11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Percy Jackson is a troubled kid, his school record proves it - he's been through six schools in six years. Taking a trip with his mother after leaving his last school, Percy runs into yet more trouble which he escapes from with the help of his friend Grover. They make it to Half-blood Hill where Percy finds out he's not exactly the person he thought he was. He's the son of one of the Greek gods - but which one?
The story follows Percy, Grover and another half-blood, Annabeth, on a quest to stop a war between the gods. On their travels, the trio ensue a number of chracters from Greek mythology.
While not a literary masterpiece, this book is a fun read with some great ideas and, as far as I could tell, well researched in terms ofthe mythology (I'm not an expert on Greek gods, lol!). The characters are really likable and seemed well developed right from the start.
There's obvious similarities to the Harry Potter books but in my opinion that's not a bad thing as I love them! Some of the 'twists' were a little predictable but as an adult reading a children's/young adult book that's often the case anyway.
Looking forward to reading the next in the series.
91 of 98 people found the following review helpful
When this book arrived, I placed it on my bookshelf thinking I'd get around to reading it when I had nothing better to read. To put it bluntly, I really didn't think I'd like a slick American High school version of the Legends of ancient Greece (sort of Buffy meets Hercules) - but I was wrong. As soon as I started reading it I was hooked.
The pacing is dazzlingly fast; it starts at a run and ends at a gallop without ever once pausing for breath! Younger readers who might be unfamiliar with the heroes of Greek legend will probably enjoy the twists of the plot - however, adult readers might see these coming, (ie the identity Aunty "M" - owner of the Garden Statue Emporium), but somehow, this only adds to the enjoyment!
The other thing that had put me off this book ever so slightly was setting it in a school for halfbloods (children of the Greek gods); coming so close to "Harry Potter and the Halfblood Prince" it felt uncomfortably derivative ... like yet another Harry Potter wannabe. However, knowing how slowly things move in the world of publishing, I realised the whole half-blood concept would have been imagined by the author at least a couple of years before HP 6 appeared.
Okay, so it's set in a boarding school for kids with magical/supernatural abilities - but don't let this put you off. So far, the Percy Jackson series has captured the efficient and succinct plotting of the first three Harry Potter books; likewise, it is something of a whodunit, in that one of the teachers or pupils at Camp Halfblood is really a baddie. The clues are subtle but entirely fair.
I liked that Percy's dyslexia and Attention Deficit Disorder were put down to his subconscious familiarity with ancient Greek and his need to be ever ready to fight off hoards of deadly monsters. I usually find the current trend of giving the hero such contemporary "issues" irritatingly contrived - but in this case it works fine.
In short, I can't imagine anyone NOT enjoying this book!
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 2 September 2010
I chose this audio book to listen to while my daughter and I drove through France with her children (boy aged 6, girl aged 10). We all found it very entertaining and it held our attention on long drives - no mean feat for an age range of 6 to 60+. Perhaps its appeal lay in the story's modern setting, while introducing many of the characters of Greek mythology. That - and the excellent reader, Walter Lewis.
The children are now keen to see the film and read some of the other Percy Jackson stories.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 30 September 2010
Although I must profess that I'm not too hyped that the Ancient Greek gods and goddesses now reside in the USA, I can easily overlook this to enjoy what is a really good story. For children it is entertaining and enlightening and they get to learn bits and pieces of the ancient myths in a fun and educative way. For adults they're a great light read with fun characters, and they're even more fun if you've got an excited child urging you to read "just another chapter" before bed. Recommended for any 8+ children who love adventure!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 29 September 2010
My husband read this book to our eleven year old Grandson. They both thoroughly enjoyed it. It gave him a glimpse into Greek Mythology without being too heavy. It was hard to get them to stop reading so our Grandson could go to sleep. He is anxiously waiting to hear the next book in the series.
70 of 78 people found the following review helpful
Percy Jackson has always been different from other kids. He's dyslexic and suffers from ADHD, and is always getting into trouble. He's been expelled several times, and the only thing that holds his interest is Greek mythology.
We soon learn that Percy has close ties with Mount Olympus, and when monsters from mythology start popping up looking for his blood, he ends up at a very special school for kids like himself, where he starts to put things together to find out who he really is.
Before he knows it, he's off on a quest with his two friends, Grover and Annabeth, to recover a powerful lightning bolt, property of Zeus, which has been stolen, supposedly by Percy himself. Zeus, Poseidon and Hades are having a little disagreement about the theft of the said lightning bolt, and unless Percy can retrieve it and return it in time, the resulting fallout will have earth-shattering consequences.
This great (albeit relatively unknown) first book of the series is an easy read, and is sure to encourage young readers to improve their knowledge of Greek mythology, especially the stories of the Minotaur, Medusa and the gods Poseidon, Ares, Zeus, Hades, Kronos, Athena and so on. Highly recommended for young readers in search of an original and imaginative adventure series.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 15 November 2009
... is this special edition. For everyone who considered buying the american/british standard edition I recommend this one, because the future percy fans will have a version that lasts longer (and trust me this is a book to reread 20 times(like i did)! The book is about Percy Jackson, a dyslexic and ADHD child who has been kicked out of six schools in six years and lives in modern day New York. He has a horrible stepdad that plays poker, a mother that works in Sweet On America and Grover, Percy's best friend that turns up being a satyr (half goat half human mythical creature) that eats tin cans. Percy is forced to run away to Camp Half-Blood while being chased by a minotaur thats trying to kill him, and finds out he is a demigod (human mom, immortal dad) son of Poseidon, Greak god of the sea, horses and earth quakes. When people discover this,they accuse him of stealing Zeus's (king god) master bolt, and has to go look for it with Grover and Annabeth, a daughter of Athena that at first seems to hate him on a quest.
This book is catchy, griping and full of fun and exiting bits. If parents aren't sure whether to by this or something else remember: you learn tons of greek mythology with it in a modern hilarious way., like who is the goddess of springtime; the myths of Perseus; the relationship between Ares and Aphrodite; the difference bethween Chiron and Charon; the danger of pomogranets in Persephone's garden and the legend of Athens.
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on 8 February 2007
When I first saw an advertisement for this book in a review, I thought 'oh, that sounds interesting'--but not quite interesting enough to actually get a copy. Then I happened to come across it at my school library and decided to read it . . .
Well, the story is that Percy Jackson -- a 'troubled' boy who's been expelled from six schools in six years and bullied by his stepfather (who richly deserves the fate he recieves at the end) -- suddenly discovers that he is a Greek demigod, and suddenly finds himself at a camp for the other offspring of Gods and mortals -- 'Camp Half-Blood'.
But when he discovers that he is the only one who can stop a war of the Gods, he has to travel the length and breadth of America with his two companions -- Grover, a satyr, and Annabeth, the daughter of the goddess Athene (or, in this case, Athena), encountering various figures from Greek mythology on the way.
I really loved this -- the author has managed to successfully pull off an American interpretation of the Greek mythology -- it is very succinct, but not so succinct that it is boring or patronising. There is some very good humour in it and now I want to read all of the sequels.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 October 2014
I was really pleasantly surprised by the novel (I'd unfortunately already seen the movie and therefore wasn't expecting much).
The plot was fast paced and very easy to read, building to an intriguing mystery as the story progressed. Although the story had a satisfying conclusion, it also left a lot open which really made me want to pick up the next book to find out what will happen next. The tone of the book was wonderfully light-hearted, with Percy's tongue-in-cheek commentary adding plenty of humor to the story.
While I can see the deep similarities with Harry Potter, I did not find them to be especially offensive. It seemed to me that Riordan had taken far more inspiration from Greek mythology and I simply adored the way that he had incorporated and adapted this to fit his tale. Olympus now rests at the top of the Empire State Building, Procrustes owns a store selling water beds and the lotus-eaters have left their island and moved to Las Vegas to run a casino that people never want to leave. By far my favourite image was that of the Fates as old ladies sitting in the side of the road knitting socks. They're only see once in the story but it's just such a vivid image that it's unforgettable.
By far the strongest part of the story was its primary cast. Percy is a very strong and relatable lead and I loved the attitude that he took towards the gods (they'd never done anything for him so why should he be respectful to them?). I also really liked the fact, even though Percy was the most powerful protagonist, there was no way that he could succeed alone. Annabeth and Grover also both had unique abilities that they brought to the group that were necessary for the completion of the quest.
All in all it's a fantastic opening to the series and I can't wait to read the sequel.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 18 October 2010
I'm a huge Potter fan and was looking for another set of books that would be fun and interesting to read. It's not too heavy on the mythology and it's fast paced and easy to get hooked in to the story. I've just bought the second one as I couldn't put this one down. Not as addictive as the Potter books but the series is going on my Kindle :)