Let’s Read – The Lightning Thief – Chapter 5 Pt 3

First thing to note is that they have an orientation film. Which brings up delightful questions of live-action or animated? And who went ahead and did the editing and the like on it? Which Greek God do ya’ll vote to be the most technologically savvy? I think Hermes, but am open to suggestions.

The bomb drop of the Greek Gods exist. Oooooo, shocking. Considering Grover is a Satyr and he just killed the Minotaur I would have assumed that would have gone without saying.  But then again, Pattern Recognition is a rare and marvelous skill as we have learned and I am not sure Percy has it yet.

Just to bring the point home in the most obvious way possible,  Grover askes The Camp Director for his empty coke can to nom on. See my discussion on the increased animalistic tendencies of half-animal hybrids when discussing the Minotaur.

Percy immediately jumps to there is a monotheistic god. Which is actually just about right in my experience.

 OH GODS DAMN IT!!!!!

Chiron just side step the Monotheistic concept of singular all encompassing God Vs. The Polytheistic concept of God as a trait/race by dismissing it as metaphysics. IF YOU HAVEN’T NOTICED THIS IS THE PERFECT DAMN TIME TO DISCUSS THE METAPHYSCIS!!!!!! Author! Man! Come On!

Oh for fuck sake. 

The Greek Gods are a “Smaller Matter” and they are linking it to nature worship…..

I…  I…

GAH!

*Hate Mints*

Okay, so I am not going to do this here, but as a Polytheist, specifically a Polytheist who never was a monotheist, I have a metric fuck ton to say about all this. If everyone is very good (or asks), I might go ahead and jump into all of this at some point. I am planning on covering a large chunk of it in “Isis Is A Dirty Whore: Mystery Cults Vs Mythology” which will be in *does calculation in head* 4 years or so from now…. Wow. That is a long time. Anyway. Okay. That episode is how I plan to kick off the Egyptian section of Mythology Translated as Egyptian myth suffers more from Mystery Culting than Greek myth does as it is very difficult to find Egyptian myth that hasn’t been translated thru the cult of Isis.

By doing what Our Dear Author just did, he managed to have it both ways. The Ethical and Moral compass will be squarely based in our current monotheist tradition, thus be non-threating and completely familiar while allowing himself the Gods to use as play things but intimate they are some how lesser than. We are back to the supposed inherent fictionality of ancient beliefs. Is it really that mind blowing that other cultures might have a different moral and ethical structures in place?

How many more pages? 7

Okay this will just be a long one.

THEY WOULD NOT BE DISCUSSING ZEUS IN LATIN CLASS!!!! Jupiter yes! Juno! Apollo I’ll give you because he is a straight port over as the Etruscans didn’t have an equivalent. WHY didn’t he just make it a Greek Class!?! This is bad writing or bad research, I’m not sure.

The Camp Director chides Percy for throwing names around. Okay, Maybe I can see my way to why they are doing the name thing, here, but if so that Greek sentence we parsed is even MORE out of line than it was before.

Percy responds with “But they are stories to explain lightening and stuff”  and “They are what people believed in before science”

*glares at book*

*book does not catch on fire*

Hey, Percy’s name is Perseus. More Questions.  So many more questions. Why not Theseus? Or Orion? Hmmm come to think of it I am having problems coming up with other sons of Poseidon. I seriously thought his name was Percival.

The Camp Director complains about that whole sentence and the general Uppitiness of Mortals which Percy takes offense too.

Then they get into a concept of Immortality and Belief. Oh Gods Below why? So badly handled.

Then there is a wonderful line from the Camp Director. Percy states he doesn’t believe in gods and the Camp Director says “ Oh you better before one of Them Incinerates you.” Again I would really like to know the tone of voice used here as in my mind it is a thoughtless aside of mild aggravation.

The Camp Director Summons a glass of wine because he is just about done with all of this as I am and Chiron points out he is restricted and sky thunders (again) and he changes it to diet coke in a put out manner.

Apparently The Camp Director chased a wood nymph or two and as punishment now has to go be a good Role Model for Demi-Gods and finds the punishment unjust and obnoxious. So Ariadne isn’t a thing in this version of Dionysus. Good to know. Right now The Camp Director is my favorite character we have been introduced too.  They officially establish The Camp Director as Dionysus, and a pissy, Sulky Dionysus to boot and damn it I want tone of voice! Context.

Then Dionysus does his “Pay Attention” to Percy thing and Percy somehow finds Religion, Fear and Respect real quick and in hard way. Chiron wins the game and Dionysus goes to take a nap and tells Grover they will have a talk and send Percy off to cabin 11. So Our Dear Author DID get Satyr/Dionysus dynamic right. Good. While I think he is applying it inconsistently I will also retract my complaint about the Mr. D and the True name thing.

Percy and Chiron talk. Chiron off handedly mentions that Dionysus wants to go back to Olympus and Percy asks about it and doesn’t seem to know it is a real mountain… again with the inconsistency of knowledge. Mount Olympus is a real mountain is Greece comes BEFORE the subtleties of Greek Architectural trends I am pretty sure.

The Gods are in AMERICA!?! Shock! Gasp! Can I go reread American Gods instead?

The Gods moved into the “heart of the west’? What silly nonsense is that? The concept of the west wasn’t really even a thing until the division of the roman empire into east and western halves… never mind. Letting it go. This is gonna be a whole lot of nonsense justification for this story being in America isn’t it?

*keeps reading*

Nope.

Nope.

Nope.

Nope.

 I am not even going to go into everything wrong with that paragraph or concept. Lets just wrap it up as NO! dear gods NO! that paragraph could be a whole entry on it’s own. Moving on.

Percy apparently didn’t get to the Heroes section of his “Latin” class as he has no clue who Chiron is. Chiron gets out of his wheelchair and is shock of all shocks a Centaur.  End Chapter.

I kinda feel like I am being too hard on this book. I mean it was written for the 10 – 14 set but then again I have read amazing literature written for that set as well. (The Hobbit, The Narnia Chronicles, Heck even some of the Oz Books)  It doesn’t have to be stupid, It doesn’t have to be rushed,  and it doesn’t have to be so very inaccurate. I don’t need perfect adherence to myth to enjoy a story but I do need the story to be better told. The writing to draw me in, the main character NOT be someone I want to alternatively smack and put into therapy or sometimes both.

I love American Gods, Eric Nylunds The Mortal Coil Series, Neil Gaiman’s Sandman and Douglas Adams The Long Dark Tea Time Of The Soul. I am a sucker for a well written Fairy Tale rewrite. I love when an author honors the source material but still manages to tell their own story with it. That’s not what is happening here. So far the only character I am willing to roll with is his Dionysus. Though if I am being nit-picky it is leopards rather than tigers, but you know what, I’ll give it to him.  There is also the idea that right now my job in writing this Let’s Read IS to tear it apart, which is surprisingly easy to do once you get started.  It could just be that this particular chapter was exceptionally painful due to its expositional nature but I wanted to stop and point out I know I am being very negative and hard on this book. 

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