Shannon's Reviews > The Lightning Thief

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
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's review
May 28, 2011

really liked it
Read from October 25, 2011 to March 30, 2012

There have been a lot of books and/or book series out there that have tried to be “the next Harry Potter,” but I think The Lightning Thief is the first book I’ve encountered since Harry Potter that even comes close to that statement. Most books that make such claims will inevitably fall short. And sure, we’ve had some series, such as Twilight and The Hunger Games, that have had relatively comparable success, but none of them captured the spirit of Harry, instead building their success on their own unique, very different concepts. But I have high hopes for Percy Jackson after reading this first book.

It may not seem apparent at first, but the stories of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson are quite similar. Their main concepts involve the juxtaposition of the modern world with a magical (or, in this case, a mythical) one. The main character is a seemingly ordinary boy who possesses magical powers, lives in a less-than-ideal family situation for his own protection, discovers his true origins, gets sent to a place where he meets other supernatural beings just like himself, including two companions who accompany him on a quest. Except instead of wizards, the story is about gods.

I know comparing Percy Jackson to Harry Potter is a bold move, and it is not one that I use lightly. But after reading Lightning Thief, I truly believe that Percy Jackson has that kind of appeal. And while the Percy Jackson series has had its share of success, I feel that maybe the series is still underrated because it hasn’t yet reached its full potential, but it could if readers, filmmakers, etc. would give the books the treatment they deserve. Whether my enthusiasm holds out through the other books remains to be seen, but I look forward to reading the rest of them.

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