"The Lightning Thief", the first in the Percy Jackson series, is definitely meant for young readers. I saw the film first which I thoroughly enjoyed a...more"The Lightning Thief", the first in the Percy Jackson series, is definitely meant for young readers. I saw the film first which I thoroughly enjoyed and wanted to know the differences between the film and the novel. If you go in expecting similarities to the film, like I shamefully was, there will be significant differences.
Annabeth is blonde, not the sassy young warrior in the film; the children in the book are 12, not the engaging late teens they are. In the book there are lots of twists and turns that the three travellers experience in their journey to see Hades, but in the film there is one main protagonist (and even he's different in the book!).
But despite these, I thoroughly enjoyed the book as well! Percy is enjoyable to read, even in his perspective being as young as it is. Grover is funny and neurotic, and you certainly learn a lot about Annabeth and why the "Big Three" are not allowed to have relations with humans.
Some things I didn't like? Hades in the book. He's staid and boring whereas in the film, Steve Coogan plays the most hilarious, dysfunctional other half of the second Underworld power couple. Percy does, however, accurately refer to him as "uncle" in the books, which is nice to see the large amount of Greek Gods and their underlings in various 'real life' situations and scenarios.
4/5 - for the in-depth plot, mostly enjoyable characters, and the urge to read the rest of the series!(less)
"I Am Number Four" is a very different take on the 'invading' alien sub-genre of the sci-fi world - but at the same time it echoes the teen angst that...more"I Am Number Four" is a very different take on the 'invading' alien sub-genre of the sci-fi world - but at the same time it echoes the teen angst that you find in the Twilight section. Only this time, it isn't pretty, hard-as-diamonds vampires that the girl falls for, it's the alien from another planet that lived its life in harmony with nature.
The book is fairly well-written; it's told in first-person narrative, from John's perspective, and you get a very good sense of his relationship with Henri, his adopted father and Cepan (guardian) from his home planet that escaped with him. You tend to fall for his want to stay away from the limelight, knowing John needs to survive and stay smart -- and if he doesn't, he's dead.
You enjoy the supporting characters: Sam Goode, his alien, conspiracy-theory raving-obsessed friend and fellow outcast at school, Mike Jones the beefy athlete who eventually comes into his own that you cheer on along the way, and even the typical 'girl next door' Sarah Hart.
The drag? God, what a boring battle scene. Between rushing in the school, out of the school, into the woods, out of the woods, back to the school, around the school, out of the school - while worrying about dear girlfriend Sarah and non-alien Mike, John does a lot of running around for a place that is supposedly surrounded by Mogardorian advance guard and weird animals/beasts they brought with them from the invasion of John's home planet, Lorien.
The climax could use some work; they kill off one of my favourite characters and the ending is bitter because you know it's going to be a franchise series spawned from knowing he's number four and there are still six of these aliens left on earth to find and track down and then team up for this awesome, amazing epic battle.
Yet... I think I could totally wait for these other books. While the book was a quick, fairly easy read and held my attention - I didn't read it all in a single night like I did with Scott Westerfeld's "Leviathan," or Suzeanne Collin's "Hunger Games". Maybe some more writing practice for the co-writers under the Pittacus Lore pseudonym would be beneficial. And maybe then you'll see me actually care about Number Four.(less)
I saw the film "City of Ember" before I had the chance to read the book, but I found that the film did a pretty good job representing the novel. I enj...moreI saw the film "City of Ember" before I had the chance to read the book, but I found that the film did a pretty good job representing the novel. I enjoyed the pace, the characters (who were less annoying than their movie counterparts) and the story. I look forward to reading the new few books in the series!(less)