Monday, February 1, 2010

The Lightning Thief

I finally read The Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan. Wow! What a wild ride! Mr. Riordan manages to honestly portray the historic mythos of the Greeks without the white-wash we saw in the movie Disney's Hercules. He doesn't shy away from the less savory aspects (unfaithful spouses, drunken gods, petty jealousy), but he doesn't dwell on them for too long. The focus is on Percy Jackson and his quest to solve the mystery surrounding a lightning bolt missing from Zeus's armory. The fact that he is developing lasting friendships for the first time in his life adds unexpected depth to the story. This is not your typical buddy caper, my friends!

Percy Jackson has been an outsider his whole life. Kicked out of school every year since kindergarten, he has had few opportunities to form friendships with the kids who first consider him the "new guy" then move on to considering him the "weird guy." His latest school is shaping up to be the same, with a twist. He has made a friend in Grover, a nervous boy who seems to understand Percy. Grover's support wavers, however when Percy claims that their pre-Algebra teacher turned into a monster and attacked him. Grover, the other students, and all the other teachers deny the very existence of the woman.

A boy diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia, his life has been full of disappointment and disillusionment. Grover's apparent step back hurts Percy deeply, and when Grover accompanies him on the bus ride home after school is over, Percy takes an opportunity to ditch him, even though Grover specifically told him to wait for him. Another monster comes after Percy when he goes to the shore with him mother for a vacation. Grover manages to find them, and revelations are made which change Percy's worldview forever.

I'm not going to say any more than that. Except this. I can't wait to read The Sea of Monsters!!!

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