I have had several people (including Scott and Penguins Quack) recommend the Percy Jackson series to me. Thanks, guys! I loved The Lightning Thief, the first book in that series, and have already reserved the second one. I love mythology, so I am proud of author Rick Riordan, a former teacher of Greek mythology, for introducing younger readers to all of the great characters and stories of Greek mythology with his engaging books. (Riordan's books prove that there is way more to mythology than just characters with crazy, unpronounceable names.) Riordan weaves his allusions to the original myths in well with the modern story; I had a lot of fun guessing which villain was which mythological monster in disguise.
This is a fun book to read in general, though. The plot is action-packed, with frequent confrontations between Percy and the likes of Ares, Medusa, and Chimera, and lots of heart stopping twists and turns. Percy's snarky first person narration is easy to read and is also quite funny. I also enjoyed Riordan's characters - I liked Percy and his pals, and Riordan's characterizations of the mythological characters stay true to form but are still original.
My only problem, and it's a minor one, is that, in true adventure story fashion, there were a couple of parts where I got annoyed at Percy for walking into a trap that I thought was obvious. It wasn't angry annoyance though, so much as sympathetic "Percy, what are you doing? No! Don't do that! What's the matter with you? No!" annoyance, and it didn't affect my enjoyment of the story.
The Percy Jackson series is targeted toward junior high kids, but I firmly believe that nobody can outgrow a good book. The Lightning Thief is an exciting, inventive fantasy adventure that you won't put down. (At least, I didn't.) If you love mythology, you'll love Riordan's take on the original tales and enjoy recognizing the characters. If you have never read mythology, this accessible book is the perfect introduction.
Next Time: I will review Hemingway's classic Spanish Civil War saga For Whom The Bell Tolls. I am about halfway through it and I start school tomorrow, but I will try to have my review up in the middle of the week, if at all possible.