About the Book

by Nicole Silvester

This chapter is a free excerpt from Quicklet on Rick Riordan's The Lightning Thief.

The Lightning Thief started out as a bedtime story for Rick Riordan’s oldest son. After writing adult mysteries for some time, Riordan decided to try his hand at children’s fiction. Making up a tale for his son was the perfect place to begin.

The story takes ancient Greek mythology and brings it into the modern world. Riordan creates a here-and-now in which gods and creatures of myth and legend are still active, though perhaps not in the ways we would expect. The Greek gods’ palace on Mount Olympus has shifted to the new center of Western civilization the United States, but the gods still get up to their old tricks. They still fight, and fall in love, and have children with mortal humans.


Complete 10-second survey to read full article!

The Lightning Thief started out as a bedtime story for Rick Riordan’s oldest son. After writing adult mysteries for some time, Riordan decided to try his hand at children’s fiction. Making up a tale for his son was the perfect place to begin.

The story takes ancient Greek mythology and brings it into the modern world. Riordan creates a here-and-now in which gods and creatures of myth and legend are still active, though perhaps not in the ways we would expect. The Greek gods’ palace on Mount Olympus has shifted to the new center of Western civilization the United States, but the gods still get up to their old tricks. They still fight, and fall in love, and have children with mortal humans.

The story of one half-human, half-god boy, Perseus Jackson, is the basis of The Lightning Thief. Riordan takes a fantastic what-if idea—what if the Greek gods still existed and had half-divine children in the modern world?—and creates a rousing adventure tale of friendship, courage, and doing what’s right.

The writing, told in first-person from the point of view of Percy himself, reads like it was written by a twelve-year-old boy. Because it is a tale full of action and adventure with just enough gruesome detail to appeal to boys, young readers may find themselves learning about Greek mythology without realizing it. And though the book itself contains everything a reader needs to know about Greek myths in order to understand the story, there are more subtle references worked in for those who either already know more than is included or who want to explore Greek myth farther after they’ve finished reading.

The Lightning Thief is the first book in the Percy Jackson & the Olympians Series:

  1. The Lightning Thief
  2. The Sea of Monsters
  3. The Titan's Curse
  4. The Battle of the Labyrinth
  5. The Last Olympian
Price: $2.99 Add to Cart
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • 100% refund
  • Free updates