

  10. I have the same hesitance that Candace does. I haven’t tried this series, though I do have the first in the Peter series- Peter & the Starcatchers. I think that might be up my alley because Dave Barry is so hilarious 🙂

  11. I’m glad you enjoyed them. I completely agree that certain events are too convenient, but as long as you suspend disbelief and sort of roll with the story, I think the series is entertaining and fun.

  12. I’m glad you enjoyed them. I completely agree that certain events are too convenient, but as long as you suspend disbelief and sort of roll with the story, I think the series is entertaining and fun.

  13. I so enjoyed this series. I picked up the first book with the idea of reading just a few chapters to get the idea, but I ended up getting hooked.

  14. I so enjoyed this series. I picked up the first book with the idea of reading just a few chapters to get the idea, but I ended up getting hooked.

  15. These books seem to appeal to all ages. Vance listened to the audio version of the first one and he said pretty much the same thing you did.

  16. These books seem to appeal to all ages. Vance listened to the audio version of the first one and he said pretty much the same thing you did.

  17. I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed these! I’m definitely intrigued by the subject matter, but I was curious if they held up for adult readers. I’m glad to know the entire series is out, and I think they’ll make great summer reads!

  18. I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed these! I’m definitely intrigued by the subject matter, but I was curious if they held up for adult readers. I’m glad to know the entire series is out, and I think they’ll make great summer reads!

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