Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Lightening Thief

I'm currently reading the second book in the very popular Lightening Thief series. It's fun and fast paced, but I'm becoming disappointed. The idea is clever, resurrect old Greek myths and modernize them, but then the writer has it pretty easy. He doesn't have to create a new world from scratch like other fantasy writers. All he really has to create are his characters and so far they're pretty one dimensional.
I will say that the books have two things going for them: the heroes are dyslexic and ADHD and they're great for learning about Greek mythology. But as a writer I'm not terribly impressed.
They do bring me back to a couple of thoughts that have been circulating in my head for a while. The first is related to another book called the Goose Girl. This book pissed me off because it reinforced the old idea that those in power should stay in power. In a way the Lightening books are doing the same thing. Yes it's for everyone's good, but I'm sick of all these books telling kids that they can rebel, but only within safe parameters so that ultimately nothing really changes. The Goose Girl sparked a character and story in me about a young baker helping to overthrow the government a la the French revolution.
The second thing it does for me is make me think about how mental illness is portrayed in books. I have a character in my head that I sort of pilfered from someone else's terrible story involving fairies and lots of superfluous words. There is a girl in my vision who cannot control her emotions to the point that she is disrupting the world around her. I see her walking and quietly seething anger through a crowded market with a path leading behind her that involves waves of her emotion rippling away from her and destroying or rearranging everything it touches. She is oblivious to this at first, but then learns to harness her powers and becomes a heroine. She is, of course, bipolar and this is a story about acceptance and healing.
If you know any kids struggling with dyslexia or ADHD give them the Lightening Thief. It might help ease some of the negativity they feel about themselves.


  1. If you know any kids struggling with dyslexia or ADHD you might be interested in a new software that can help people with dyslexia.
    Ginger Software - www.gingersoftware.com has developed ground breaking text-correction software that automatically corrects spelling mistakes as well as misused words. The software is currently available as a free download from http://www.gingersoftware.com/registration.htm
    The software was designed to support people with learning difficulties and is measured against texts produced by people with dyslexia.
    You are welcome to download the software and write your impressions on this blog.

  2. Hey. Great stuff you got there. I agree with you. I think such books will definitely help those struggling with dyslexia as well as their relatives.