Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

The Lightning Thief is the first in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan. Percy is a dyslexic boy who never seems to be able to stay out of trouble. After his teacher turns into a monster and tries to kill him, he finds himself in deeper trouble than he's ever imagined. Not only does everyone else not believe him, but Percy begins to question his own sanity. Then he and his mom decide to take a little trip, and they're nearly killed by a minotaur. That's when Percy learns the truth - that he's a half-blood, half human, half god. Now he must go on a quest to find Zues' lightning bolt and save the world from a war of the gods.

I listened to the audio version of this book, and my review is based on that. I mention that it was the audio book specifically because I'm not sure if I'd have enjoyed the book more or less if I were actually reading it myself. The narrator was a tad on the annoying side, which made me feel as though I might prefer to read it myself. At times, he read things differently than I think I would've heard them in my head. For instance, in one scene, he mentions that one characters voice gets shrill, but then his voice remains the same in the dialogue (different from his reading voice, but the same as he'd been doing the character all along). In my head, his pacing would've sped up because the character in question was nervous, and I'd have read that into the story. That being said, much of the time spent listening was entertaining - it was much like theater without the visuals. So, I can't say really whether my review is helped or hindered by the version.

In general, I thought the story was pretty well thought out. There's a lot of history of Greek mythology explained, and I think it would be an excellent adjunct to the studying of the Greek myths. Overall, I think middle graders would probably enjoy this series. I'm not sure adults would be all that into it, though.


Anonymous said...

I love the audio book for travelling with kids! Everyone with an iPod can listen to "their own" book, and the others can hear it thru the car speakers. I especially like books read by the author ... sounds like this reading didn't quite hit the mark, but a good book nonetheless.

Traci said...

I've gotten to where I'm listening to more and more audiobooks on my ipod. I tend to multi-task things to the point where if I'm doing something like laundry, or dishes, or quilting, I have to have a book on - makes me feel like I'm more productive, I think. Plus, it makes mundane tasks much more bearable. I'm listening to one now - Artemis Fowl: the Lost Colony - which is really good, but I do think the narrator has quite a bit to do with how much I enjoy, or don't, an audiobook.

Cindy B said...

Hey from LT!

I loved this book and when I got to go to a book signing by the author, I picked up a copy for my 11 year old son's birthday. He is hooked. I like that he's asking about the original myths. He talked to friends about the books too.

The best audio kid's books I've heard is the Artemis Fowl series. The reader is just great at getting all the voices right.