WARNING: This post has a book summary, review, and my dream that connects to the book mentioned. It may contain SPOILERS for The Lightning Thief book. Nothing major is mentioned, but readers should take caution when I review the book. The summary before and the dream afterward should be okay. If not, don’t be afraid to tell me so I can change this spoiler warning accordingly.
And okay, while we’re doing warnings, I guess I better also warn you: this is my most favorite book series EVER. Rick Riordan rocks, and he is my hero. Whenever Percy Jackson is mentioned, I get super excited and fangirl the heck out without pausing to breathe. That being said, I nearly died of joy when I had a dream about my favorite characters. I thought this would be an appropriate start to my blog since Percy Jackson is such a big part of my life. (Just ask my sister Alisha who has no qualms complaining about how often I annoy her with my fangirling.)
Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan is a five book series beginning with The Lightning Thief. Percy Jackson and the Olympians can be followed by its companion series, The Heroes of Olympus. If one still wishes for more Percy Jackson, Rick Riordan has written a crossover mini series with The Kane Chronicles. It can get a bit confusing if you haven’t been following the books as they come out. Hmm… Maybe I should make another post explaining the correct order to read certain series. Hehe. I just love educating people about books. Anyway, sorry. Got a bit off track there. Right now I believe I’ll just review The Lightning Thief, the first book (hence the one you should read first) out of all of these books.
Look, I didn’t want to be a half-blood.
And with a bang, you’re thrust into Percy Jackson’s weird life. The twelve-year-old begins his story while on a field trip with his 6th grade class. A strange occurrence on the trip leaves Percy seriously shaken, especially when no one but him can remember anything– except for perhaps his best friend Grover. As Grover continues to lie to him, Percy determines that something fishy is going on. At the end of the school year he returns to his home in New York City to be back with his mom and nasty stepfather.
Everything comes to a point when Percy is attacked by the Minotaur. Barely escaping with his life, he finds himself at Camp Half-Blood, which is no ordinary camp. It is meant for demigods, people who are half mortal, half god– Greek gods, to be exact. With his life changed beyond reason, it stands to chance that things can only get better, right? Nah. Percy is accused of stealing none other than Zeus’s lightning bolt. Zeus is the head honcho god and as temperamental as heck, basically the last person on earth you want to anger. In order to clear his name, Percy sets out on a quest. Joined by Grover and fellow demigod Annabeth, Percy and his friends fight and con their way across the country in order to reach the Underworld where they believe the real thief is.
Percy Jackson is a hilarious narrator, telling his adventures in a distinctive voice. It’s impossible to get bored with Percy narrating! His voice helps to move the plot along, keeping it fast paced and filled with jokes.
Riordan is a genius at incorporating Greek mythology within modern day America, weaving the two together seamlessly. It’s quite entertaining to see how the Greek gods supposedly influenced the events that happen today. When I first picked up The Lightning Thief (I was a tiny 8-year-old, dear sweet goodness) I had already been studying Greek mythology by myself for a while, so I loved seeing how Rick Riordan retold the Greek myths. Unlike other authors who might morph Greek myths into their own creations, Riordan acknowledges the original myths, having Percy learn them as demigod history lessons. I definitely appreciated this, knowing that it was an accurate representation of the myths.
Throughout Percy’s experiences he is introduced to new figures, both good and bad. Riordan’s characters are multilayered (like an onion), with flawed good characters and bad characters who aren’t so very evil. The characters add flavor to the story, creating an interesting and humorous world for readers to navigate through along with Percy.
But Percy’s world, because it’s complex, also comes with its fair share of complications that can’t be solved by hacking at somebody with a sword (but, don’t get me wrong, there’s lots of that too). Riordan doesn’t shy away from sticky situations. He deftly describes problems such as Percy’s abusive step father or the many shenanigans of the Greek gods. Expertly discussing the situations in ways that are not explicit, he is still gives good portrayals of the various dilemmas. This is important for a children’s author to do. Not everything in real life is going to be made of lollipops and rainbows, and kids do face conflicts in their lives. They shouldn’t have to deal with them, but they’re there none the less. Not only is Riordan giving them a good story, but he’s allowing kids to see that they aren’t alone, that other kids have issues too.
With all the positive elements incorporated within The Lightning Thief, it can be read, not just by grade school kids, but people of all ages. With a solid 10 out of 5 stars, this is an adventure that no one should miss out on! (Translation: if you haven’t read Percy Jackson yet, what are you doing?) It shall continue to be my all time favorite, no matter how old I get.
I was so excited when I first had this dream about Percy Jackson that this is literally how I labelled it in my notes: PRECY JACKSON DREAM ASDFGHJKL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I typed it out so fast I couldn’t even spell Percy correctly.
At the beginning of my dream I was in this large Greek architecturally styled building. Within the building I played this game show with my friend Jack. (Often, people I know in real life pop up in my dreams.) The game was kind of like Jeopardy. In it, the players were given random topics and then had to come up with where they came from. It could have been anything and I had a really hard time playing. I couldn’t think of the answer to the question I was given, so I ran away from the contest (running away from your problems is always the answer) and followed a lady to the top of the building. It was wobbly at the top and I thought to myself “A Greek structure wouldn’t be wobbly! Greeks were great mathematicians.”
After I escaped the horrible game show for good, I decided to travel to Europe on my own. I went there to learn how to be independent and do things by myself. I went to this weird train station where there were a bunch of different shops centered around it. My mom gave me money and I had to exchange it for euros. In the European market there was an old Percy Jackson who was sitting alone and depressed in a room filled with cool knickknacks, resembling an antique store. Within my dream I knew –don’t ask me how I knew this, sometimes in my dreams I just KNOW things– that he had a hard choice and was deliberating whether or not to take action.
This old Percy was actually from the future. In his time Annabeth had died. At risk of ruining the world by messing up past events, old Percy made the decision to go back in time and attempt to save Annabeth from her untimely death. Percy picks up a particular object within the room and it instantly transports him back in time. Fast forward to the fateful event. Old Percy goes onto the boat that past Percy and Annabeth were on when Annabeth died. I’ve been calling it a boat, but it was more of a large floating wooden platform that carried its passengers (and was surprisingly stable). Other people were on the raft, but the two Percys and Annabeth were the main focus of my dream.
Attempting to prevent Annabeth’s death, old Percy tells both past Percy and Annabeth that a storm is brewing on the seas, warning them that if they do nothing Annabeth will die in the ship wreck. Having been warned ahead of time, past Percy and Annabeth are prepared and Annabeth does not meet a salty end. The old Percy goes poof poof because his future is no longer a reality.
BUT THEN, as Percy and Annabeth are swimming away, Annabeth sees another Percy going in the opposite direction from them. There’s a third Percy! *gasp* This doppelgänger was definitely nefarious in nature, and unfortunately slipped away. Annabeth, after seeing another Percy swim away, knew that something wasn’t right and suspected old Percy of double-crossing them. Tsk tsk. Percy’s evil doppelgänger, in fact, was not in league with old Percy, but Annabeth is unaware of this.
At this point in my dream I was beginning to wake up, so Percy’s evil doppelgänger just kind of doesn’t come back. Dun dun dunnnn… Percy, Annabeth and another survivor from the boat arrive at the European market safely. In the end, Percy and Annabeth arrive at a house that’s been recently remodeled. At first Percy doesn’t recognize it but when he does it’s very emotional because the house was of great value to him and Annabeth. He hugs Annabeth and they end up kneeling on the floor in each other’s arms crying out of sheer happiness at their survival and the fact that they are together. Happy ending, hallelujah!
That’s pretty much it. It’s actually pretty amazing you’ve given me this much time. Like, wow, you have stamina. *high five!* Thanks for reading!