The Lightning Thief
The Lightning Thief Cover
Author Rick Riordan
Publication Order
Preceded by
Followed by
The Sea of Monsters

Book 1 of Percy Jackson and The Olympians

By Rick Riordan

Life has always been difficult for Percy Jackson. He's dyslexic, has ADHD, and he has never managed to spend more than one year at a school without being expelled. This year, though, things get even odder than normal. First off, his math teacher turns into...something. Then suddenly everyone seems to forget that she ever existed; once Percy slices her to bits with a pen that somehow became a sword, that is.

Though he is still sure that his math teacher wasn't human, Percy is forced to start his summer normally, which means back to the small appartment he shares with his mom and smelly Gabe, his step father. On one of the few special times Percy and his mother have away from their lives, at a cabin on the beach, disaster strikes. Grover, Percy's best friend from school, appears out of no where to warn the two of them that Percy, as a Halfblood demigod, has drawn too much attention from the world of the Monsters: Percy needs to get to Camp Half-Blood NOW, before the monsters catch up with him and kill him. The three rush to get to the safety of the camp, but not fast enough to evade the Minotaur. Percy's mother sacrifices herself to get Grover and Percy safely within camp boundaries, vanishing into golden light; very shortly after that, the Minotaur also vanishes into light motes, thanks to a rather enraged Percy.

Percy starts life at Camp Half-Blood as normally as a halfblood can; he joins the Hermes cabin to wait for his divine parent to claim him. He quickly settles into life at the summer camp: learning ancient greek, sword practice, and learning about how the gods of Olympus interact with the world. When the Hermes cabin makes a capture-the-flag treaty with the Athena cabin, things are turned upside down yet again. Percy's father claims him in the middle of the fight; not quite as fatherly a gesture as Percy would have hoped, his only chance for surviving Zeus' wrath is to find the true Lightning Thief. Maybe while he's on this extraordinary quest, he hopes, he can find out what happened to his mother.