Monday, April 20, 2015

Re-Read 2015: The Lighning Thief (audiobook) by Rick Riordan and read by Jesse Bernstein

Summary (from Goodreads):
Twelve-year-old Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school . . . again. No matter how hard he tries, he can't seem to stay out of trouble. But can he really be expected to stand by and watch while a bully picks on his scrawny best friend? Or not defend himself against his pre-algebra teacher when she turns into a monster and tries to kill him? Of course, no one believes Percy about the monster incident; he's not even sure he believes himself.

Until the Minotaur chases him to summer camp.

Suddenly, mythical creatures seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy's Greek mythology textbook and into his life. The gods of Mount Olympus, he's coming to realize, are very much alive in the twenty-first century. And worse, he's angered a few of them: Zeus's master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.

Now Percy has just ten days to find and return Zeus's stolen property, and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. On a daring road trip from their summer camp in New York to the gates of the Underworld in Los Angeles, Percy and his friends-one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena-will face a host of enemies determined to stop them. To succeed on 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 failure and betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.
This was a re-read for me. It’s part of my Re-Read 2015 challenge. I’ll be re-reading all the Harry Potter books (I’ve already gone through a lot of them), and all the Percy Jackson books. I re-read this book for a book club I was leading in 2012 and you can read that review here: review. However, this was my first time listening to the audiobook version. As I said 3 years ago, this book is incredible. Re-reading/listening to this makes me want to binge read all of them in one go.
I don’t know why I do this, but sometimes when I think I’m remembering the book, I’m remembering the movie. And the movie just isn’t as good. The layers to this book are thick too. So much is setup for the rest of the series, and I’m beyond excited to keep reading/listening. I think I’m going to listen to them all.
Between the monsters, the Gods, the foreshadow of Titans, the adventures, the creatures, the magical artifacts, the visiting of the underworld, the close call with Medussa, the extended time spent in Las Vegas, and the scary scene at the Gateway Arch in St Louis, there was never a dull moment. There is never a good time to put the book down, or in my case, to leave my car and get back to reality. And layered amongst all the amazing plot devises and interesting characters, was the amazing humor. I literally laughed out loud throughout the whole book. And that is after having read the book a few times before.
At first I wasn’t sure how I felt about the reader: Jesse Bernstein. He sounded almost too juvenile, like an adult trying too hard to sound like Bart Simpson. But, then he grew on me. His voices for different Gods and important side characters was pretty amazing. And now, Percy just has his voice for me. I can’t imagine anyone else voicing Percy.
I highly recommend these books to anyone who likes middle-grade, though like with Harry, Percy grows older within the series that eventually becomes a little more YA. I’m so excited to continue with these re-reads. I give it a 9/10.

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