The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan Graphic Novel Review

Title: Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Author: Rick Riordan

Adapted by: Robert Venditti

Art: Attila Futaki

Color: Jose Villarrubia

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

ISBN: 9781423116967


May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

You’ve read the book. You’ve seen the movie. Now submerge yourself into the thrilling, stunning, and action-packed graphic novel.

Mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking out of the pages of twelve-year-old Percy Jackson’s textbooks and into his life. And worse, he’s angered a few of them. Zeus’s master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect. Now, he and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus’s stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus.

Some of the biggest names in the comic book industry join forces with series creator Rick Riordan to tell the story of a boy who must unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

This is my first foray into the imagination of Rick Riordan.  I haven’t read any of his novels yet, but several are on my wishlist.  They always seem to be checked out of the library, so I am waiting patiently for the chance to read one.  I was looking forward to diving into this graphic novel, and while I love the concept of a world peopled with Olympians, I was a little disappointed with this adaptation.  It lacked any real suspense, and I thought that the pacing was very uneven.  I confess that I was expecting more because of all of the hype surrounding the series.

Things start off with a bang as hapless Percy is attacked during a school outing by a Fury.  As events spiral out of his control, Percy discovers that he is the son of a Greek god, and some very nasty creatures from Greek mythology are out to get him.  He is soon enmeshed in a quest of epic proportions, and failure means a war between the gods, which will have unpleasant repercussions for mortals.  Percy is desperate to put an end to the feud between the gods before the world dissolves into chaos.

I had a couple problems with the graphic novel adaption.  First off, I never felt an emotional connection to any of the characters.  Percy is an interesting character on the surface, but he lacked depth.  Despite several significant events, there really isn’t much of a response from Percy.  He just shrugs off setbacks as they come, but they don’t seem to affect him.   It’s like even he is emotionally distant from the events taking place around him.

The art offered another disappointment, because Percy didn’t look like a twelve year old.  I thought he looked much older so I found his appearance jarring.  Otherwise, the illustrations are very easy to follow, and I never got lost in the visuals.  The action scenes flowed smoothly.  The production values are high, and the book is very nicely put together.

I am very curious to see how this graphic novel stacks up against the prose novel, but I don’t know if I should read The Lightning Thief, or just jump into The Heroes of Olympus.  What do you think I should read first?

Grade: C+

Review copy provided by publisher

2 thoughts on “The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan Graphic Novel Review

  • November 2, 2010 at 8:49 am

    I’m sorry to hear that the “The Lightning Thief graphic novel” was a let down for you. It seems to be as if the graphic novel was created for the loyal, huge fan based and not with the new reader in mind.

    I absolutely love the Percy Jackson series. The characters are complex, funny, and I just love how Riordan incorporates Greek Mythology into the modern day setting. I highly suggest you read the Percy Jackson series first before the Heroes of Olympus series. You would miss out on a lot of world building and character development.

    Just my two cents.

  • November 5, 2010 at 5:06 am

    I loved the series too. Like Rummamah, I’d recommend reading the books. 🙂

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