Saint John Don Bosco:

"Never read books you aren't sure about . . . even supposing that these bad books are very well written from a literary point of view. Let me ask you this: Would you drink something you knew was poisoned just because it was offered to you in a golden cup?"

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

I'm re-posting this because I dropped the ball. I posted back when I was trying to get posts up quickly, and I had read Lightning Thief, but not re-read it carefully enough before I posted as I generally do. I entirely forgot an important detail that the mom kills the abusive husband at the end. So... a more cautious rating for this one...

First, a disclaimer. The premise of this book rests on the old Greek/Roman gods having children (albeit rarely) with a human mother. It isn't something described or detailed, but it's the necessary backdrop for creating an engaging adventure story.

Having said that, I'll review and rate the rest of the book without considering that questionable caveat.

Percy Jackson is a 12 year old demigod. That's a half-god. The old gods still exist. This time, Olympus has moved along with Western Civilization and can now be found in the United States, assuming you know where to look.

For those who don't know their classics backward and forward, Perseus is the only Greek hero who does not come to a terrible end. We hope the same for his namesake because he's a likable character who is in big trouble. Monsters of Greek mythic proportion are soon after him. They can smell demi-gods. Percy has to make it to camp Half-Blood before they stop him. Once there, Percy's camp leaders have to place him in the correct cabin according to who fathered him: surely not one of the major Gods; they agreed to stop doing that a long while ago.

But life is never simple for a boy named after a Greek hero. After discovering who his god-father is, he next sets out on a quest to the underworld to stop a war that has been percolating over the theft of Zeus's thunderbolt.

Don't expect to learn accurate Greek mythology here. Do expect an introduction to many Greek myths and characters amidst a whoppingly fun story with plenty of action.

Rating: 2 Vatican Flags


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