Percy Jackson and the Olympians is a 5 book fantasy and young adult series that is written by Rick Riordan and begins with The Lightning Thief.
Percy Jackson is a 12-year-old boy who has never known his father and has spent a lot of time going to (and getting kicked out of) various boarding schools.
The one day he finds out that he’s really the son of a Greek god. I won’t say which god for now because that’s something that they build up quite a bit in the book and best left as a surprise.
Percy ends up having to flee his home and start anew at Camp Half Blood. From there, he gets a quest to recover this lightning bolt that was stolen from Zeus. They kind of think Hades has it, so off he goes with his two new friend, Grover and Annabeth.
Of course, true to most YA fantasy novels, Percy comes back triumphant and ready to continue saving the world.
Percy Jackson / The Lightning Thief was an easy but very enjoyable read. I like how Rick Riordan wove in information about ancient Greek gods into a book set in present times. Even little things such as the gods having children with the mortal humans is pretty factual; I’ve read a number of tales on Zeus who fathered apparently quite few children in Greek mythology. That said, things such as (Mount) Olympus being located on the nonexistent 600th floor of the Empire State Building are less factual plot devices to make it more realistic for the American characters to get about versus having to make them some how get back and forth from Greece.
Plus, there is this wonderful appeal in young adult novels that I am still super into. Firstly, obviously not all YA novels are “adult worthy” because, well, I’m mostly over the teeny romance stories where a girl (or boy) just wants to celebrate their summer fling and ends up “falling in love” or whatever (a big meh!). So YA romances are largely out of my book reading repertoire, but YA fantasy or science fiction novels are still totally high on my books-to-read list. I kind of want to do a whole separate blog post about this.
Suffice it so say that if you are amongst those of us who still love a good YA novel, the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series are a must read addition to any book list. By the sounds of it, all of Rick Riordan’s novels are really read worthy; he’s written other series too featuring Egyptian gods and Norse gods too. Here is the order I was told to read them in:
- Percy Jackson and the Olympians (5 books) – Greek good series
- The Heroes of Olympus (4 books)
- The Kane Chronicles (3 books) – Egyptian god series
- The Trials of Apollo (1 book)
- Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard (1 book – this is apparently a new series so I hear there will be more) – Norse god series
Honestly, the fact that Percy Jackson and the Olympians is (in part) about ancient Greece and Greek gods and is an easy, fun read goes a long way in my opinion. I think it would be a great read-along series if you have children too because this is a series you will actually enjoy reading and can discuss with your child. No matter what, totally check it out.
Title: Percy Jackson and the Olympians; The Lightning Thief, book 1
Author: Rick Riordan
Date of publication: July 1, 2015
Publisher: Miramax Books, Puffin Books, Disney-Hyperion
Page count: 377
Genre: Fantasy, Greek Mythology, Young adult fiction