Because you can't judge a book by its cover

It’s that time again, so pull up your popcorn and your book and let’s talk about Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. Okay, I have to admit that going in to watch the movie I was warned by several people that the book and the movie were very different, and they were correct. I think the best way to discuss this is to look at each one separately because they are so different from each other.

The Book:

I first read the book a couple of years ago and liked it so much I subsequently bought the entire series. Since rereading the first book in the series I have been steadily working my way through the series again because I enjoyed it so much the first time.Percy, son of Poseidon, half-blood and hero.  I like Percy, arrogant and unsure at the same time, his optimism in face of great odds and despite the history of heroes ending up cursed, dead or falling is endearing, as is his struggle to figure out what is going on because he just doesn’t study his Greek Mythology well enough.  His defense of those weaker than him is also endearing, in this book it is Grover before he finds out what Grover really is, in the second book it is a young Cyclops.

Annabeth, daughter of Athena, in the novel she is a blond, smart girl who studies architecture for fun.  I love her bragging about being smart and not being afraid to take down Percy a few notches when he needs it. The gift from her mother makes me giggle by being a cap of invisibility that looks like  a baseball cap.

Clarrisse, daughter of Ares, camp nemesis of Percy and numero uno bully.  I was disappointed when her characterdidn’t appear in the movie.  I was also disappointed to not get to see biker Ares, god of war.

Luke, son of Hermes, betrayer of the camp and, more particularly, Percy in setting him up to take the fall for the theft of Zeus’ main lightening bolt.  I was disappointed in the movie that they didn’t give him the wicked cool scar on his face from the claw of a dragon.

I think my favorite character is Percy with Annabeth as a close second, what do you think?

The official book website.

The Movie:

Percy of the movie, I thought they did a good job casting Percy, although at the age of twelve he should have been smaller and less good looking, but hey, who I am to complain about some good eye candy?! Percy is given a very short period of time to train, adjust to the information about the gods he has been given, and defeat Annabeth at capture the flag before leaving on his quest.  This felt a bit rushed but I really liked the overall look and feel to Camp Half-Blood.

Okay, first major change from the book was Percy finding out he was the son of Poseidon at the beginning of the movie, in the book he doesn’t know who his father is until about the middle of the book and even then Poseidon is a very removed character, both emotionally and physically.  I enjoyed the loving father angle of the movie but the distant father of the novel was truer to the Greek Myths I grew up reading.

Okay, I have to admit I almost squealed like a little girl when Sean Bean appeared as Zeus, I had no idea that was who they cast and I thought he was incredible. Also, Pierce Brosnan made a great Chiron, not quite as muscular as I had imagined Chiron being but a believable Centaur nonetheless.

The quest for the pearls of Persephone, so different from the quest in the book. I was disappointed that they didn’t include the Oracle (who is a mummy) and her advice to go West to find the thief and Percy was given the pearls from his father to return to the sea.  The first major battle against Medusa was correct and Uma Thurman did a great job of playing Medusa. The Hydra’s don’t appear in the books until the second book.

Final thoughts, I liked both separately as the movie was great when not comparing it to the book but as a film supposedly based on the book, it went far from the book especially in the themes of father and father’s love.  Okay, you have heard (in great detail and a lot of words) what I think, what did you think?  If you haven’t had a chance to see the movie yet, I was able to see it at a discount theater or it comes out on DVD on June 29th.

The official movie website.

**On a side note, this was one of the hardest posts for me to write because spell check doesn’t recognize Greek gods and I am horrible speller. 🙂

2 Responses to The Lightning Thief

  • Beth says:

    I think I felt the same way about the book and the movie. I have not yet read the next books in the series, but I plan to. It was extra fun for me because I watched Percy Jackson and then I watched Clash of the Titans the next week and it just reinforced the story in my mind. I’m excited to read more Percy Jackson.

  • kennedi says:

    I love The Lightning Thief! It is very interesting and have some awesome characters.

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