This is a cute kids’s tale. Percy is 12 and apparently gets kicked out of schools often. His mom currently has them living with a dead beat, verbally abusive man that has a body odor problem. Life is just tough on Percy. But it’s about to get a lot tougher when Greek deities and monsters pop up in his life!
There were several moments that made me laugh…. like Grover suddenly yanking off his pants. That’s the moment where Percy is all, ‘What the hell!’ but then Grover has fur and hooves below the waist, so Percy is stunned into silence. Grover is a Satyr assigned to protect Percy but he’s been keeping his Greek mythology side on the down low with a disguised lower half. Grover isn’t the only one who’s been keeping their real identity from Percy. In fact, there were a few times I thought Percy’s young mind might melt from the over load of reveals.
After a harrowing chase and the death of someone important to him, he ends up at the Half Blood training camp where he meets other kids who are half mortal and half deity. Now, I did think that Percy took that death in stride and it was a bit glossed over. I expected tears for days and scars for life but this book seems to veer wide of any serious stuff. There’s several examples of this, like Medusa and how she really came to be a snake headed monster. It wasn’t some jealousy over dating partners.
Anyhoo, pretty soon Percy gets a quest and goes on a road trip. Annabeth (a daughter of Athena) and Grover accompany him. There’s also the gifts from Luke (a son of Hermes). As Western culture has shifted further and further west, key places in Greek mythology have also shifted and several now reside in the USA. I liked this bit of world building because it meant I didn’t have to bang my head against a wall every time a Greek mythological location popped up.
Percy isn’t the only one to face their fears and take on a personal challenge in this story. His companions also suffer and have a chance at victory. There’s treachery too. Percy must figure out who his true friends are while also discovering who stole Zeus’s lightning. It’s a fun tale but I didn’t have a strong reaction to it as I did with Harry Potter. 4/5 stars.
The Narration: Jesse Bernstein does a really good job. He sounds like a 12 year old boy who has gotten kicked out of a lot of places. His voice for Grover is great, as he sometimes has a little goat in it. His female voices are spot on. There’s several monsters with their various yells, hisses, snorts, etc and Bernstein carries them off without a hitch. 5/5 stars.