Monday, March 24, 2008

The Lightning Thief

The book, The Lightning Thief, is the first book in a series called Percy Jackson and the Olympians. All mythology lovers, young and old, need to read these books.

I got started reading it to my son, but I enjoy it myself. The premise? The gods are real. The monsters are real. Most people just don't see them or believe in them. That doesn't make them any less powerful. True to form, the gods are also "blessing" people and making babies, which turn out to be great heroes (and sometimes great villains). Percy Jackson, our protagonist, is a half-blood and is learning the hard way of what it means to be a son of a god.

The author, Rick Riordan, does a good job keeping true to the myths as he updates them. Medusa has a garden statue business. Hermes has a delivery service. Dionysus, well, you would expect him to be hanging out on college campuses, but instead he is currently being punished and cannot make wine. He is , however, stuck on Diet Coke.

The mythological places move with Western civilization. Now Mt. Olympus is over the Empire State Building and the underworld? Go no further than Los Angeles. Monsters? they don't every really die, but it might take them a while to come back. That way heroes always have monsters to fight.

The chapter titles are even hilarious. My personal favorite is, "Three Old Ladies Knit the Socks of Death."

I would love to hear from anyone else who has read the books.

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