Thursday, July 30, 2009

perseus the lightning thief

My niece sent me the book The Lightning Thief to read because she knows I love Greek mythology. It was quite entertaining, and I can see how kids would love it, as the characters were well drawn. What got a bit much for me was the labored wise-cracking and attempts to sound "contemporary" with the kidslang, which I suspect will sound dated very fast.

Apart from its obvious capitalizing on the whole HP franchise and the market's desire for young-teen lit, it was a pretty good effort. I don't feel compelled to read any further adventures, except maybe to my daughter in a few years, but I have heard that there is now a movie in the works and I think that will be actually very fun. The "updating" of the Gods will work better in a movie than it did in the book, where sometimes a mythical character felt a bit forced or a tad obvious.

But for a simply excellent children's book about the Greek Gods, my money is still on D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths. And for when the kid gets a little older, The King Must Die by Mary Renault is an excellent portrayal of the Theseus myth, told in real, human terms.


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