Tuesday, June 21, 2016

DOUBLE REVIEW of The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson) by Rick Riordan (The Half-Blood Readalong)


Hello! This is the first review of the Half-Blood Readalong of Percy Jackson series hosted by me and Arvenig @ Arvenig.it. If you want more information on our readalong, you can check out our announcement post. Join the Goodreads group for a free entry to our Percy Jackson-themed goody bag giveaway, and you can enter here.

We’re going to do a different kind of review. Obviously, it’s going to be from both of us, but it’s also in a Q&A format! (Tell me what you think of this because I really like it!)


Title: The Lightning Thief
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians (Book One)
Author: Rick Riordan
Pages: 377
Publisher: Disney Hyperion Books
Published: 28 June 2005
Average Goodreads Rating: 2.21/5 stars
Alex's Rating: 4/5 stars
Arvenig's Rating: 4/5 stars
Synopsis: Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can't seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse—Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy's mom finds out, she knows it's time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he'll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena—Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

What were your thoughts before reading?

Alex: I was really excited to get back into this series, but I was scared that I wouldn’t like it as much because I’m older now. (I hadn’t read the book since I was eleven). My life has changed a lot since I first read this series, and I didn’t know if I would still have the same reaction to it.

Arvenig: I was really excited as well! It’s my first readalong, and I’m hosting the readalong and everything, so I was a little bit worried for the genre and the fact that I was going to read it in English (little reminder for those who don’t know me: I’m Italian, and English is my second language).

What were your final thoughts after reading the book?

Alex: I was a little surprised that I still liked it! But I think I remembered it being more funny than it was. Some parts were funny, but there wasn’t any real laugh-out-loud moments. That was really disappointing honestly. Also, there were so many things that I remembered wrong! Maybe it’s because I’ve seen the movie more recently or something. But there were also quite a few things I just didn’t remember from the first time I read it (nearly four years ago!).

 Arvenig: As I expected I had some troubles with the language, but thanks to the internet I got over them :D. The genre didn’t bother me as much as I thought, maybe thanks to 1) Percy lives like a human and doesn’t know about his father and 2) I love greek mythology and everything that relates to it.
The only thing that I regret is seeing the movie before reading the book.  I already knew some things, and I wasn’t able to imagine my character.


What did you think of the plot/story line?

Alex: I’ve always liked the setup of a quest. I like when there are several different threats to get through before you get to the boss battle, in this case, a god. That’s a pretty standard fantasy storyline, but I personally love it.

 Arvenig: I really like the plot. I like the idea of a quest and the idea that Percy doesn’t know anything about Camp Half-Blood and his father.

What did you think of reading from a younger protagonist's POV?

Alex: When I first read this book, I was actually younger than Percy. It was really strange coming back in and being older than him. I don’t read too many books where I’m older than the main character, so it was weird, though not really bad. I think I like older protagonists better!

 Arvenig: Well I really liked it. During the first 50 pages I felt a little bit like an older sister that was trying to help him, but when the adventure began I actually identified with him. 

Do you like the writing style?

Alex: Yes. Rick Riordan’s writing is easy to read. It’s not flowery, but it flows well, and it really works for action.

 Arvenig: Yes I did. I read the book in English so I could review the writing style as well. I liked the fact that sometimes I realized I was so into the story that I forgot I was reading. This happened a few times!

 What did you think of Percy’s friends (Grover and Annabeth)?

Alex: I love them. Grover is hilarious, and I’ve always identified well with Annabeth. They all have their own dreams and interests, and you only get to know them more as the story goes on. I think it’s a little different already knowing them so well going into it, though. After seeing them grow so much the first time, it was weird to jump back to the beginning! (Especially the way that Annabeth treated Percy..)

 Arvenig: I really liked these characters, they remind me so much of my two middle school best friends :). I sometimes identified with Annabeth, and I felt as the older sister with Grover.

How did you feel about the lack of diversity?

Alex: When I first read this book, I never noticed. Now, it bothers me (which is why I added this section in the first place). I’ve put so much emphasis on how many diverse books I want to read this year, and to go back to one of your childhood favorites and realize that it’s failed to do that is kind of upsetting. There’s a little more in the rest of the series, but I’ve honestly never liked how Riordan included minorities. I think it’s getting a little better with Sam from his new Magnus Chase series, but still not what I would like. Main characters! Is that too much to ask for? (Though I have heard things about The Hidden Oracle, I haven’t read it yet!)

 How well do you think the first book did at introducing the series?

Alex: Now that Rick Riordan did well. I love that all these books have their own stories, but they also work so great together. This book definitely makes me want to keep reading. Unlike some other books in this series I could name, this book doesn’t leave us on a cliffhanger, but it does leave us with questions.

 Arvenig: I think he did pretty well! It's not something I need to live, but it;s something I want to know. Like Alex said this book ends with some unanswered questions, but not with a big question. I don't know if I actually prefer a cliffhanger, but I liked this way.

 After reading the first book, what are your thoughts on reading the rest of the series this summer?

Alex: I’m really excited! There were so many things I didn’t remember from The Lightning Thief, and I’m sure that will continue. I feel like I’m kind of reliving my childhood, and it’s great to do that with other people.

 Arvenig: I’m so excited!! I’m so glad I’m reading this series and that I’m doing that with more people like Alex!

 Who do you think your divine parent would be?

Alex: Athena! Obviously. I love learning, especially learning on my own without school (the US education system is terrible). I think I’m just a nerd.

 Arvenig: After reading the book it's difficult to say. My first answer would be Artemis because, I don't know, I feel like her. When I was in elementary school I did a "Greek gods" play and I played Artemis. But the book explains that Artemis cannot have children, so I don't know, maybe Poseidon or Athena, but I don't fully identify as their daughter. So my final answer is Artemis (let's break the rules!)

 What are your top 5 favorite quotes?

Alex:
1. "'How did you die?'
'We er....drowned in a bathtub.'
'All three of you?'
'It was a big bathtub.'"
2. "'Percy,' Annabeth said. 'I said hello to the poodle. You say hello to the poodle.'
The poodle growled.
I said hello to the poodle."
3. "It's useless to lecture a human."
4. "Die, human! Die, silly polluting nasty person!"
5. "My name is Percy Jackson. 
I'm twelve years old. Until a few months ago, I was a boarding student at Yancy Academy, a  private school for troubled kids in upstate New York.
Am I a troubled kid?
Yeah. You could say that."

Arvenig: 
1. "The real world is where the monsters are."
2. "A faint smile played on his lips. 'Obedience does not come naturally to you, does it?'
'No...sir'
'I must take some blame for that, I suppose. The sea does not like to be restrained.'"
3. "Even strength must bow to wisdom sometimes."
4. "It's funny how humans can wrap their mind around things and fit them into their version of  reality."
5. "If my life is going to mean anything, I have to live it myself."

BONUS one (+ funny):
"She'd also called me brave...unless she was talking to the catfish."

 What’s your rating for this book and why?

Alex: I rated it 4 out of 5 stars. I actually rated it 5 the first time around, but I don’t think I enjoyed it as much the second time. I think my reading taste has gotten a little pickier, and I noticed things this time that I just didn’t like as much. It might also be that this series is getting young for me! I’ve changed a lot since I initially fell in love with it. I still love this series, though. It’s definitely shaped my life as a reader, and I wouldn’t be blogging without it either! This series holds a special place in my heart, so it was hard to rate it down a start, but I feel it’s necessary.

Arvenig: My rating is 4 out 5. I like the characters, the plot and pretty much everything, but when I finished, it I didn’t feel like “WOW I NEED MOOORE” I was more like “The end? I need to buy the sequel”. Just not that many feelings I guess.

Who would you recommend this book to?

Alex: This series is definitely written for a younger audience, but it’s still really enjoyable at any age. It’s hilarious and creative. It’s the kind of series everyone should read at least once in their lives.

Arvenig: Everyone who likes fantasy! So I think this it’s better for younger people and I think the ideal age would be the same as Percy Jackson.

The Twitter Chat Winner

We had a twitter chat on Friday where we discussed The Lightning Thief. We also had a giveaway! And the winner is.... Sakina! Her twitter is @aforestofbooks, and since she's a blogger, here's her blog!

Don’t forget: We’re having another Twitter chat for each book in the series! The one for the next book, The Sea of Monsters, is on Friday, July 1, at 12 PM EDT. We hope! to see you there!

Our Twitters:

 Let’s discuss…

What was your favorite part of the book? Who do you think would be your divine parent?
And remember to enter the giveaway!!!


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