Stevecrandell's Reviews > The Lightning Thief

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
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Apr 08, 11

bookshelves: adventure, fantasy, grades-5-9
Read in April, 2011

Great adventure: the best way I know to learn more about the Greek Gods. Percy Jackson is 12 years old, a half-human Half-God hero, fated to save Western Civilization.

There’s a few parallels with Harry Potter: Grover and Annabeth fill out Percy’s teen power trio, for example. Chiron the Centaur is Percy’s summer camp sage, a toned-down Dumbledore. At a more regrettable level, Percy spends a few chapters in the same kind of “everybody thinks Percy/Harry is a punk criminal when he’s really doing the best he can to be good.” Then there’s Smelly Gabe, the disgusting human with Dursley-like authority over Percy and his mom.

Riordan thankfully minimizes these devices. In doing so, he minimizes the frustrating whirlwind “That Boy’s My Hero – No, That Boy’s a Loser Let’s Everybody Get Pouty” that the Potter series is prone to. Instead, this book does well to emphasize the fun of the chase and the natural storytelling wonder of mythology.
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