Tuesday, September 16, 2014

My Important Book

The most important book that I have read so far is Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. At just 12 years old, Percy Jackson was told by his best friend/protector, Grover, that there was a reason he didn’t fit in with humans and why strange things kept happening to him. But most of all, Grover explained to Percy why his father had never been a part of his life. This is because Percy’s dad is the Greek god, Poseidon, God of the Sea. Percy is a demigod, half-human half-god, and Grover realized that it was time to take Percy to Camp Half Blood, the safest place for kids like Percy to grow up and train. But on the journey to the camp, Hades’s Minotaur captured Percy’s mother and took her to the underworld. Zeus's master bolt is missing and Hades blames Percy for stealing it. So Percy goes on a quest with Grover and a daughter of Athena named Annabeth to save his mother from the underworld, prove he didn’t take the master bolt, and hopefully prevent a war between the gods.

I noticed that Rick Riordan wrote The Lightning Thief and all of his following books with a common theme. Ancient Greek mythology. His books include the gods and minor gods, mythological creatures like Grover (who's a satyr), and legendary monsters like the Minotaur. I think Riordan wrote his books this way because it gives old stories new life, and makes the stories more interesting to younger readers. He also made his characters likeable and relatable. Besides the fact that they were going off on dangerous quests and are only half human, Percy and Annabeth are still teenagers.

I truthfully loved this book. I loved the action and adventure, the relatability of the characters, and how mythology was incorporated into a book meant for kids and teens. Percy and Annabeth may be half bloods, and super awesome, but they are also still teenagers. That gave them a quality that I couldn’t help but like. But it also surprised me. I didn’t read these books for about three years. I always thought, why would I want to read a book about something that’s thousands of years old? But when I finally convinced myself to try this book out, I loved it and couldn’t get enough.

The Lightning Thief also opened so many doors for Rick Riordan to continue this fantastic series. He created a character almost as well known as Harry Potter and a fandom that will last a lifetime. It has all the basics when it comes to an action adventure, courage, friendship, and villains. But it has a unique twist that makes it interesting. While reading this book, Riordan taught us the basics of Greek history and mythological legends that we will probably never learn about in school. Once I realized just how much I loved this book, I started thinking to myself, why? Besides the fact that the characters are awesome, I found out that I have a true interest in ancient Greek mythology. And I thank Rick Riordan for not only opening doors for his writing, but also for opening doors for me into a topic that I would’ve never found had it not been for Percy Jackson.

In 2010, The Lightning Thief was made into a movie. Let’s just say that while Percy can certainly compete with Harry Potter, Riordan’s first movie certainly cannot compete with J.K. Rowling’s. The producers completely changed some parts of the book, and it doesn’t make any sense. They also made all the characters four years older and one of the biggest parts in the series is The Great Prophecy, which states that Percy will have to “reach 16 against all odds”. But Percy was 16 in the movie, so… what?! Between bad writing and actors that were chosen more for their looks than their talent, The Lightning Thief turned into an epic fail. Although the movie didn’t meet my expectations at all, the book soared above them. Rick Riordan created likeable and relatable characters, that just get more and more awesome as you read on. Percy inspired a passion for ancient Greek mythology inside me and I truly don’t think any writer will be able to top the adventurous, courageous spirit that Rick Riordan did in Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.