Still Salty at the Movies – a REview of The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

This book was in desperate need of a reread. I barely remembered anything about it thanks to its terrible adaptation that was played five too many times by teachers.

On the bright side, that made me fall in love with this series again. Even when reading it for a second time and knowing how it ends.

When middle schooler Percy Jackson vaporises his maths teacher, he quickly learns that it wasn’t some kind of hallucination. He’s a demigod, the son of a Greek Olympian God, who is forced into refuge at a summer camp for those like him. Unfortunately, his mother was unable to get to safety with him. So when the opportunity to save her arrives on the brink of a war between Zeus and Poseidon, Percy takes his satyr best friend and an overachiever daughter of Athena with him across the USA to confront Hades, who is believed to be the one causing this all.

Going back over ten years ago, this was the hype of everyone in my senior classes at primary school and ultimately what got me to read this series. I genuinely don’t know if my enjoyment of it was solely so I could talk about it with my friends or me actually enjoying the story. This was especially when The Lightning Thief was the least favourite of mine as a kid.

Upon rereading it, I don’t know why!

The characters – incredible. These twelve year olds especially have so much depth to them! Better than the way I’ve seen adults and teens written by a landslide. Each have their own goals and fears that don’t define them, with little quirks and personality traits that give them each a chance to shine. My god, it is so hard to pick favourites in this cast! Unlike the movie in which everyone was turned flat, especially Annabeth. They did Annabeth dirty in the adaptation.

Next we need to talk about worldbuilding and how seamlessly Mythology fits into this world. It’s in the plot like crazy, feeling a lot like a modern day Odyssey for preteens with the inclusions of quests and tropes found in some of my favourites. The story feels like so much of its own in spite of the mythology roots. The way the monsters fit into the world is perfect! A seamless example of how to add the fantasy to an urban environment.

And oh my god, the writing style. I remember the writing style being what made me fall in love with this book and inspired me to write, but I don’t remember it being this damn good! It has cheesy and unexpected comedy, things to wrench out your heart and some of the best imagery I have ever read. Not once did I read a cliche metaphor or simile and it was so refreshing! I will admit that the foreshadowing was a bit in your face and timed a bit too close to reveals, but I can forgive it slightly on being a middle grade book.

Regardless, this is still so readable and fun to read, I can now confirm being an adult, for all ages. Top 10 books to read before you die. Because all 10 of those are Rick Riordan books.

The Lightning Thief gets a score of 4.5/5. I already predict that the Disney series won’t do this book justice.

Yours in writing


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