The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series #1)

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series #1) - 5 stars(Part of a series review that can be found here!)I read the Percy Jackson series around the time I'd started studying Ancient Greek and Latin in high school, and while the grammar lessons were a nightmare, I loved learning about mythology. I wanted to know all about the gods and heroes and mythical creatures - even when that learning involved translating ancient languages.The fun and original storyline is surprisingly accurate to the original myths (and my knowledge of Greek mythology was surprisingly extended) so I really enjoyed the references and modern adaptions throughout the series. Rick Riordan's world-building is just magnificent! It's not just that I'm always interested when it comes to mythology and that these are the stories I somewhat grew up with. Anyone who knows a little something about the myths and the gods will be pleasantly surprised by Rick Riordan's retelling. And anyone who doesn't will learn a lot about it.In the first book Percy discovers that he's actually a demigod and is introduced to Camp Half-Blood, a camp where demigods are sent to train. And only barely after this new revelation, he's being accused of stealing Zeus' lightning bolt and needs to go on a quest to retrieve it and prove his innocence. There is obviously a lot going on, but I never felt like it was too much.I really enjoyed watching Percy and his friends Annabeth and Grover travel and fight together. The action scenes, but also the 'modern' versions of mythical monsters and places make for such an interesting journey.From the first line it was clear to me that Percy was an amazing main character. Man, that sounds a lot more cheesy than I thought it would, but I really did feel that way. He's the outside kid that always gets into trouble, but still has an amazing sense of humor. (And with amazing I mean sarcastic!) With Percy, Rick Riordan created a very clear and solid character, one that's easily likeable and very relatable. Fans of underdog heroes will love him!I've heard people say that the Percy Jackson series is just another Harry Potter spin-off, but I'd like to take this moment to firmly deny that. I understand why it's an easy mistake to make, because 1) in the first book there are three heroes (not in the most literal sense of the word) that go on a quest to save the world, and 2) there happens to be an ancient prophecy. But I think that everyone who knows a little something about mythology knows that the oracle of Delphi has been around for a little while longer than Sybill Trelawney, and I personally love the modern adaption of it.The entire series is just one long fun ride. Rick Riordan is witty and sarcastic (my favorite combination), but also created an amazing world, fast-paced story, brilliant conversations, big time fights and truly awesome heroes! And even though I'm trying to persuade my nine-year-old brother to read them right now, I still want to read them myself just as badly. There's just something about these books that makes me laugh and filled with excitement like not very many series can.Recommended to all fans of Greek mythology, great and loveable characters and an action-packed story. Also recommended for the younger audience.