The Lightning Thief is the first in a series of books by Rick Riordan, and juxtaposes the ancient gods of Greece to more modern and civilized culture. This juxtaposition creates an interesting mix of cultural fantasy that leaves the reader on his seat for the majority of the novel.
The novel follows the life a young boy named Percy, who initially knows nothing of his godly heritage, or his powers as a demigod. However, as the novel progresses the mortal teenage boy is transformed into a young and powerful demigod, and lives up to his status as son of Poseidon. Percy finds himself thrust into a world where nothing he knows is real, and he embarks on a quest to recover the almighty Zeus’s prized lightning bolt. The book is unique in the aspect that it creates a modern day atmosphere that draws the reader in, and simultaneously evokes a desire in the reader to believe that these myths could exist. The connections from ethereal to reality are made in the form of mental handicaps such as ADHD causing increased battle reflexes or dyslexia simply being his brain wired to read ancient Greek.
In conclusion, Rick Riordan creates a spellbindingly real and cultural novel that ignites a desire to learn more about ancient Greece in today’s modern world. His first novel creates an atmosphere to build upon, and leaves the reader guessing at how Percy Jackson will mature into a legend, or fall into the past like those before him.
By: James Clouse