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Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

The Chris Columbus directed movie, based on the book, is due out on Feb 12, but this is a fabulous entertainment in its own right.

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Okay, so it's set in a boarding school for kids with magical/supernatural abilities - but don't let this put you off. So far, the Percy Jackson series has captured the efficient and succinct plotting of the first three Harry Potter books; likewise, it is something of a whodunit, in that one of the teachers or pupils at Camp Halfblood is really a baddie. The clues are subtle but entirely fair.

I liked that Percy's dyslexia and Attention Deficit Disorder were put down to his subconscious familiarity with ancient Greek and his need to be ever ready to fight off hoards of deadly monsters. I usually find the current trend of giving the hero such contemporary "issues" irritatingly contrived - but in this case it works fine.

free books for kindlePercy Jackson and the Lightning Thief (fiction)
Rick Riordan (Author)
customer reviews (Yes)
Print List Price: £6.99
Kindle Price: £4.99 
includes free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save:
£2.00 (29%)
Text-to-Speech: Enabled

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Reviews from Amazon: 

When this book arrived, I placed it on my bookshelf thinking I'd get around to reading it when I had nothing better to read. To put it bluntly, I really didn't think I'd like a slick American High school version of the Legends of ancient Greece (sort of Buffy meets Hercules) - but I was wrong. As soon as I started reading it I was hooked.

The pacing is dazzlingly fast; it starts at a run and ends at a gallop without ever once pausing for breath! Younger readers who might be unfamiliar with the heroes of Greek legend will probably enjoy the twists of the plot - however, adult readers might see these coming, (ie the identity Aunty "M" - owner of the Garden Statue Emporium), but somehow, this only adds to the enjoyment!

The other thing that had put me off this book ever so slightly was setting it in a school for halfbloods (children of the Greek gods); coming so close to "Harry Potter and the Halfblood Prince" it felt uncomfortably derivative ... like yet another Harry Potter wannabe. However, knowing how slowly things move in the world of publishing, I realised the whole half-blood concept would have been imagined by the author at least a couple of years before HP 6 appeared.


Percy Jackson has always been different from other kids. He's dyslexic and suffers from ADHD, and is always getting into trouble. He's been expelled several times, and the only thing that holds his interest is Greek mythology.

We soon learn that Percy has close ties with Mount Olympus, and when monsters from mythology start popping up looking for his blood, he ends up at a very special school for kids like himself, where he starts to put things together to find out who he really is.

Before he knows it, he's off on a quest with his two friends, Grover and Annabeth, to recover a powerful lightning bolt, property of Zeus, which has been stolen, supposedly by Percy himself. Zeus, Poseidon and Hades are having a little disagreement about the theft of the said lightning bolt, and unless Percy can retrieve it and return it in time, the resulting fallout will have earth-shattering consequences.

This great (albeit relatively unknown) first book of the series is an easy read, and is sure to encourage young readers to improve their knowledge of Greek mythology, especially the stories of the Minotaur, Medusa and the gods Poseidon, Ares, Zeus, Hades, Kronos, Athena and so on. Highly recommended for young readers in search of an original and imaginative adventure series.


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