Book Review: The Lightning ThiefMay 26, 2020
By: Brayden Yin
The Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan, tells the story of Percy Jackson, a young teenager living at a boarding school. He learns he is a demigod and he makes a few friends: Grover and Annabeth. The trio embarks on a ten day odyssey across the country because they think the culprit is Hades, Lord of the Dead, who lives in Los Angeles. Percy is falsely accused by the gods of stealing Zeus’s master bolt, and he is innocent. They question Hades, because they think he wants to expand his kingdom, only to find that his symbol of power, the helm of darkness, is missing. Hades suspects Percy as the thief of his helm, and sends his army at the trio. After a narrow escape from the Underworld, Percy learns that Ares stole the master bolt and the helm of darkness. Percy and his friends battle Ares and win. They saved the weapons of the gods , and stopped a potential war between deities.
The book has many twists and turns. For example, at first the main characters think that the real thief is Hades, but in reality, it is Ares. In Chapter 20, Riordan writes, “ YOU stole the helm and the master bolt!” A quick, tense conversation with Ares escalates into a duel to the death. The quick change of expectations gives an element of surprise, which makes the novel more entertaining to the reader.
Percy is a dynamic character because he first thinks he is a “regular” kid, but near the beginning of the novel, Annabeth tells him that he is a Half-Blood. Annabeth says, “‘Face it, you’re a demigod, half human, half…’” Percy pops a question about why he has strange abilities and why he can control water. Annabeth tells him that he is the son of a god. Soon, Percy’s personality changes and is now kind of proud of his power instead of afraid of it.
The author was very descriptive. Much of the dialogue sounds real, and has a sarcastic or skeptical tone. For example, Echidna is the Mother of Monsters, but Percy is skeptical, and asks, “‘Echidna?’” Isn’t that a type of anteater?’” This is good because the skeptical tone, and sarcasm in the dialogue make it seem realistic, even though this book is fantasy fiction.
The Lightning Thief is very well worth the read. I give this book a 10/10 rating. Rick Riordan creates dynamic, funny characters that leap off the page. There is conflict after conflict, problem after problem. Kill a Fury, then a Minotaur pops up. Kill that, surprise! Accused of thievery! This book will keep you staring at the page, ready to read the next book.