Cover image for The lightning thief
Title:
The lightning thief
ISBN:
9780307245311

9780307245304
Publication Information:
New York : Listening Library, p2005.
Physical Description:
8 sound discs (10 hr., 2 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
General Note:
Unabridged.

Compact discs.
Genre:
Summary:
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.
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Summary

Summary

Twelve-year-old Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school . . . again. No matter how hard he tries, he can't seem to stay out of trouble. But can he really be expected to stand by and watch while a bully picks on his scrawny best friend? Or not defend himself against his pre-algebra teacher when she turns into a monster and tries to kill him? Of course, no one believes Percy about the monster incident; he's not even sure he believes himself.

Until the Minotaur chases him to summer camp.

Suddenly, mythical creatures seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy's Greek mythology textbook and into his life. The gods of Mount Olympus, he's coming to realize, are very much alive in the twenty-first century. And worse, he's angered a few of them: Zeus's master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.

Now Percy has just ten days to find and return Zeus's stolen property, and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. On a daring road trip from their summer camp in New York to the gates of the Underworld in Los Angeles, Percy and his friends-one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena-will face a host of enemies determined to stop them. To succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of failure and betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.


Author Notes

Rick Riordan was born on June 5, 1964, in San Antonio, Texas. After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with a double major in English and history, he taught in public and private middle schools for many years.

He writes several children's series including Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Kane Chronicles, and The Heroes of Olympus, Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, and The Trials of Apollo. He also writes the Tres Navarre mystery series for adults. He has won Edgar, Anthony, and Shamus Awards for his mystery novels. .

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 6

Horn Book Review

(Intermediate, Middle School) Percy Jackson, living with ADHD and expelled from many a private school, finds meaning behind his difficulties at last -- he's really a half-blood offspring of Poseidon. His nerves are wired for hero-monster combat, not for sitting in a classroom; his dyslexic eyes are attuned to ancient Greek instead of English. His Latin teacher is the centaur Chiron in disguise, and Furies are out for his blood. After a dramatic midnight flight, Percy finds sanctuary at Half-Blood Hill, a summer camp on eastern Long Island for children of the gods, but it isn't long before he's sent on a quest to retrieve Zeus's thunderbolt from Hades (located, naturally, in L.A.). Accompanied by Annabeth, half-blood daughter of Athena, and Grover, his satyr friend and protector, Percy soon discovers some funny business about who really has the bolt. Packed with humorous allusions to Greek mythology and clever updates of the old stories, along with rip-snorting action sequences, the book really shines in the depiction of Percy -- wry, impatient, academically hopeless, with the sort of cut-to-the-chase bluntness one would wish for in a hero of old. Will Percy's next adventure be welcomed by readers? (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 4 Up-Riordan's highly popular "Olympians" series (Hyperion/Disney) is now a graphic novel. Half-Blood Percy Jackson is the son of a mortal mother and the Greek god Poseidon, which explains why he has always felt out of place among his schoolmates. After learning of his paternity, he is charged with the dangerous mission of locating his Uncle Zeus's missing lightning bolt and returning this symbol of power to its rightful owner. Expert editing keeps the salient parts of the story intact while showcasing the additional storytelling capabilities that the graphic format allows. Excellent panel layout makes the story line easy to follow. The use of angled panels in highly dramatic action scenes is particularly effective. As readers follow Percy's adventures, they are also keenly aware of his personal struggles, as facial expressions help readers to relate to this boy "who doesn't fit in." Illustrations brilliantly illuminate the story, portraying seamless world-blending, from typical school drama and well-known U.S. landmarks to mythological elements. A man seated in one panel casually stands to reveal his true identity as a centaur, the eerie woman seated in the attic is an Oracle, and the Nereid of the undersea kingdom seems a natural part of Percy's world. This blend of mythology and magic with realistic action and adventure brings an added dimension and delightful nuances to this adaptation of the well-known novel. Both ardent followers of Riordan's books and those new to the series will not be disappointed.-Barbara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publisher's Weekly Review

Venditti's adaptation of the critically acclaimed first installment of the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series faces a daunting challenge: to present a beloved, contemporary, young adult fantasy novel as a 128-page visual narrative. But the team succeeds in spectacular fashion. Venditti (The Surrogates) takes the story of the half-blood Percy-who discovers that he is both the son of a god and the prime suspect in a theft of cosmic implications-and forges an adaptation that does justice not simply to Riordan's story but works perfectly as a graphic novel. The book retains the excellent pacing of the original and gives a face to Riordan's vision of the mythological made modern. Futaki's artwork is exemplary, but what leaves such a lasting impression is Villarrubia's coloring, which reveals both subtlety and spectacle when needed. The graphic novel compression must, of necessity, sacrifice something, namely some of the humor of the original. Ages 10-up. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Booklist Review

How could it have taken five years to see a graphic-novel adaptation of such a successful property as the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, and one that, with its heroic destinies and epic action, seems tailor-made to the format? Riordan's original, like Harry Potter as if reimagined by Neil Gaiman, hits all the straightforward archetypes, with young Percy Jackson clued into the secret that he's actually the son of Greek god Poseidon, then educated at Camp Half-Blood with the other illegitimate demigods before embarking on a hero's journey to stop a war of the Olympians. But Riordan also injected a sense of thorny reality with twists like Percy's good-for-nothing stepfather and the entrance to Hades residing in a soulless Los Angeles. Where the slick and flashy movie version failed, Venditti's sharp-edged writing and Futaki's gritty and unprecious art capture the same sense of grunge amid the wonder. A timely release that can be recommended with George O'Connor's recent Olympians graphic novels, proving that while five years may seem too long, at least the wait was worth it.--Karp, Jesse Copyright 2010 Booklist


Guardian Review

Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan 384pp, Puffin, pounds 12.99 Perseus is alive and kicking and living in Manhattan. He goes by the name of Percy Jackson, he's 12 years old and has been shunted from one special school to another. He suffers from attention- deficit disorder and severe dyslexia. Does this sound like the stuff of Greek legend? Rick Riordan's book Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief unleashes the extraordinary lurking beyond the mundane. Percy prefaces his tale with a warning to all "half-bloods" like him who might be reading the book: "Being a half-blood is dangerous. It's scary. Most of the time, it gets you killed in painful, nasty ways." The story begins with Percy believing that he has an over- vivid imagination. Surely this is why he sees his maths teacher turn into a beast with claws, bat wings and fangs, and then attack him. A pen thrown to him by his Latin teacher turns into a sword, and he swipes the thing into nothingness. Then he goes home for summer vacation and heads to Long Island with his mum. When his best friend from school, Grover, shows up with shaggy hindquarters and hooves, urging them to flee from a man with a bull's head who manages to evaporate his mother, Percy can no longer sustain the illusion that he is even remotely normal. He and Grover take sanctuary in a summer camp at Half Blood Hill. This is a training ground for those who are half mortal and half god, for a half-blood has one divine parent. The identity of Percy's absent father is soon revealed to be Poseidon, brother of Zeus and Hades. A war is brewing between these three brothers. Someone has stolen Zeus's thunderbolt and he is blaming Poseidon, who in turn suspects Hades of the crime. If Percy can succeed in crossing the US to the entrance to the Underworld and retrieve the missing thunderbolt to return to Zeus before the summer solstice in just over a week's time, then a major breakout of hostilities encompassing the entire globe will be averted. Accompanied by his satyr friend, Grover, and Annabeth, a half- blood daughter of Athene, goddess of wisdom, Percy fights and journeys his way across modern America, where the challenges include his mythological namesake's original quarry, the gorgon Medusa, with her petrifying gaze and hair of snakes. He makes an enemy of the war god Ares, a leather-bound biker with shades and fire in his eyes, and discovers that a more ancient and darker force, defeated by Zeus before the onset of the Golden Age, is stirring up trouble and attempting to make an appalling return to dominance. This is a fast-paced, entertaining read with lots of imaginative moments and a quirky take on classical Greek mythology. Even if you don't know what a fury or a chimera is, you get the idea when you meet them. Riordan gleefully interprets ancient myth in the modern idiom and this makes for great fun for the reader, even if there are glaring inconsistencies. The original Perseus, for example, was not the son of Poseidon but of Zeus. It is also hard not to be reminded of the Harry Potter books. There is an ever-present whiff of a formula being applied and of marketing at play throughout the genuinely lively storytelling. Also there are grand statements about the second world war really being an epic battle between Poseidon and Zeus and a reference to Hades' resemblance to "pictures I'd seen of Adolf Hitler, or Napoleon, or the terrorist leaders who direct suicide bombers". These weighty contemporary and historical references sit uneasily in what is in effect a light-hearted jape. There is an intended irony in the joke that the entrance to the Underworld is in a Los Angeles recording studio. The unintended irony is that this racy adventure story really does give Greek mythology the Hollywood treatment. Diane Samuels is Pearson Creative Research Fellow at the British Library, researching magic. To order Percy Jackson and the Olympians for pounds 11.99 with free UK p&p call Guardian book service on 0870 836 0875 or go to guardian.co.uk/bookshop Caption: article-percy.1 He and Grover take sanctuary in a summer camp at Half Blood Hill. This is a training ground for those who are half mortal and half god, for a half-blood has one divine parent. The identity of Percy's absent father is soon revealed to be Poseidon, brother of Zeus and Hades. A war is brewing between these three brothers. Someone has stolen Zeus's thunderbolt and he is blaming Poseidon, who in turn suspects Hades of the crime. If [Percy Jackson] can succeed in crossing the US to the entrance to the Underworld and retrieve the missing thunderbolt to return to Zeus before the summer solstice in just over a week's time, then a major breakout of hostilities encompassing the entire globe will be averted. - Diane Samuels.


Kirkus Review

Edgar Award-winning Riordan leaves the adult world of mystery to begin a fantasy series for younger readers. Twelve-year-old Percy (full name, Perseus) Jackson has attended six schools in six years. Officially diagnosed with ADHD, his lack of self-control gets him in trouble again and again. What if it isn't his fault? What if all the outrageous incidents that get him kicked out of school are the result of his being a "half-blood," the product of a relationship between a human and a Greek god? Could it be true that his math teacher Mrs. Dodds transformed into a shriveled hag with bat wings, a Fury, and was trying to kill him? Did he really vanquish her with a pen that turned into a sword? One need not be an expert in Greek mythology to enjoy Percy's journey to retrieve Zeus's master bolt from the Underworld, but those who are familiar with the deities and demi-gods will have many an ah-ha moment.Along the way, Percy and his cohort run into Medusa, Cerberus and Pan, among others. The sardonic tone of the narrator's voice lends a refreshing air of realism to this riotously paced quest tale of heroism that questions the realities of our world, family, friendship and loyalty. (Fantasy. 12-15) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.