The stuff legends are made of.
Percy jackson is a troubled twelve year old. he is currently taking classes at yancy academy, a private school for troubled kids in new york. he suffers from adhd and dyslexia, his short attention span always getting him into trouble. his mother is married to a sadistic man after the death of his real father at sea, whom percy had never known. his best friend, grover, is also a troubled kid, suffering from many of the same problems, and on top of it he has a crippled gait he must deal with thanks to a muscular ailment in his legs. one day when percy's class is on a field trip percy encounters something odd. his math teacher, mrs. dodds, suddenly turns into a strange winged creature and attacks him. he manages to fend her off with a sword that materializes out of the ballpoint pen of his other teacher, mr. brunner. but the strange things do not stop, on the way home the bus breaks down and percy sees a strange sight of three women cutting a string of yarn with scissors. this sight unnerves grover and haunts percy for some time. when summer break comes percy finds he will not be returning to yancy and goes home to be with his mom and cruel stepfather, gabe. percy mother surprises him with a trip upstate, which ends in disaster when the two are attacked by a creature that resembles the greek myth of the minotaur. in the attack a horrible fate befalls percy's mother, and percy manages to break a horn from the minotaur before slaying him. clutching the horn in his hands he follows grover, who has suddenly appeared, to a place that his mother was aiming him towards before he collapses in exhaustion. waking up some strange revelations come to percy. he is in a summer camp for people called half bloods, or demigods, and it is there he realizes the truth of his parentage. his father is one of the gods, which one though is undetermined. grover is also a satyr yearning to earn his searcher's license to find his god, pan, who has been missing for centuries. percy also meets a young girl named annabeth, 14, who tells him she is the daughter of athena, and a 19 year old councilor named luke who is the son of hermes. mr. d. (dionysus) is a teacher at half blood hill and percy receives the biggest shock of all when he discovers that his teacher, mr. brunner, is not only the infamous chiron, trainer of hercules, but also a centaur. something nasty is brewing in the realm of the gods. zeus' master thunderbolt has gone missing, which bodes ill for the world seeing as how it has more destructive capability than a thousand nuclear bombs. zeus blames hades, lord of the underworld, for it and prepares for war between him and his other brother, poseidon. it is then that the secret of percy's birth is revealed, and then also that a quest is given to him. he must retrieve the master bolt before the summer solstice, or the world is literally going to erupt into world war iii. with grover and annabeth at his side he sets off to do just this. this book was such a breath of fresh air. a great exciting read. it has all of the elements of a bestseller and a blockbuster film (which the book has already been optioned for, as i see from imdb). it is action packed and thrilling, and yet is chock full of heart, which will certainly endear many readers to this series. i was also amazed at how riordan cleverly wove details of greek mythology into the history of the world, specifically that of the 20th century. the explanation about how the gods were involved in world war ii was nothing shy of brilliant. and the ending, how riordan sets up the over arching plotline, is tremendous and makes me need to read the next book immediately. i know that this series is already doing well, and i have even heard it compared to harry potter... but the magnitude of the storylines, the depth of the characters, the strength of the dialogue, and the impact of the surprise ending will have readers thinking more of a boy named percy than of harry. in my estimation, this is the series to stand in line at midnight booksellings for...even though potter is a phenomenon, percy is a legend. literally. "his eyes were sympathetic, but sad. "you will be a great hero, child. i will do my best to prepare you. but if i'm right about the path ahead of you...the gods have their reasons, percy. knowing too much of your future is never a good thing."