I hate letters of intention. I hate letters that expect me to state my aspirations. In spite of having a blog where I talk about myself every darn day, I really don’t like talking about myself. It’s one thing to say I almost slipped and fell out of the tub (today's clumsy moment). I find that easier to say than… “I would be perfect for this program because blah, blah, blah.” Isn’t that strange?
Anyway, apart from agonizing over that stupid letter, I finished reading Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightening Thief. Here are my thoughts.
Reading this book was kind of a first for me. I don’t usually watch the movie first. That being said, in this case, I really don’t recommend watching the movie first. It totally threw me off. In the movie Percy looks like he’s 16 or 17. In the book he’s 12. I had a very hard time adjusting my image of him. Because there is a pretty significant difference in the way one would write a 12 year old and a 16 year old character. Moreover, the movie is almost a completely different story. Both are enjoyable, but now having read the book, many aspects of the story make much more sense. I'd say that the movie went through the Disney Sanitizing Machine in order to make it more generally appealing.
The storyline is basically about Percy Jackson, a demi-god (his father is one of the Greek gods) and his friends going off on a dangerous quest to find and return Zeus’ stolen lightening bolt.
I really have to credit Rick Riordan for the absolutely fantastic way he incorporates mythology into his narrative. Having taken some classical studies courses (not as many as I would have liked) his mythology is bang on. It’s really quite wonderful how he modernizes and incorporates monsters, epithets, character descriptions, technology, weaponry and stories from the classical period. At the same time, he incorporates many modern social issues like pollution, the advancements of Western civilization, family conflicts like divorce, abusive relationships and blended families as well as dealing with dyslexia and ADHD. It’s all pretty neat.
It’s a really great, relatable book for young teens. It’s a good introduction to mythology while simultaneously being a funny, oddly realistic (considering it’s fantasy), captivating adventure and mystery novel. I think this would probably be a very good read for boys who don’t particularly care for reading. The plot moves quickly, there’s a lot of dialogue, lots of detail, it’s not overwhelming stylistically, it’s action packed. At the same time, young girls will be able to connect with Riordan’s very confident, strong, female characters. I would love to see this read in schools. I’m not a teacher yet and already I can see a million activities and discussions arising from this book.
So… I liked it. Can you tell? I loved it for the mythology, I loved it for the humour and I loved how the story developed. Children of the world, girls of the world, please put down your Twilight and pick up Percy Jackson.