Loved this book. I am 60+ years old and did not expect to like it, but I really did.
If you're a fan of Harry Potter or other mythical creatures, this is definitely a great book to read. This book is aimed at young readers, but I'm 27 with no kids and still enjoy the book immensely. It brings to life Greek mythology to life and if you do have kids, it's a form of entertainment that you can enjoy together in the car, in the house, everywhere! SPOILER: The main character of this book is Percy Jackson, a kid with ADHD, who thinks he is going crazy after slaying his math teacher with a ballpoint pen. He turns out to be a demigod whose father is Poseidon, one of the "big three" gods who had entered into a pact never to have children. Book one in the series follows Jackson's antics with friends Grover and Annabeth as they journey to Los Angeles to try to retrieve Zeus's masterbolt. In the end, Percy and friends overcome, but it's the beginning of the end because his friend Luke is pulling together demigods to challenge the gods and raise Kronos and the titans to overcome the Greek gods on Mount Olympus (which hovers over the Empire State building and has a special elevator that takes riders to the 600th floor).
I, like many other grownups out there, have become comfortable reading "children's literature." Harry Potter and Lyra Silvertongue have drawn us in and made us feel welcome at the kids' table. It was with these characters in mind that I downloaded "the Lightning Thief." Suffice to say, I was not entertained. It is not a bad book, necessarily, but it is truly not for adults, even most young ones. The plot and characters are painfully formulaic and the protagonist is frustratingly thick-witted so that children can figure out situations before he does. Maybe not bad as an introduction to the Greek gods for your twelve year old, but definitely not a genre stretcher.
I like young adult fantasy, and I had picked this book up a few years ago because it sounded interesting. A few years later, I still hadn't got around to reading it, but a very good friend recommended it to me, and I thought it was time to try again. So, I downloaded the audio version in anticipation of an upcoming road trip and listened to it.
While it was a cute tale of a young boy who learns about his demi-godhood in trying circumstances, I was disappointed in the book. I found the characters annoying (all of Percy's friends at Camp Halfblood), the "gods" stupid, and the plot lacking in real suspense. The concept is original, but the execution seemed, lacking.
Making it worse was the narrator--he reads it in the voice of a naïve 12-year-old, which is, admittedly, what the main character is, but it gets old listening to his whining after about, oh, five minutes. The voices he uses for the other characters distracted me from the story because they were so annoying.
In addition, I feel that he gets inflections on certain words and phrases wrong--a lot. The one that stands out to me was the word "Percy." Every time one of the other characters said Percy's name, no matter the context, he took that tone that your mom used with you when you were five and had done something bad. "PERcyyyy, what have you DONE?" It took me until near the end of the book to realize that most of the characters weren't actually perpetually angry with Percy, it was just the way the narrator spoke his name.
In the end, I give this one three stars for the concept. It's got sequels that I haven't read yet, so it could be that this is just the set up and the rest are better. It's not horrible, and it is mildly entertaining. My mom liked it. But I'd say skip the audio and read it for yourself or read it to your kids yourself. The narrator just about sucks the whatever fun there is in the book right back out of it.
I love the greek myths I always have. I love the idea of these books being based around greek mythology. I did run into a few things I didn't like about it however. There seems to be all plot and almost no story. this does improve some as the series unfolds. Because of this untill about the end of book 3 I didnt connect or care about any of the main characters. But I found this is a great audiobook to put on when I am busy and just want background noise but dont want to pay to much attention. My biggest problem is I really hate the narrator. Why do all the characters sount like they are either stoners or dead beat surfers? yeah there isnt much difference and niether are the voices. Get someone else to read these and I probably would have enjoyed them alot better. I am tempted to pick up the books and read them to see if most of my dislike is based around Jesse Bernstein and not Rick Riordan.
I would recommend these books to anyone getting them for kids who have already listened to harry potter half a dozen times. For adults looking for something more light hearted these books are ok but once again beware the bad stoner voices and loack of a sub story.
As an adult and a lover of fantasy, I have no regrets starting this series. It is fun and simple with an origional story line. I will read (not listen to) the rest of the series. The narrator has taken an excellent and inventive story for all ages and sucked the life giving color out of the characters. He makes them all sound like drowsy dimwits. I suppose 10-13 year olds will not notice the narrator, but why drive away the rest who would enjoy it otherwise.
I am happy to present this book with 5 stars, although I had my doubts. The narration is decent, though some of the voices are a bit weak in my opinion. Initially I had no interest in the book, but my wife insisted I listen. As always, she was right heh.
Would have given the book more starts if it had had a different narrator. I am just not a big fan of how he did all the voices. Over all though it was great book, making up for what a found to be a irritating narrator.
Enjoying audiobooks daily!
This book was a fun time generally. It had a couple of slow points, but really got great once Ares was present to make Percy's life hard. It was much better than the movie was. I enjoyed it with so much detail and decent character emotionality. I will listen to the rest of the series.
This book was a fun listen and the reader was great. Interesting premise that the gods are still around and having kids. If anything listen to it because it has a whole series that covering demi-god adventures. I think it's a great guilty pleasure for kids and adults. Pretty predictable plot and not amazing writing but I think it's worth listening.