Customer Review

90 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars En-Lightning!!!, 10 Sep 2006
This review is from: Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief (Paperback)
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!
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