Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan

Most of the books I read are faith-based, but occasionally I'll sample something from the general market, especially in the genre of teen fiction. While controversy brews around series like Harry Potter and Twilight, I must admit I enjoyed both series' immensely.

So I was excited to discover Percy Jackson and the Olympians about a year ago. However, since the series wasn't faith-based, I chose not to review it for this blog. Now a major motion picture is slated to release in February 2010, and my son and I are planning on attending.

That sparked me to dig out the five book series and read it again, knowing controversy will swirl around it as well. Percy is a half-blood: half mortal, and half immortal. The world of mythology comes to life as Percy finds out about his heritage and learns the threats the exist against him.

In "The Lightening Thief", Percy uncovers the mystery surrounding him and his troubled existence thus far--to sixth grade. When a dreaded math teacher goes bonkers and attacks him, life begins unraveling very quickly for Percy and his best friend Grover.

Running from his apartment with his mother and Grover, Percy encounters a monster of, well, monstrous proportions. And the fantastic adventure he tries to find out who stole the thing from the guy you don't want to mess with.

That's the most I can share, or else it will ruin the book for you. Of course, the movie trailers have already spoiled some of the mystery of the story...but hey, what can I say? It's a great book!

The controversy will enter in through the mythology come to life. For me, I loved it because even in school I was fascinated by the gods of Greece and Rome, knowing they were fantasy but enjoying the rich mythic heritage they represented. I recognized them as a feeble attempt by man to reach heights that can only be reached through Jesus.

But some will be up in arms about the thought of Zeus, Medusa, Hermes, Poseidon and others taking on shape and influencing the events of the story. I don't see anything objectionable in these stories. Clean, no language, no sexual images, and the violence is comic-book style.

So, make up your own mind about Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Rick Riordan takes great pains not to bash the Christian faith, but he does have to align the mythic element with the belief in God...and they don't mesh. Knowing fantasy and reality are two different things, I'm fine with it.

If anything, this series paints a vivid image of the Tower of Babel mentality for me! So, I'm giving "The Lightening Thief" four out of five bookmarks, with a sword as a charm...don't be fooled even though it LOOKS like an ordinary pen. And here's hoping the movie doesn't ruin the book!

Happy Reading!



Sell Used Books - Have Your Books Shipped To Us For Free And Get Fast Cash Back!


Katy said...

I didn't like this book as much as I'd hoped I would, but I think kids would probably love it! It's chock-full of action!

Kim said...

Interesting observation Deena! You know, it's kind of shocking what teens and tweens are being offered as reading material these days! I think it's good that you took time to share this here!