The Lightning Thief
infobox Book |
The Lightning Thief
The Lightning Thief
illustrator = John Rocco
United States Canada
language = English
series = "
Percy Jackson and the Olympians"
Modern Fantasy novel
June 28, 2005
media_type = Print (Hardback &
Paperback) Audiobook CD
pages = 377
The Sea of Monsters The Titan's Curse The Battle of the Labyrinth The Last Olympian
The Lightning Thief is a 2005 fantasy/adventure novel written by
Rick Riordan. The first book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympiansseries, it chronicles the adventures of Percy Jackson, a son of the Greek god Poseidon, and his friends on a quest to avoid a war between the gods.
Percy Jackson is a unnormal child with
ADHD, and a student at Yancy Academy. On his trip to a museum with his class, Percy is constantly being bullied by a girl in his algebra class. As she continues to anger him, Percy closes his eyes and suddenly the bully is in a water fountain. Percy is accused of throwing the bully in the water fountain and then is confronted by Mrs. Dodds, Percy's pre-algebra teacher. Mrs. Dodds calls Percy to follow her into the museum and he is then confronted by her. As Percy follows Mrs. Dodds to the exhibit containing Greco-Roman artifacts, Mrs. Dodds transforms into her true self: one of the Erinyes(referred to as Fury). Percy's Latin teacher, Mr. Brunner, suddenly comes into the room on his motorized wheelchair and tosses Percy a ballpoint pen. Given no other choice, Percy takes the top off his new pen and it transforms into a sword(his thing). Percy kills Mrs. Dodds in an explosion of dust; this marks the start of his legendary adventure. Percy then wanders back outside to the rest of the school where his best friend Groveris still sitting as if nothing happened. He walks over to Groverand asked him where Mrs. Dodds was, but he tells Percythere never was a Mrs. Dodds. He asks Mr. Brunner and others where Mrs. Dodds is but everyone says that Mrs. Dodds never existed. Later at Yancy Academy, Percy hears Grover talking to Mr. Brunner and says that he suspects Percy to be "one of them" and calls his teacher Chiron. Confused, Percy leaves for home to spend the summer with his mom.
Percy returns to his mother's and her husband Gabe's apartment. Percy's mother comes home and tells him that they would be taking a short vacation away from Gabe. This vacation is on the Long Island Atlantic shore at a place called Montauk. During their vacation a thunderstorm starts, and suddenly Grover appears at the door of their vacation home. Ms. Jackson gets both of the boys into her car and quickly drives off to a dark abandoned road. Suddenly, Percy notices that the car is being pursued. The car is thrown off of the road by a lightning bolt and Grover appears to be injured. Percy helps Grover to his feet and then runs away. Percy's mother is captured by the pursuer and is turned into a golden light. Completely inflamed, Percy goes back to the minotaur, aggrevates him, jumps on his back and breaks off its horn, and uses it to kill the monster. Injured and tired, Percy blindly runs into a strawberry field, carrying Grover. Slowly Percy recovers finding himself in a deep sleep, being nursed back to health by a girl with curly blond hair (Annabeth). Percy wakes to find Mr. Brunner waiting for him. Mr. Brunner tells Percy that his real name was
Chiron, and that the Greek Gods are real. Percy then meets Dionsyus and finds his friend Grover tending to him. Grover reveals that he is really a Satyr, and that he was at Camp Half-Blood, a place where the children of the Greek Gods come together to train for battle.
Percy then meets
Annabeth, a daughter of Athena. She tells Percy that he is a son of one of the Greek Gods and that he must stay in the undetermined cabin until he is claimed by his Greek father. In the undetermined (Hermes) cabin, he meets Luke, a son of Hermesand the leader of the Hermes cabin. After the dinner on Percy's first conscious night at camp, the camp has a Capture the Flag game. During the game, Percy is attacked by Clarisse, a daughter of Ares. Suddenly a rush of water over flows the forest healing Percy's wounds and leaving him face down in water. A hellhound then jumps out and attacks him, but is defeated by Chiron. Then a glowing green sign with a trident through it floats over the top of Percy's head, revealing that he is a child of Poseidon, the only child of Poseidon at the camp.
That night, Percy has a conversation with Chiron and Dionsyus and discovers that Zeus's Master Thunderbolt has been stolen and if it is not returned by the summer solstice, that Zeus would go to war with Poseidon, because he believed that Poseidon had stolen it to become the new God of Gods. With no other choice, Percy is forced to go on a quest to find Zeus's Master Thunderbolt to clear his father's name.
Percy seeks out his prophecy from the Oracle of Camp-Half-Blood. The oracle tells Percy:
"You shall go west, and face the god who has turned,"
"You shall find what was stolen, and see it safely returned,"
"You shall be betrayed by one who calls you a
"And you shall fail to save what matters most, in the end."
After receiving his prophecy, Percy, Annabeth, and Grover leave for the West. After traveling through the West (and encountering many good and evil figures including
Medusaand a nereid), Percy encounters Ares. Ares provides Percy with a backpack and tells him that everything he needs is in the bag.
As Percy finds his way into the Underworld, Grover's flying shoes, given to him by Luke, son of Hermes, turn out to be a trap to throw him into
Tartarus. After saving Grover, Percy finds his way into Hades' throne room. Percy accuses Hades of stealing the Master Bolt and Hades reveals that it was in Percy's backpack the entire time, also revealing that Ares was the one who stole the bolt. Hades unleashes his wrath for being accused, and Percy later finds Ares and confronts him in battle. Percy stabs Ares in his ankle and Ares flees from the scene. In a rush to save Olympus, Percy goes to Zeus and tells him everything. The war is averted.
When Percy returns to camp, he confronts Luke,
andis stung by Luke's scorpion. Luke flees camp leaving Percy in a fatal situation. Percy cuts the scorpion in half, but realizes he was stung. He sticks his hand in the river in an attempt to heal himself, but to no avail. Percy tries to get back to camp to get help but he passes out in the woods and is found by some dryads who carry him to safety. He wakes up cured by Chiron and Annabeth.
*Percy Jackson: a 12 year old half-blood. He is the son of
Poseidon. His real name is Perseus. He is astounding at sword fighting. Chiron gives him Anaklusmos, or Riptide, a sword said to be used by Hercules, partway into the book. Chiron also told Percy that whenever he loses Riptide, it would always return. He is also part of a prophecy made a few years back and there are (by the fourth book) three living children of the big three and it is said that he might decide whether the gods will keep their seats of power or if Kronos will take over the world with the rest of the Titans.
*Annabeth Chase: a 12 year old half-blood and daughter of
Athena. She has a Yankeescap that bestows the power of invisibility to the wearer. Annabeth is very intelligent and loves to read. She is very afraid of spiders. She expresses an interest in becoming an architect to create the most magnificent building to honor the gods, one better than the Parthenon, one that will last for eternity. In the second book, she realizes she has serious hubris and it could kill her.
Grover Underwood: A big-hearted satyr(half human, half goat), whose favorite foods are aluminum cans, apples, and cheese enchiladas. He is 28 years old, but has the appearance of a middle school-age boy human due to satyrs' slower growth rate, though he is slower to mature than other satyrs. He receives winged sneakers (which were actually cursed to drag the wearer into a deep chasm ( Tartarus) when he/she got into the Underworld) from Percy who received them from Luke, and accompanies Percy on his quest. He is often asked to read things to Annabeth and Percy because they are not able to properly read any language but Ancient Greek. Its Grover's dream to find Pan, the god of nature who disapeared.
*Luke Castellan: Demigod, son of
Hermes. He has a scar from a dragon under his eye. "He" stole the Zeus's master lightning bolt, and when Ares caught him, Luke, who is corrupted by Kronos, the Titan Lord, told Ares of his plan to trick the "Big Three" gods Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades into war. After the first book, Luke continues to serve the Titan lord until the fourth book when he gives his body to Kronos.
*Clarisse: Belligerent demigod, daughter of
Ares, camp enemy of Annabeth and Percy. She possesses an electrically charged spear, until Percy snaps it in half during a game of capture the flag.
Chiron: A.k.a. "Mr. Brunner" (his pseudonym while teaching Latin at Percy's school in the first book), immortal as long as he is needed to teach demigods. He is a centaur, assistant director of Camp Half Blood. He has kept a sword called " Anaklusmos" ("Riptide") which is disguised as a ballpoint pen, and is later given to Percy. The sword always returns to its owner, no matter how far away. Chiron is also skilled at pinochle. He's very accurate with a bow and helps Percy out more than he can say thank you for.
*Sally Jackson is Percy's mother and can see past the Mist. Gets taken hostage by Hades when fighting the minotaur. Turns Gabe into a statue with Medusa's head, then sells him for money to go to college. She later gets a boyfriend.
*Gabriel "Gabe" Ugliano: (Smelly Gabe) Percy's stepfather, he smells so bad that it masks Percy's strong godly aura and monsters have a hard time finding Percy. He is currently a statue due to Sally using Medusa's head at the end of the first book. Percy calls him "Smelly Gabe" and says that he "reeks like moldy garlic pizza wrapped in gym shorts". Gabe also plays poker too much and is later discovered by Percy that he has hit Sally many times while Percy was away at school.
Zeus: Lord of the gods, Lord of the sky. Was first to break to oath of never having demi-god children. Is father to Thalia. Had his thunderbolt stolen from him in the first book.
Poseidon: Lord of the Sea, creator of horses. Father to Perseus "Percy" Jackson and Tyson the cyclops. There are also other children of Poseidon that Percy meets along the way that aren't really nice.
Hades: Lord of the Underworld. Kidnaps Percy's mother in the first book.
Thalia: She fought at Half-Blood Hill to save Luke and Annabeth. Her father (Zeus)spares her by turning her into a pine tree. In the later of the series she is resurrected by the golden fleece. She help Percy on multiple quest. The day before her 16th birthday she becomes a hunter with Artemis.
Ares: God of war, a biker with a very bad attitude in human form. Aphrodite's boyfriend. He gets into a fight with Percy, loses, and puts a curse on Percy which makes his "sword fail him when he needs it most". Later in the series they meet up again.
Kronos: The evil Titan Lord, father of Poseidon, Zeus, and Hades. He was cut up into a million pieces and condemned to Tartarusby Zeus. He is now attempting to get out of his prison and seek revenge on the gods.
Dionysus: God of wine, disgruntled and he is the director of Camp Half Blood, resembles a " cherubgone middle-aged in a trailer park." Dionysus was banished to Camp Half Blood and temporarily banned from alcohol for a century by his father, Zeus, as a punishment for pursuing a beautiful wood nymphwho was 'off limits.' Dionysus hates his job, and now subsists on Diet Coke, which he can create as needed. He does not pay attention to the campers as much as he possibly can, and deliberately uses wrong names.
*Nancy Bobofit: A redheaded, freckled kleptomaniac who goes to Yancy Academy and is a school bully but never gets caught,who percy dislikes very much in the first book.
*Mrs. Dodds: Percy's teacher who loves Nancy
Bobofit, and is secretly a Fury. There are three furies in all and they only serve Hades.
In June 2004,
20th Century Foxacquired feature film rights to the book. [cite news | author=Claude Brodesser | url=http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117906944.html?categoryid=1236&cs=1 | title='Lightning Thief' strikes Maverick | publisher=Variety | date= 2004-06-23| accessdate=2007-04-18 ] The following November, screenwriter Joe Stillman was hired to adapt a screenplay based on the book. [cite news | author=Claude Brodesser | coauthors=Nicole Laporte | url=http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117913718.html?categoryid=13&cs=1 | title='Lightning' to strike for scribe Stillman | publisher=Variety | date= 2004-11-17| accessdate=2007-04-18 ] In April 2007, director Chris Columbus was hired to helm the project. [cite news | author=Peter Gilstrap | url=http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117963285.html?categoryid=13&cs=1 | title=Columbus struck by 'Lightning' | publisher=Variety | date= 2007-04-17| accessdate=2007-04-18 ] . The film has gone into pre-production. An un-named writer has been brought on board, the budget hasn't yet been set, concept art is being created, and the script is being finalized. It has been announced that the tentative release of the film will be November 13, 2009.Fact|date=March 2008. Their title for the movie is "Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief" opening the growing chances of a sequel, and eventually the entire series. [ [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0814255/ The Internet Movie Database: "Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief"] ] The cast is at the moment unknown.
"The Lightning Thief" has greatly amazed the public and has received multiple awards including:
* Mark Twain Award 2008 (Missouri Association of School Librarians)
* Bluebonnet Award Nominee (Texas Library Association)
* Askews Torchlight Award (UK) Winner
* Best of the Best Book List (
Chicago Public Library)
* Top Shelf Fiction List (Voice of Youth Advocates)
* Notable Book (
American Library Association)
* Best Book for Young Adults (
Young Adult Library Services Association)
* Red House Children's Book Award Winner (UK)
* Choice Award; Notable Children's Book (Cooperative Children's Book Center)
* National Council for Teachers of English, Publishers Weekly National Children's Bestseller
* Warwickshire Book Award Winner (UK)
* Beehive Award Winner 2006 (Children's Literature Association of Utah)
* Maine Student Book Award Winner
* [http://www.rickriordan.com/ Rick Riordan's official website]
* [http://www.percyjacksonbooks.com/ Percy Jackson official website]
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