The Lightning Thief
Growing up I was always a fan of Greek mythology; and, since Roman mythology is essentially a variation of Greek, I loved it too. It was not the surviving myths (stories) that addicted me to the subject. It had been the concept of gods and demigods that seared the topic into my mind. During my college days, I took a course in Greek Mythology. In it I was forced to explore the topic through the literature and not just through superficial overviews of the legends. The course turned out to be very enjoyable and I gained a deeper appreciation for the myths.
Now with my Greek myth background out of my system, I first read The Lightning Thief just as the movie was released in 2010. Instead of catching the movie first, I enjoyed the book. Now fast forward to the present day. I listened to the story again, though this time with my daughter. The story is about the Greek gods and their half-blood (demigod) children. But Rick Riordan does a phenomenal job of bringing Greek mythology into the present day. So yes the gods do exist, and just like myths of old, they have trouble staying away from the mortals. So as the base of Western Civilization has moved so did the gods.
Now, what would mythology be without the monsters like the Minotaur or the furies or even Medusa? The answer, nothing. It simply would not be the same. So how does Riordan accomplish bringing these beloved monsters to the present day? Simple, they can never truly be killed. They will eventually pull themselves back together. So since the gods cannot seem to stop themselves from having demigod children and all of those monsters never really die there is a perfect storm for new tales.
Enter Percy Jackson, son of the sea god. You might have been able to guess that from the cover and, if you did not, he gets claimed by Poseidon. It happens fairly early on so it is not really a spoiler. We are wonderfully guided through this new myth, all the way from Percy’s ignorance to the completion of his quest. This was a wonderful story to share with my daughter as she would get ready for bed, which is appropriate, considering Riordan crafted this tale as his own son’s bedtime story.