Monday, January 16, 2012

Review: The Lightning Thief

The Lightning Thief
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Percy Jackson is a kid who has ADHD, dyslexia, and has gone to six boarding schools in six years. He lives with his mother and his stepfather, since his real father left before he was born. He attends a school for "challenged" kids - a school which he's about to be expelled from... again. But then his math teacher turns out to be a monster - literally - and Percy is thrust into a world he never knew existed - the world of Greek mythology.

I enjoyed this book, more than I was expecting to. There were quite a few laugh-out-loud funny parts. Percy, the narrator, has a really great voice. The author was really great at turning sad/dramatic/gory moments into comically funny ones with one little surprising twist, which steered it away from melodrama.

Of course, being about Greek mythology, it had the Greek gods in it. So, of course, I found some of it to be iffy. For example, when Percy is told that there are Greek gods, he asks, "You mean God exists?" and the centaur, Chiron, says "Well now....God - capital G, God. That's a different matter altogether. We shan't deal with the metaphysical." Which, of course, is wrong. God isn't an abstract matter, but is real - more real than any of us. Also, expressed in the book was the idea that "works" could get you to Heaven... or, in this case, Elysium. People were "tried" in the courts of judgement to see if they had done enough good deeds to go to Heaven. This obviously goes completely against Christian faith.

But, for all of those faults (which I wasn't surprised to find, knowing the subject matter) It was quite a funny book. If you've ever been interested in Greek mythology, I would recommend it for the amusing twists it puts on it. Overall, not as good as Harry Potter, and I don't know if I'll read the next one, or even all of them, but it was a much better book than I was expecting.

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