Monday, November 17, 2008

The Lightning Thief

Author: Rick Riordan
Published by: Miramax Books (2005)
Length: 375 pages
My Son's rating of Book: 5/5

Length of Audio: 10 hours, 12 Minutes
Narrator of Audio: Jesse Bernstein
My Rating of Audio : 2/5

Listening to the audio version of this book detracted from any enjoyment I may have gotten out of it. To be fair, the narrator is probably appealing to younger listeners, who are, after all the target audience. In fact, the reason I ended up continuing to listen is because my 6-year-old daughter really got into it and would make a lot of comments and ask a lot of questions about the story. My son, who read the book this year, also loved it, so I decided to do an interview with him:

Mom: What made you want to read this book?

J: The title sounds cool and it has funny chapter titles like "I Become Supreme Lord of the Bathroom." Also, I had heard people say it was a good book.

Mom: Can you give us a brief summary of the book?

J: Percy Jackson is a kid who has dyslexia and ADD who realizes he is a demi-god and goes on a quest with fellow demi-god Annabeth and satyr friend Grover. They go to recover Zeus' stolen thunderbolt which Percy's father, Poseidon is accused of stealing.

Mom: Who is your favorite character and why?

J: I like Percy the best because he is cool and he has a sword disguised as a ballpoint pen. He is also brave and has good instincts in battle. He also leads the quest and gets the group out of a bunch of tight spots and traps.

Mom: What was your favorite part?

J: My favorite part was when he was on the Gateway Arch with Echidna and the Chimera. It has some action and it has fire which always makes stuff cooler.

Mom: Did you feel like you learned more about Greek mythology?

J: Yes, because I didn't know anything about the Titans.

Mom: Would you change anything about the book or story?

J: I think this is a very good story that is very interesting and does not really need to be changed much, but I think the author could have made more parts of it more in depth and funny.

Mom: Who would you recommend this book to?

J: I would recommend this book to anyone who likes funny stories, adventure stories, or stories with a lot of action.

Mom: You've read three books in this series. Which one is your favorite?

J: The first book is my favorite because it opens up the story and it introduces the main characters.


  1. Glad you reviewed this. I've been thinking of listening to this book because one of my young nephews enjoyed the audio version. Glad to have an adult's take on it. I may read it (or listen to) anyway to make my nephew happy, but I won't go into it with great expectations.

  2. Hm, sounds like my 8 year old would enjoy this a lot. I like the ballpoint-pen sword image. :)

  3. This is the most relevant interview I've read in a long, long time! Great idea!

  4. Interesting. I listened to this audio too and I didn't think it was that bad. The book had been loaned to me by a friend so when I saw the book on CD's at the library I thought it would be easier to read that way. I didn't think it was great but I enjoyed it. I don't really feel the need to read anymore in the series though.

  5. Beth,
    I know of a lot of adults who have enjoyed this one, so you might really like it. I think on Amazon it gets five stars.

    This has been really popular among the boys in my sons class, so there's a good bet your son will like it.

    Thanks! I love it when my kids are willing to help me out.

    I'm glad you didn't find it as annoying as I did. Maybe his voice reminded me of someone I didn't like :-).

  6. I like your idea of interviewing your son. I listened to the first 2 books on audio, and I didn't mind the narrator's voice. But I notice you're listening to Criss Cross on audio - that's one where I only listened about 20 minutes before I not take any more of the reader's voice. It reminded me of Fran Drescher on The Nanny. Hopefully you have a better experience.

  7. I've heard a lot about this book. Maybe when my son gets a little bit older we will read it together. Thanks for the review!

  8. Charley,
    I am a little irritated with Criss Cross, mostly because the narrator pauses abnormally long at the end of each sentence. I got the actual book and plan on switching soon.

    That's something wonderful to look forward to, isn't it? Reading with my kids is one of the greatest joys of my life.