October 28, 2009

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

The Lightning Thief (Movie Tie-in Edition) (Percy Jackson and the Olympians)Title : Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief
Author : Rick Riordan
Reading Dates : 28 Oct - 31 Oct 2009

Book Summary of Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief.

Percy Jackson has always had a troubled childhood. But he didn't know how bad it could be until his 12th year. First, he vaporizes his Maths teacher Mrs Dodds who had transformed into a monster. Then, he finds out his best friend Grover is a satyr. Finally, he watches helplessly as his mother disappears into thin air when they are chased by a minotaur. It is only after his arrival at Camp Half-Blood, that he finds a part of the answer to both the recent occurrences and mysterious incidents throughout his childhood. Apparently, Percy like most of the other children there are demigods. Now, all he has to figure out is which of the Greek gods is his father, what is expected of him and how to go about rescuing his mother from the Lord of the Underworld.

However when the Lord of the Sea claims Percy, our young hero finds out that this may not be a good thing. Soon after, Percy learns that he can either choose to go on a quest which may get him killed or do nothing and be killed anyway. The reason for the recent bad weather plaguing New York is a war brewing between Zeus and Poseidon. Zeus's master bolt was stolen and the Lord of the Sky believes that Percy stole it for his father. Percy has only 10 days to find and return the stolen lightning bolt to avert a war between the gods. Percy agrees as the centaur Chiron who is sending him on the quest believes the real culprit to be Hades. Percy hopes to save his mother as well when he goes to the Underworld.

Percy and his companions, Annabeth and Grover soon realize however that their quest maybe doom to failure even before it starts. On their way to the Underworld, Percy and his friends must battle a string of monsters seemingly intent on ending their quest, the Furies, Medusa, Echidna and Procrustes. Even offers of help from Ares and Poseidon are suspect. Finally, when the trio do get to the Underworld they find out that not only is Hades innocent of the theft, Hades' Helmet of Darkness has been stolen as well and he believes that Percy stole it for Poseidon. Percy and his companions escape, realizing that another party is the chief architect of the current predicament. Someone intents to start a 3 way war between Zeus, Poseidon and Hades.

To their dismay, Percy and his friends discover that the true culprit is Kronos. He used another Camp Half-Blood inhabitant, Luke to steal from Zeus and Hades. When Luke was caught by Ares, Kronos induced Ares to join them. Although Percy wins a duel against Ares and recovers both Zeus and Hades' weapons of power, all is not well. The gods refuse to acknowledge that Kronos maybe awakening from his slumber. Luke too disappears after trying to assassinate Percy again. The only bright spot on the horizon seems to be the return of Percy's mother. Even the Lord of the Underworld pays his debts.

Book Review of Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief
I really enjoyed Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. This is both due to the the way the idea of the Greek gods and the characters in this story is presented. Percy is a fun and rebellious hero, not given to obediently following the orders of others, even gods. Percy mails the head of Medusa to the gods on Mount Olympus because he wants his father to acknowledge him. Idiotic but funny. Annabeth plays catch with Cerberus and gets the heroes into Underworld. The ploy succeeds because Cerberus maybe a ferocious beast, but he's also a lonely dog in need of a little love and attention. Then, there is the idea of the River Styx being littered by the garbage from the human world. Imagine that when we destroy this world we live in, we're also destroying our "Afterlife" whether Heaven or Hell. So since what we do in this life affects the next, we should take care of it should we not ? Anyway, great read. Which is why I'm off to read the next books in the series.

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