The Lightning Thief – Rick Riordan (audiobook)

113264The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1) by Rick Riordan, read by Jesse Bernstein
June 14th 2005 by Listening Library
Source: Library

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 twenty-first century. And worse, he’s angered a few of them: Zeus’s master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.

This was a great book that I wish I had when I was in middle school! This book is filled with adventure, comedy and plenty of Greek mythology. Riordan has a very unique writing style that I enjoyed immensely. The main reason I say this is because this book is targeted at middle schoolers but I still enjoyed it in my 20’s. I can relate to Percy’s character even though we have about a decade in age between us. Percy and his new friends end up on a road trip in a sense. I say this because they are 12 and everyone knows a 12 year-old can’t drive. They use various forms of transportation, both common as well as mythical. This book does a good job at standing alone but also setting up the series as a whole. I cannot wait to see what other adventures Percy and his friends face.

I really enjoyed the narration. Jesse Bernstein did a good job with pronunciations and emphasis but also was able to sound young. I am always amazed when a person can sound 12 when they are not. I would definitely have picked up the rest of the series on audiobook if I had the time to listen to them all. I highly recommend this audiobook if you enjoy listening!

The Mythology

Oh Rick! I have to applaud you on doing a FABULOUS job of incorporating mythology into this text. Not only that but you stayed so true to so many myths. One of the biggest things that I didn’t know until I read my pocket book of myths was the story of the demigod Perseus, who Percy Jackson is names after. This is both right and wrong. Perseus was actually the son of Zeus, not Poseidon as he is in the Percy Jackson books.¬† But the whole part of the story surrounding Medusa? That was correct! I should note that Percy is named after Perseus, he is NOT Perseus the demigod. So there will continue to be similarities and differences. I have to say this is a wonderful interpretation of the myths and I cannot wait to read more.



Classics Retold – Heroes, Gods and Monsters, oh my!

9068813Heroes, Gods and Monsters of the Greek Myths by Bernard Evslin
January 1986 by Bantam Books
Source: Purchased

This is my first book in the Classics Retold challenge! Before I dive into the retellings of the Greek myths, I need to first know what the Greek myths are all about. I read this book first back in freshman year of high school and found it to be incredibly interesting. I think that it saying a lot when it comes to required reading in high school. I knew I still had this book and knew it would be prefect to use for this challenge because I am not focusing in on a single god or monster but doing them in a wider sense.

I am going to call this the pocket edition of Greek mythology. None of the stories are longer than 10 pages, with most coming in around 3 pages. Most of these stories are shorten and brief but if you are new to Greek mythology this would be a good one to start with. The language never overwhelming, which is another plus if you are new. There are 26 different stories total ranging from Zeus to Pandora to Perseus. My only complaint about this book is that I wish it had more “monsters”. They are included in the stories but they don’t have their own. I know some of these would have been interesting to read.

Overall this is perfect for a quick reference about a certain god or goddess (or demigod!) but if you are looking for a more detailed story you will want to look elsewhere.