Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief Book Review

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

PJ pic

Genre: YA Fantasy Series, Mythology

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 retrieve Zeus’s Master Bolt, reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

My Review

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and most of it is down to the characters, especially the trio – Percy, Annabeth and Grover. This is an action-packed read and though it did slow down halfway through, I enjoyed learning more about the mythological heroes, heroines and the monsters alongside Percy. The world-building was straightforward and instead of being bombarded with info dumping, we are treated to a gradual learning course in mythology though I am still yearning to gain more in-depth knowledge and hear more stories. And it also helped that Camp Half-Blood was incredible, and I can safely add this to my list of magical settings I would like to visit!

The Trio


What I loved most about the Lightning Thief is the trio. I found Percy extremely relatable and the 11-year-old version of me would have related strongly with Percy. Percy is a fiery character, he has poor control over his temper and is ready to stand up against bullies. Further, I carried out some research and found out that during the process of writing the first book in the series, Rick Riordan’s son was experiencing learning differences in school namely dyslexia. In the series, most ‘demi-gods’ suffer from ADHD and as you know, ADHD and dyslexia are often paired together. I thought it was exceptionally wonderful for Riordan to have a main character who suffers from ADHD and dyslexia and turn it into strengths instead. Individuals with ADHD tend to fare better in a crisis and Percy showed a clear dexterity and superb problem-solving skills in his duels with monsters and a particular ‘god.’

“I have moments like that a lot, when my brain falls asleep or something, and the next thing I know I’ve missed something, as if a puzzle piece fell out of the universe and left me staring at the blank place behind it. The school counsellor told me this was part of the ADHD, my brain misinterpreting things.”

Annabeth and Grover were the perfect two to complete the trio. Each character in this trio brought their own individual strengths. Annabeth Chase is intelligent, strategic and always has a plan. She also loves architecture which I hope is further explored as the series progresses. Grover Underwood is emotionally intelligent, easily picking up on the feelings of others and to top it off, he is an environmentalist and possesses a strong affinity to animals. Percy is brave, adaptable and alert in a crisis. With a trio like this, you have three excellent role-models for both children and adults alike and what I especially love is that they all have their own special set of skills. At this point, it would be difficult to pick a favourite character.

“He [Grover] walked funny, like every step hurt him, but don’t let that fool you. You should’ve seen him run when it was enchilada day in the cafeteria.”

Twists and Turns

Though I didn’t read the blurb provided by Goodreads – I only read the blurb on the actual book – it didn’t take me long to deduce that Percy is the son of Poseidon as the clues were laid out rather unostentatiously, but this is not a complaint either. The mystery surrounding the traitor friend based on the prophecy delivered to Percy by the Oracle was also easy to piece together. The conversation between Luke and Percy at the car wash pretty much gave away who the traitor is, nonetheless the prophecy was great fun trying to work out!


riordan wiki

Upon the introduction of Ares, ‘god of War,’ I experienced a full-blown crush where I felt an immediate need to surround myself with fans. I mean the guy was seriously hot… but then I realised that he’s all brawn only. But the introduction of Zeus and Poseidon left me in a conundrum because I was crushing on both of them at the same time! Poseidon is level-headed and calm, and Zeus is much more authoritative and a teensy bit dramatic. I don’t ordinarily crush on characters as most men in fiction are not usually my preference and then to get three hot guys all in one book? Somebody call 911, I have a fire burning in my heart.

One disappointing aspect of the book was the portrayal of Medusa. When Medusa is introduced, she is dressed in a burqa and I didn’t expect to experience religious and cultural appropriation in a children’s book unless, of course, the origins of the mythological creature supports it. This was jarring because amongst the monsters Percy encounters, Medusa was the most intriguing and the tale she relayed about her history was so captivating that I could hardly peel my eyes away.

Love and Family

Percy’s underlying motive to journey to the Underworld is to rescue his mother. The love between mother and son here was truly heart-warming. It is clear that Sally Jackson hasn’t had the easiest of times and she suffers much for the safety and sake of her son and it is beautiful to see Percy undergo so much agony and harm, in return, across the country, so he can retrieve his mother. An interesting thing to note is that while Percy wants to rescue his mother from his vile and atrocious step-father, he understand his mother when she says that she has to be the one to do it herself. This is an empowering message, yes, we must help others, but the decision to help their own selves belongs entirely to the individual.

“All I want,” I said, choking back my tears, “is to see my loving stepfather again. Every time I saw him on TV, calling me a delinquent punk, I knew … somehow … we would be okay. And I know he’ll want to reward each and every person in this beautiful city of Los Angeles with a free major appliance from his store. Here’s the phone number.”

What Happened Here?

Can someone recall and/or explain when Percy returned the helmet to Hades because I have no recollection of this ever happening? Also, how can Percy do all of that and Dionysus still get Percy’s name wrong? Peter Johnson, my foot. Put some respect on his name, Mr D.


This was a highly enjoyable read and I cannot wait to dive back into the series with the next book. Perhaps, by the end of the next book I should finally have a favourite character.

reaction GIFS

[Photo/Gif credit: Rebloggy, Riordan wiki, Reaction GIFS]

What are your thoughts on Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief and your overall thoughts on the Olympians series? Who is your favourite character from the series and why? If you have any book recommendations on mythology, possibly one with pictures, do let me know in the comments!

In other news, I had quite a relaxing break, got a bit of reading done and I noticed something strange: I was able to enjoy reading more when I wasn’t stressing about writing a review about it. I’ve missed you guys and I hope you’ve missed me too! As Eid will already have happened when this is published on Thursday, I wish you a belated Eid Mubarak to my fellow Muslim bloggers.

Sophski out.

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  1. I always forget that Percy is 11. I think the movie version has tainted my memory of the book lol. I know I read it but all I can think of is the terrible movies smh. Also, yay! You’re back! *insert happy dance here*

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh my gosh, I just watched 30 mins of it one or two days ago and I was shocked that I enjoyed it the first time round (but that’s after comparing it to the books).

      It seems incredulous that he’s 11, I mean, how are his reflexes THAT GOOD?!

      And yay, I’m glad I’m back. I’ve missed talking to you! XD (even though I have been, but you know what I mean).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I had no idea individuals with ADHD/dyslexia were represented in this book! They often go overlooked in literature, but it’s nice to see them getting attention and using a potential setback as a strength. I seriously need to read this series. (I haven’t even seen the movie yet!) I live under a rock. Welcome back!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Most/all ‘demi-gods’ in this series have ADHD/dyslexia so it’s an empowering message to send to young children who feel ‘different.’

      Oh dear… I’ve only watched 30 mins of the film but it doesn’t have a smidge on the book! Perhaps watch the film first and then the series? That way, you’ll have no expectations of the film lol.

      And thank you! 🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is the only one of the books I ever read so I always forget how much I love Annabeth. I really need to get back into this series! I also loved the Gods- but the movie versions of Zeus and Poisedon especially.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I mean, Annabeth is just dope, isn’t she? I am yet to see a flaw.

      Apparently book 3 & 4 are the best in the series so the only way is up. 🙂

      Yes, Zeus and Poseidon have both brains and brawn (and very obvious good looks 😳).


  4. Happy Eid! Your review makes me want to reread the entire series again. I totally agree with you, the characters (especially the trio friendship) in this book is just lovely to read about, and Riordan does have a way with characters overall.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 🤗

      The friendship of the trio is healthy and I love how they all listen to each other and help each other grow. Honestly, I think they’re better than the HP trio. 🤷‍♀️ Riordan definitely fleshes out his character, makes them relatable and layered and brings out their strengths. Everyone has a strength. Grover could have easily become a pitiable character but his power is in his emotions and his people skills. That’s what I love. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ooh, this book sounds like an entertaining and educational read at the same time (ADHD, dyslexia and Greek mythology!). I love books like that. I’ll be reading it soon. ^-^

    For mythology, I used to read a series of comic on it when I was younger. It was really funny as its target audience was young children. Unfortunately, it’s only available in Vietnamese, illustrated by a Korean. And I couldn’t find any information online whether it has an English version or not. So, sorry, Sophia… 😦 All I knew was the comic’s illustration and story was based on Bulfinch’s Mythology book (I haven’t read this one though).

    Anyway, welcome back! “I’ve missed you guys and I hope you’ve missed me too!” lol, of course we’ve missed you. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really is. God knows, there does need to be more rep for people with ADHD & dyslexia. I’m excited to see what you think of it! I think you’ll enjoy, it seems everyone does. I think you’ll love Grover. ☺️

      Oh no… I was getting really pumped when you said comic series. 😭 Mythology and comic combo? Wow. We need ideas like that in the West (any fantasy author reading this, please make it happen!). And omg. THANK YOU for the Bulfinch rec. I looked it up on Goodreads and found that it spans both Greek mythology and plenty more eras. Looks really excited and it’s over 800 pages so I love that. 😄

      Aw, you’re so sweet. Thank you. Glad you’ve missed me. 😳

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Eid Mubarak and I’m happy you had a great break!
    I can honestly say (This is coming from a person who LOVES the whole series) that my favourite character is by far Annabeth! Maybe just maybe I might also have admiration for Clarisse the daughter of Ares… She becomes better further on in the series I guess 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, and belated Eid Mubarak to you too! ❤️

      It seems Annabeth is pretty popular. She’s very smart, and listens… the healthy version of Hermione. 🙂 I like that Clarisse improves! I think I will like her too, and I hope she uses her feistiness for good.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. That was quite easy to guess! Wasn’t it? That Percy was Poseidon’s son! Even I don’t remember when Percy returned the helmet to Hades? What helmet, by the way? Mr D gets better. I love him! I think this is the post you did after your break? I forgot to comment! It’s good to have you back! 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve noticed that too! I enjoy reading more when I’m not stressing about writing a review. Otherwise, I’m wondering whether there is something wrong!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think when we book bloggers read nowadays we do it with the knowledge that we must write a post on it so we scrutinise all the flaws and strengths instead of just enjoying them. 😞 Better to not take notes as you go along unless it can be kept to a minimum. We read because we enjoy not stress after all.


    2. All those water references, only someone truly clueless wouldn’t realise lol. Hades’s helmet was taken alongside the lightning bolt as well (timeline is quite strange with regards to that so I might be wrong here) but no reference to ever returning it and it wasn’t in the film so they clearly must have realised too lol.
      Yup, first post since, and thank you. 🤗❤️


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