5 Reasons You Should Read “The Lightning Thief”

a non-spoiler review

Percy Jackson and the Olympians has been my favorite book series for as long as I can remember. I’ve read the first book so many times that I can’t even keep count. This year, I’m starting a series I’d like to call the “Riordan Re-Read Reviews”, where I read and review every book in the Riordan-verse, and there’s no better place to start, than the book that started it all.

#1. The television show is coming out soon.

While there is no set release date, the filming for the Percy Jackson television series wraps up any day now. If you’re at all interested in watching the television show, you may want to read the book first! Unlike the (rather poor, in my opinion) movie adaptation, Percy Jackson author Rick Riordan penned the script for the television series, I have high hopes for the quality and accuracy of the series. You can even read the book after watching the series, if you don’t want to be spoiled! Season one should follow book one, so their isn’t much you’ll have to catch up on!

#2. A modern take on mythology.

For lovers of Greek mythology, this book series is for you, especially if you’re a fan of either urban fantasy or magical realism. In the Percy Jackson series, the Greek gods are real, and they live in the United States. Monsters hide from mortals in plain sight, and Poseidon wears Hawaiian shirts. Most Greek myths are only seen in the context of ancient Greece, but this series brings us to the modern day in early 2000’s New York.

#3. Great for kids and older readers alike.

I read this book for the first time when I was around elementary school aged, and re-read it again at almost 25 years old. It had aged incredibly well, while also being entertainment both times I read it. As a child, it ignited my interest in both Greek mythology and reading. For adults reading it for the first time, it can awaken a sense of childhood wonder and joy that can be fun to rediscover. For adults who loved it as a child, the strong nostalgia makes you want to read it again and again.

#4. Filled with humor.

The Percy Jackson series is filled with humor. Percy himself is dry and sassy, Annabeth is sarcastic, and Grover, to pick a made-up word, adorkable. But it’s not just the characters that are funny, the prose itself carries humor throughout the entire book. For example, the first chapter is titled, “I Accidentally Vaporize My Pre-Algebra Teacher”. How fun is that? That same energy carries through the entire series, and keeps the book lighthearted, even in it’s more serious and emotional moments.

#5. It’s the beginning of a great journey.

The Lightning Thief is book one of five (six now with the announcement of The Chalice of the Gods) in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, which is expanded upon in many other series. The following book series follow other Greek demigods, and then expand into the Egyptian, Norse, and Roman pantheons. There are also multiple spin-offs, guides, and cross-overs. This creates a rich world of interweaving characters and stories that all start with Percy Jackson in The Lightning Thief.

To Keep In Mind

The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, and specifically The Lightning Thief came out in 2006, so much of the humor and references should be read with that context in mind. It was also written with a middle-grade audience in mind, so keep an open mind and use your suspension of disbelief, it is a fantasy after all!

Happy reading!

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