My quickest read so far this year is Rick Riordan’s The Lightning Thief, the first book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. I made the mistake of starting the book the same night I picked it up from the library. If it hadn’t been a Tuesday night, and I didn’t have to work the next day, I probably would’ve stayed up until I finished the book.

I had seen both movies a few years ago (which were adaptations along the lines of Eragon and The Last Airbender aka Bad), so I didn’t remember much about the narrative. Only that Logan Lerman was Percy, and the forgotten Winchester brother from Supernatural played the eventual “bad guy” in the first movie. I first heard of the series itself on Tumblr (where else), and thus became a Percabeth (Percy + Annabeth) fan before I even knew what the books were about. Tumblr will do that to you.

After many years of learning about the series through Tumblr posts that appeared here and there, I finally picked it up from the West Town branch this year and was not disappointed. I found myself wishing that I had picked up the first three books if not the entire series. It’s been awhile since I’ve read a children’s fantasy fiction series, and I haven’t really looked at that genre in years.

I loved the twist on Greek mythology. There was a time in sixth grade and early junior high where I sought out Greek mythology books and finding series featuring new ways of writing the myths (i.e., this one book series that had Hades as the main character and I cannot for the life of me remember the name or the author). By the time The Lightning Thief was published, I had moved on to other genres for the most part. Rediscovering this former reading interest left me feeling nostalgic once I finished the book.

Speaking of nostalgia, there was one moment early on in the book where Percy was talking about the two songs that Grover knows how to play on his reed pipes. One was Mozart’s Piano Concerto no. 12. The other was Hilary Duff’s “So Yesterday.” I nearly threw the book to the other end of the couch. Then I sat there and felt so old; I remembered when that song came out the summer before sixth grade. I hadn’t even thought of that song in ages, and I may or may not be listening to it as I write this paragraph. Does Hilary Duff know about this reference? Was this referenced in the movie? Also, I’m not sure why I’m focusing so much on this small detail, but it’s killing me.

A part of me wishes I knew about this series when it first came out, even though tearing me away from my Harry Potter books and fan fiction would’ve be tough. But I think that this series would have helped fill the void once Deathly Hallows published.

Rating: 4/5

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