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Review of THE LIGHTNING THIEF by Rick Riordan

by Becky Laney

Riordan, Rick. 2005. THE LIGHTNING THIEF. New York: Hyperion. ISBN 0786856297

THE LIGHTNING THIEF is a surprising funny and charming YA novel. The basic premise of the book is that the gods and goddesses of Greek (and Roman) mythology are true. The gods and goddesses are alive and flourishing. They are still doing battle. They are still wreaking havoc on the world. They don’t reign on Mt. Olympus anymore in Greece. No, they now reside in the United States. The gods and goddesses are still coupling with humans and having offspring. These “half-bloods” have some extraordinary power. Percy Jackson is our hero. He doesn’t know it at the beginning of the novel, but by the end he not only knows but he is officially recognized as one of Poseidon’s sons. Old stories, myths, and “mythical” creatures come to life in this hilarious novel. With chapter titles like “I Accidentally Vaporize My Pre-Algebra Teacher” “A God Buys Us Cheeseburgers” and “We Take a Zebra to Vegas.” Percy and his friends embark on one crazy (and dangerous adventure) after another. The narrative style is fabulously funny and clever. This book actually inspired me to pick up my old copy of Edith Hamilton's MYTHOLOGY.


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