Usually, I read literary fiction, but I read “The Lightening Thief” by Rick Riordan for a YA literature class. I was sorely disappointed. At first, the book starts off with a strong narrative voice from Percy Jackson, the troubled preteen with ADHD and a bad temper. I liked his smart-ass remarks and quick quips. But then, the author starts to rip off all the creative ideas in Harry Potter and I found myself rolling my eyes every 20 pages wishing I were rereading Harry Potter rather than this knock-off version. He even makes a vague reference to the book on page 336: “He was reading a huge book with a picture of a wizard on the front. I wasn’t much into fantasy, but the book must’ve been good, because the guard took a while to look up.”
Very cute Rick Riordan. Seriously, he owes J.K. Rowling a part of his royalties. Here are examples of the ideas in his book that are eerily similiar to Harry Potter:
Percy Jackson has green eyes and black hair=Harry Potter has green eyes and black hair
Annabeth’s Yankee invisibility cap=Harry Potter’s invisibility robe
Iris messaging=Floo powder
Three kids on a quest (one smart girl, one brave boy, one insecure boy-but wait he’s a goat!)=three kids on a quest (one smart girl, one brave boy, one insecure boy)
The Four Houses of Hogwarts=The numerous houses of Camp Half-Blood Hill
Mudbloods=Half-bloods (seriously Rick Riordan, seriously)
Dumbledore, Harry’s wise old mentor=Chiron, Percy’s wise old mentor
Snape who believes Harry is arrogant and doesn’t see him as anything special=Dionysus who believes Percy is arrogant and doesn’t see him as anything special.
This list goes on and on.
In addition, I don’t care for Greek mythology (ironic given that my first name is “Cassandra”). If I didn’t have to read the book for class, I would have returned it after chapter 3.
The writing is great and the story is filled with suspense, but I couldn’t get over the casual copying of the “Harry Potter” series. I want to read another one of Rick Riordan’s novels in the hopes that they are more original. Any suggestions?