Author: Rick Riordan
Genre: Fantasy, Mythology
Released: 1st January 2005
Publisher: Disney Hyperion Books
Series: Percy Jackson & The Olympians #1
Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school... again. And that's the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy's Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he's angered a few of them. Zeus' master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.
Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus' stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed in his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.
I may be ten years late to the series, but I am so glad that I've finally got round to reading the first book, which was just as great as I thought it'd be!
The book follows Percy, who ends up vaporising his maths teacher on a trip to a New York museum, and no one seems to notice. When he is expelled from yet another boarding school, his mother treats him to a weekend at the beach, even though it looks like a hurricane is about to descend on them. It's only on the arrival of Percy's friend Grover do they realise something is wrong and that a Minotaur is after Percy. Soon, Percy arrives at Camp Half-Blood and learns that he is a Demigod - half human, half god. After being recognised by his father, one of the three gods who vowed they would not have any more children, Percy finds out he is being blamed for stealing Zeus' master lightning bolt, and so is sent on a quest to retrieve it from the Underworld before the Summer Solstice, in order to prevent war on Mount Olympus. With the help of his Satyr Grove and fellow camper Annabeth, they discover that the gods have more to worry about than Percy being the son of a powerful god, and that Kronos maybe trying to make a comeback.
What I really loved about this book is that it jumped straight into the drama and action, with Percy vaporising his maths teacher within the first fifteen pages, and within the first 5 chapters, there has already been a fight scene, a death and we are at Camp Half-Blood. I like that we didn't get a huge backstory right at the beginning, and that Percy explained things in his own time when it seemed relevant to him - that was the beauty of having him as the narrator.
Percy as the narrator was fabulous. He told the story like it was, and didn't care what anyone thought about what he said. He was funny and sassy and just didn't give a damn. I can't wait to see how he develops throughout the series as he grows up.
As someone who loves mythology, I love that it stayed true to the stories, even in a modern setting. I also liked that Rick didn't try to cram as much mythology in as possible, and that everything mentioned was relevant to the story and didn't get in the way of how the story was told.
Overall, if you're like me and haven't read the series yet, you need to go out and pick up the books. It's great for children, teens and adults alike and you'll be shocked by the plot twists and keen to plough through the rest of the books once you finish this one.