Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan | Book Review

When I was 13 years old, Rick Riordan visited my school in Malta to give a reading of his brand new book Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters. In the weeks before this visit, my English teacher had us read Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief as our class read – in a bilingual school where students learnt up to 4 languages at a time, we normally stuck to the abridged versions of books in our English class. To read a fully fledged middle grade book as our class reader was unfounded. We flew through the story and eagerly anticipated his visit – and the opportunity to grab a copy of The Sea of Monsters as well so we could continue on with the series. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan was arguably one of the first ‘fantasy-esque’ novels that I read, other than Harry Potter. I was overwhelmed with the Greek Gods and Goddesses and couldn’t wait to see how Rick would tell their stories. 

I decided that in June, I’ll be rereading a lot of the old series of books that I loved growing up. I’ve finished Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, I’ve reread Twilight and I’m starting on City of Bones and Eragon. Reading Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief again was an absolutely fantastic experience – even as an adult. 

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan 

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson believes himself to be a normal young boy – it’s fair to say that he definitely is not. Expelled from multiple schools and on his last chance at his current, the last thing Percy needs is to find out he’s a demi-God. But he is and the Greek gods and goddesses that he’s been reading about in his Latin classes are all too real. When his mother vanishes and he finds himself at Camp Half-Blood, Percy learns things about himself, his heritage and those around him that he never could have anticipated. 

The Perfect Middle-grade tale of friendship, bravery and adventure 

The Percy Jackson series is one like no other, really. The friendships formed between Percy, Annabeth and Grover, as well as the rivalries he has with other Camp Half-Blood campers (I’m thinking of you, Clarisse) are told brilliantly – hilarious yet heartwarming throughout, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief offers what other middle grades book are lacking in. Riordan isn’t patronising in his writing but the story is easy to follow and uses a wide range of vocabulary. The Greek myths are explained in an easy way and the story itself is exciting and intriguing – I loved Percy’s quest to recover the Lightning Bolt, I loved how he used his father’s powers to help him along the way (no spoilers as to who his God father is, of course!) and I love how little touches and little details that seemed so inconsequential when they first happened actually ended up being vitally important further down the line. Naturally, if you haven’t read the rest of the series you have questions – but everything I needed to know in the moment was wrapped up by the end of this incredible first part of the series.  

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

I absolutely love Percy – he’s the kick-ass, sassy character that I wish I had been as an early teen; he really doesn’t take any rubbish from anyone. I love how he is able to make difficult decisions and I love the relationship he forms with Chiron and the foe-to-’friends’ thing that’s definitely coming with Mr. D. I’m excited to get stuck into rereading the entire series over the course of the next few months. I’ve read this series and The Heroes of Olympus Series already but haven’t moved onto the Trials of Apollo or Bane Chronicles as of yet. Another series for another day, for sure! 

Have you read Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan? What did you think?