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The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Rick Riordan
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,199 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can't seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse-Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy's mom finds out, she knows it's time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he'll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends -- one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena -- Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

Books In This Series (7 Books)
Complete Series

  • Editorial Reviews Review

    Book Description

    In this stunning collectors' edition of The Lightning Thief, Percy Jackson's world is brought to life with eight full-color plates by the series jacket artist John Rocco. The edition comes in an elegant slipcase with a ribbon bookmark, rough edges, and cloth cover--a perfect keepsake for fans of this truly epic series.

    After getting expelled from yet another school for yet another clash with mythological monsters only he can see, twelve-year-old Percy Jackson is taken to Camp Half-Blood, where he finally learns the truth about his unique abilities: He is a demigod, half human, half immortal. Even more stunning: His father is the Greek god Poseidon, ruler of the sea, making Percy one of the most powerful demigods alive. There's little time to process this news. All too soon, a cryptic prophecy from the Oracle sends Percy on his first quest, a mission to the Underworld to prevent a war among the gods of Olympus.

    This first installment of Rick Riordan's best-selling series is a non-stop thrill-ride and a classic of mythic proportions.

    A Note for Amazon Customers from Illustrator John Rocco

    Dear Readers,

    When I was about eight years old I had the great luck of stumbling upon my father’s collection of Classics Illustrated comic books. I instantly fell in love with the stories of Robert Louis Stevenson, Mark Twain, H.G. Wells, and James Fenimore Cooper. Many years later, when I became interested in illustration, I discovered the beautiful hardbound editions of these stories featuring the arresting artwork of incredible artists like N.C. Wyeth, Howard Pyle, and Maxfield Parrish. What I love about their paintings is not just the beautiful draftsmanship, color and composition, but their ability to capture a moment that held the promise of swashbuckling adventure. That promise let me know that if I read the words surrounding that picture, I could unlock the adventure.

    That promise is what I tried to achieve when creating the pictures for this incredible series. My approach has never been just to describe a scene from the book, but to create an illustration that offers tension and mystery--an image that provides just enough information to leave the viewer wanting to know more.

    When I was asked to create images for the Deluxe Edition of Rick Riordan’s The Lightning Thief it was a dream come true. It was my chance to illustrate what I consider to be a new classic. The Lightning Thief has so many wonderful moments it was difficult to choose what to paint, but I knew I wanted to create a balance of dramatic scenes and quiet moments and to capture the spirit of Rick’s unforgettable characters. It has been my own great adventure to help bring this book to life in a new way, in color, on the page.

    I hope you enjoy this Deluxe Edition of The Lightning Thief.



    Illustrations from Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief Deluxe Edition
    (Click to Enlarge)

    Percy and a Nereid Percy and Annabelle on their way to Las Vegas Percy at the Entrance to Mount Olympus

    From School Library Journal

    Starred Review. Grade 5-9–An adventure-quest with a hip edge. At first glance, Perseus Jackson seems like a loser (readers meet him at a boarding school for troubled youth), but he's really the son of Poseidon and a mortal woman. As he discovers his heritage, he also loses that mother and falls into mortal danger. The gods (still very active in the 21st-century world) are about to go to war over a lost thunderbolt, so Percy and sidekicks Grover (a young satyr) and Annabeth (daughter of Athena) set out to retrieve it. Many close calls and monster-attacks later, they enter Hades's realm (via L.A.). A virtuoso description of the Underworld is matched by a later account of Olympus (hovering 600 floors above Manhattan). There's lots of zippy review of Greek myth and legend, and characters like Medusa, Procrustes, Charon, and the Eumenides get updates. Some of the Labors of Heracles or Odysseus's adventures are recycled, but nothing seems stale, and the breakneck pace keeps the action from being too predictable. Percy is an ADHD, wise-cracking, first-person narrator. Naturally, his real quest is for his own identity. Along the way, such topics as family, trust, war, the environment, dreams, and perceptions are raised. There is subtle social critique for sophisticated readers who can see it. Although the novel ends with a satisfying conclusion (and at least one surprise), it is clear that the story isn't over. The 12-year-old has matured and is ready for another quest, and the villain is at large. Readers will be eager to follow the young protagonist's next move.–Patricia D. Lothrop, St. George's School, Newport, RI
    Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    Product Details

    • File Size: 5008 KB
    • Print Length: 391 pages
    • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1423121708
    • Publisher: Disney Hyperion; 1st edition (May 2, 2009)
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B00280LYIC
    • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Enabled
    • Lending: Enabled
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,179 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    269 of 287 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Thrill Ride April 15, 2007
    Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
    I held off buying THE LIGHTNING THIEF for a couple years. The market seems glutted with YA fantasy at the moment, and I read quite a bit of it with my 9-year-old. We've discovered several good series, but THE LIGHTNING THIEF seemed too long to hold his attention when it first came out.

    This year we noticed it in the book fair at school, then saw that it was an Accelerated Reader book. So I picked it up and read a couple chapters to try it out. I was 50 pages into it when I realized I needed to be reading this to my son.

    I did read it to him. We FLEW through the book (375 pages!) in 6 days because he kept pestering me to read it to him. We finished it up in a 5-hour marathon yesterday, hanging onto every page as Percy and his friends tried to save the world and put things to rights in their own lives.

    THE LIGHTNING THIEF is a great book for adults and kids. I've already recommended it to a couple of adult friends who experienced the same kind of can't-put-it-down pull that I did.

    Percy Jackson, the hero of the book, comes across as every kid you'd ever meet or ever would. He's no brainiac (he has dyslexia and ADHD) but he has friends who are. But he is courageous and clever, stubborn and loyal. He is the best he can be, and he's getting even better.

    Riordan works in many of the Greek myths in the novel. There was a time when knowing Greek mythology was a pre-requisite for having a "classical" education. Many morals and philosophies are presented in the tales.

    From the very beginning of the novel, we find out Percy is different when he ends up fighting a harpy in the museum while on a school trip.
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    85 of 89 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars A Wow Story! October 6, 2008
    I am a senior citizen--a librarian--a woman-- who could not possibly be interested in the story of a 12-year-old boy whose ADHD behavior causes him to be moved from private school to private school or that he has momentary lapses when strange behavior takes over or that he finally learns that he is a half-blood (no, not a HP half-blood), but the son of a god. No, I could not possibly be interested in such a far-fetched story, but then again I AM interested in this story because--WOW--what a story!!

    Percy Jackson (Perseus at that!) learns in this first installment of The Olympians that he is indeed the son of a god and not some little podunk god, but one of the big three--Poseidon, god of all the seas. As a half-blood, he is given a quest: to find Zeus's thunderbolt. Someone has stolen it, giving rise to the book's title: the Lightning Thief.

    If all this seems really strange, then you are normal. After all, we thought Greek mythology was dead. How little we knew, when in reality, it is alive and well and operating in the New West---America. The reader gets so caught up in this new telling of the old myths, ahem, stories of the living gods, that it becomes fresh and vibrant again. In fact, Mt. Olympus is now located on the 600th floor of the Empire State Building and accessible only through a special elevator ticket. You must have an appointment to get there.

    Percy Jackson's pursuit of the lightning thief is just plain out fun reading. When I had to stop for any period of time, I couldn't wait to get back to the story. If the reader thinks it unrealistic that a 12-year-old is the hero, then put two and two together. Being a hero does not always take brawn--often thinking, intellect, strategy are required to solve a problem.
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    277 of 308 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Like a Hipper Harry Potter May 19, 2006
    There's always the "what to read while waiting for the next HP" question for some of us, don't get upset folks - I like Harry Potter as much as you do - "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" has a modern, hip, even urban style that people weary of Harry's earnest heroism may actually PREFER.

    Plus, people with an interest in legends and myths will bug their eyes out with excitement, because the premise of "Percy Jackson" is that there are a handful of kids who are in fact the children of Greek gods and goddesses, who had come down to dally with modern Americans. These kids, called "half-bloods" in the book, grow up not knowing their origins, alienated by their disjointed lives and absent parents. (A nice conceit of the book is that many half-bloods have dyslexia, but only because their minds are wired for ancient Greek, and ADHD, but only because their minds are wired for hunting, a notion that should give a lot of comfort to real kids with these real problems.) But there are forces of darkness - monsters - whose aim it is to destroy such kids. They are only protected at a special camp - "Camp Half-Blood." Percy, who turns out to be a son of Poseidon, lands at this camp, but must eventually leave it and risk the monsters, to fulfill a Quest.

    Even on the basis of this short description you can see there are a lot of superficial similarities to the Potter books - an orphan, with supernatural powers, who has two friends (one brainy girl and one geeky sidekick), several envious rival students. He goes to a special school and learns he is highly skilled at the school's favorite sport (in this case chariot racing). He is personally charged with a quest that, should he fail, will result in the ruin of the world.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars I love this series and maintain that it isn't just for ...
    I love this series and maintain that it isn't just for children. I am a 25 year old mother and have reread the series many times and plan to reread them again to my son when he... Read more
    Published 7 hours ago by Cynthia
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    I'm 12 and I loved this book
    Published 11 hours ago by Sandra Farley
    5.0 out of 5 stars Super enjoyable
    One Saturday afternoon a few months ago I was zapping over and over (I was bored) and I stopped when I saw Pierce Brosnan in a wheelchair and a kid fighting with a woman that... Read more
    Published 2 days ago by Sandra
    5.0 out of 5 stars 6 stars
    It's like Harry Potter except instead of wizards it's Greek mythology. It starts out in 2012 with an adhd kid who was labeled a troublemaker going on a school field trip to the... Read more
    Published 2 days ago by sarah bechaz
    5.0 out of 5 stars Best book ever
    READ IT NOW it's a very good book, nothing to Chang and you need to read it now, right now
    Published 2 days ago by Read it
    4.0 out of 5 stars Good
    Book came with a few dents, just as described.
    Published 4 days ago by Zaid Yousef
    5.0 out of 5 stars Finely read it and love it
    Better than the movie for sure. Hope some decides to remake the film the way it was supposed to be like in the book. Can't wait to get on reading to the next book in the series!!!! Read more
    Published 5 days ago by Embar
    5.0 out of 5 stars The Lightning thief
    This is a really enticing book. It's full of action and fun! I was never bored with this book and absolutely fell in love with the characters. Great book for anyone.
    Published 5 days ago by Pen Name
    5.0 out of 5 stars It is a really great book you can read it without getting bored
    I'm reading Percy Jackson The Lightning Theif. It is a really great book you can read it without getting bored. The book and the movie are completely different. Read more
    Published 5 days ago by Candice Slater
    3.0 out of 5 stars she loves it
    My daughter has read it this book. She read the book in a week
    Published 6 days ago by GUERD
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    More About the Author

    Rick Riordan is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, the Kane Chronicles, and the Heroes of Olympus. He is also the author of the multi-award-winning Tres Navarre mystery series for adults.

    For fifteen years, Rick taught English and history at public and private middle schools in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Texas. In 2002, Saint Mary's Hall honored him with the school's first Master Teacher Award.

    While teaching full time, Riordan began writing mystery novels for grownups. His Tres Navarre series went on to win the top three national awards in the mystery genre - the Edgar, the Anthony and the Shamus. Riordan turned to children's fiction when he started The Lightning Thief as a bedtime story for his oldest son.

    Today over 35 million copies of his Percy Jackson, Kane Chronicles, and Heroes of Olympus books are in print in the United States, and rights have been sold into more than 35 countries. Rick is also the author of The 39 Clues: The Maze of Bones, another #1 New York Times bestseller.

    Rick Riordan now writes full-time. He lives in Boston with his wife and two sons.

    Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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    #36 Overall (See top 100 authors)
    #37 in Books
    #84 in Kindle eBooks
    #37 in Books
    #84 in Kindle eBooks


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    Topic From this Discussion
    Would an older person enjoy this series?
    I am 30 and I loved the first book and getting ready for the second book today.
    May 2, 2009 by HoosiersMan |  See all 34 posts
    Mossnose is here! Quick!!!!!!
    WHAT IS THIS ALL ABOUT? Uhh... Is this like some kind of game you guys play on the discussion boards? Anyways, umm I'm sorry to say but this is uhh... weird...
    Apr 2, 2008 by B. Tise |  See all 81 posts
    Is Percy Jackson appropriate for a first grader?
    If your son has already read the first two Harry Potters and Narnia, he should be fine with Percy. The only thing I would worry with a child this age would be not understanding the story, the myths are hard to keep up with, if he is a good reader and did well with these others then he should be... Read More
    Feb 14, 2010 by Feverfan |  See all 22 posts
    As good or Better than Harry Potter?
    Hahahahahahahahahaha. That's like saying a little Debbie snack cake is better than a homemade cake.
    No offense to the Percy Jackson books--but they are no where near the quality of HP.
    Jul 20, 2009 by Madeline T. |  See all 31 posts
    Don't believe the positive reviews of this book
    You sound like a bitter rival writer. These books are fantastic and they are my 12-year old son's favorite books. They are rich with adventure and tap into a child's imagination. They are fast-paced and exciting with interesting characters. I enjoy reading them as well and I can't always say... Read More
    Apr 26, 2008 by A Mom |  See all 29 posts
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