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Publisher's 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 21st-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 10 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 in 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.

Don't miss the other titles in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.
©2005 Rick Riordan (P)2005 Random House, Inc. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group

What members say

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Fun KIDS Book

The quintessential truth about this book is that this is a book for kids. That is no to say that as am adult you can't or won't enjoy it but the long and short is this book was designed for kids. The author takes some obvious liberties taking this into consideration and if I have to base my review solely on it being a kids book... This book was actually great... Pity though I am not a kid nor do I have any at this time.

I liked the concept of the book, the thought process that went into creating this mythical world intertwined with our current time was rather impressive to say the least. If turned into a more young-adult/adult genre book I would thoroughly have enjoyed it because I would think the characters would have a lot more depth and certain concepts about this world would have been thought out much better. From my personal vantage point the book would have probably gotten 2 or 3 stars but thinking of it as a kids book it would get 5 stars..... so a clear medium was found here in giving it 4 stars.

23 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Julia
  • Bakersfield, CA, USA
  • 02-28-10

Loved the story - but.....

I've always had a love of mythology so I was intrigued by the series after I saw the movie trailer. I loved the story - but I will purchase the paperback books and read them instead of downloading the next in the series because I could not abide the narrator. I'm usually fairly non-judgmental about the narrator if the story is good - and I totally get that he is suppose to be just a kid and "clueless" but I felt the narrator's inability to bring the characters to life did not do the story justice. My own mind can do a better job while I read the printed page and I won't be as annoyed as I got with this audiobook.

32 of 38 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • Ariel
  • Los Angeles, CA, United States
  • 02-05-14

Great story, terrible narration.

Jesse Bernstein's voice has a condescending tone, like he is talking down to children, in every moment of the story. It makes him unbelievable as the main character, though he does a fine and consistent job as other character voices. It doesn't make the book unlistenable, but it certainly detracts from the enjoyment of a good tale.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Squigy
  • Brooklyn, NY
  • 04-24-10

Great Read

I purchased this book for my son who is learning about greek mythology in school and he thought the book was awesome!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Martha
  • Brandywine, MD, USA
  • 09-27-05

Great Story!

This was a great story. I loved it! I can't wait for the next installment to come out. I can only wish that my brother could have heard this when he was 12 and suffering from the same problems as the main character. I hate to say though that I agree with the first reviewer. The narrator was a little bit distracting. I can only say that he sounded like a California surfer dude. The only time his voice really irritated me was when he was supposed to have a British accent he held it for about a minute then he switched to a southern accent. This still doesn't distract from how great this story is written and put together. Bravo!

19 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Muffy S.
  • San Francisco, CA USA
  • 07-24-05

Decent story - distracting narration.

The story itself was good - if predictable at several points. Not great literature, but a diverting read for a few summer afternoons. I enjoy young adult literatire, and while this doesn't compare to classics like Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials Trilogy, or recent greats like Cornelia Funke's Inkheart, the story was entertaining enough.

However, I had a hard time not being completely irritated by the narrator. Generally I give myself over to the story, but I found myself thinking over and over that I wished someone else - anyone else - were narrating instead. Everything he reads is delivered in an over-earnest voice, like a child actor trying too hard to be super cute and precocious. His female voices are grating. And the worst offense was that in an attempt to give the male characters different voices, one of them - who could have been an interesting, complex character, instead sounds just like Keanu Reeves in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure; like a dim-witted surfer with a script in front of him.

To be fair, the reader's delivery may appeal more to children than adults. I mean, there must be some reason kids like Barney but adults can't stand him, right? And if it is appealing enough to children that it encourages them to love literature, then I suppose that's what really matters.

48 of 60 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Sara
  • clearwater, FL, USA
  • 08-17-05

The Lightning Theif

This book is a fabulous tale of a 12 year old boy Percy Jackson who is trying to discover who he is and how he fits into the world around him. He is not like other kids because he was fathered by one of the greek gods and a mortal mom. The book introduces the reader to several of the greek gods and goddesses which allows the reader to remember who they were and what they did. Once you start listening you just can't stop. My 9 year old couldnt put it down for 2 days. he would have never read the actual book because of the length but was mezmorized once he started listening. Believe me you won't be disappointed.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

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Story is solid; performance is....hmm.

A bit of a slow start, but a good story. Some of the background characters and descriptions are very cliche, but I love the interpretation of the myths in the modern day. The next ones are even better. But this narrator is not very good as multiple voices. He works fine for Percy, but all the adults, especially the gods, are almost painful to listen to. Hear's a hint: adding inflection works much better than just deepening your voice. Or giving everyone a random Southern accent. Wish they'd gone for a full cast recording on this series.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Fun, even for adults.

I enjoyed this book because it was fun, light "reading." I even learned or remembered a few things from Greek mythology. My 9 year old lost interest quickly, so I recommend it for maybe 13-14 yr olds. I do think the narrator used some strange interpretations of voices. Some of the characters sounded absolutely the same, which left me wondering if they are the same person(but I won't find that out until later), or he has a limited number of voices period. I will definitely download the next book in the series. I think if you like the Harry Potter series, you will probably enjoy these.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great book, poor reading

This is a wonderful book but the narrator was poor. Not so bad that I wouldn't listen to it again but if you are not driving or listening as you work I would recommend reading it.

13 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • CraftyMummy
  • 10-07-14

Hooked from the first chapter!

What made the experience of listening to The Lightning Thief the most enjoyable?

My kids loved this! We listened together each night before bed and they got to the point they didn't want to turn it off each evening!

What other book might you compare The Lightning Thief to, and why?

My kids recognised some of the creatures from the Narnia books.

What does Jesse Bernstein bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I've always read to them at bedtime but we've never listened to an Audible version of a book. I loved the way Jesse could bring the characters to life with different voices - something I have never mastered!

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

We gasped in awe in some of the scenes - we often had to listen to just the beginning of the next chapter so we weren't left hanging on the edge of our seats. My boy especially loved the funny stuff, while I enjoyed the way the story wove in mythology so cleverly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful