Book – Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief
Author – Rick Riordan
Year – 2005
Genre – Fantasy
Recommended by one of our Year 6’s, Elise.
From the structure of the title, to the label saying ‘Now A Major Film’ to the blurb describing how a twelve year old boy suddenly discovers that he has magical powers, this book screams out Harry Potter rip off. The aforementioned Major Film was even directed by Harry Potter director Chris Columbus. I have no particular problem with a rip off of a book that I like, except for the fact that they are very rarely anywhere near as good as the books they try to emulate. However, I had been told it was good, and Asda were selling it pretty cheap, so as an impulse buy I grabbed it. And in complete honesty, I don’t know how quickly I would have started it, but due to the previous night’s excesses, I felt too ill yesterday to get out of my chair and find a different book, so I grabbed the one closest to where I was sitting and tried to read my hangover away.
And I am very glad that I did. On paper this could be a bad Potter emulation, but in actual fact it is a rather clever premise of its own. Percy Jackson has spent his life with strange things happening to him, but it is not untill he is twelve years old that he discovers that this is due to him being the son of a Greek god. As imortals, they never died, but continued to live in society, and on Mount Olympus, which has been relocated to New York.
The weaving together of Greek tales and the modern world is brilliant. All of the ancient characters are given a slightly modern spin, and everything is made quite believable. The interaction between the characters is lovely, and far better than many young adult fantasy books I have read. Despite being nearly 400 pages, I managed to absorb this in a day as whenever I put the book down, I wanted to pick it up again and read it some more.
The biggest annoying point of the whole book is the chapter titles. Each chapter starts with a title which pretty much tells you what is going to happen in each section. As soon as I noticed this, it began to annoy me to the extent where I would cover it up as soon as I had turned the page. A small point maybe, but one that annoyed me enough to put here.
Just to completely dispel the link between Harry Potter and Percy Jackson as well, the orginal draft of this book was finished in 1994, so whilst similarities will always be abound, it has always been a story in its own right.
You can find website for the author, Rick Riordan, here.