Get a free audiobook

$14.95/month + applicable taxes after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

Twelve-year-old Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school...again. No matter how hard he tries, he can't seem to stay out of trouble. But can he really be expected to stand by and watch while a bully picks on his scrawny best friend? Or not defend himself against his pre-algebra teacher when she turns into a monster and tries to kill him? Of course, no one believes Percy about the monster incident; he's not even sure he believes himself.

Until the Minotaur chases him to summer camp.

Suddenly, mythical creatures seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy's Greek mythology textbook and into his life. The gods of Mount Olympus, he's coming to realize, are very much alive in the 21st-century. And worse, he's angered a few of them: Zeus's master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.

Now Percy has just 10 days to find and return Zeus's stolen property, and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. On a daring road trip from their summer camp in New York to the gates of the Underworld in Los Angeles, Percy and his friends, one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena, will face a host of enemies determined to stop them. To succeed in his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of failure and betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

©2005 Rick Riordan (P)2005 Random House, Inc. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group

Featured Article: The Best Family Audiobooks for All Ages

Sharing stories with your loved ones is an amazing bonding experience. You may remember having a book read to you when you were a child and the magic it brought into your life. By listening to an audiobook with your family, you can offer that same experience to your own children. Whether you’re looking for a fun story or a learning activity, this list has some of the greatest family audiobooks by bestselling authors. Relive some of the stories that you loved as a child with your own kids or discover new ones to enjoy together on long trips or in the comfort of your own home. Here are the top family audiobooks for all ages.

What listeners say about The Lightning Thief

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    511
  • 4 Stars
    129
  • 3 Stars
    20
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    5
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    371
  • 4 Stars
    121
  • 3 Stars
    59
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    8
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    451
  • 4 Stars
    91
  • 3 Stars
    16
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    5

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Love it!

I really like the voice and performance. I love the book. This is my very first Audible! I am very happy with it!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome

I liked this book because there's good characters and it's very exciting. -Luke, Age 7

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing Books

The Percy Jackson books were what made me start reading at 13, and as im re-reading the saga at 20, its no less amazing.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Read

So this was my first audible book and I have to say it was amazing. The story and narration had me so interested. If you are new to audible I highly recommend trying this one out forsure.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good story but can be tough to listen to reader

This is a good story and I have enjoyed it quite a lot. My issue is with the reader. He is ok but pronounces several words different than the normal pronunciation. He also says ‘both’ with an L in it like ‘bolth’. It’s been a pet peeve of mine and most probably won’t have any issue at all. It’s a good story and helps to give a basic knowledge of the gods and who they are and their basic history.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

book is great naration ok

long time fan of Rick Roridan. love all his works and all the books he sponsors.
the reading of this book is what brings my rating down by one star. mispronunciations of the greek names mainly.
otherwise would have been a 5/5.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book, wish I’d had it as a kid

I can absolutely see what so many kids have fallen in love with, there’s a huge exciting world here that it feels we’ve only scratched the surface of

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Unbelievably dull

dont get me wrong i love the story of percy jackson. but the narrator was so extremely boring and horrible with voices. he could only manage 3 or 4 very similar voices and did not listen at all about the description of voices. such as Charon the described as having an english accent however the narrator took it upon himself to give him a southern accent as he did with several other characters. overall i got very annoyed with the boring and lackluster performance of this fun/exciting book. i was really anticipating liking this series on audible but i returned the other 2 books i bought as i dont think i could continue listening to the same narrator for more than one story.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Clever Kids' Story- Replaceable Narration

This book is ideal for kids aged 8-12. Rick Riordan taps into a topic that every child finds fascinating: Ancient Mythology. He does a very nice job weaving the fantastic (Gods, Titans, Mythical Monsters, and Heroes) into the life of a relatable hard-luck misfit kid with a Heart-of-Gold. Yes, it's formulaic, but it’s effective ("more mature" youth literature authors - Collins (Hunger Games), Meyer (Twilight), Bardugo (Shadow & Bone), etc - bow to these conventions for a reason - they work).
The dialogue is fairly childish, there are (Ugh) fart and poop references mixed into the text, and the twists are predictable.. but Riordan's plot is clever, descriptions are excellent, there is frequent action, and the characters are surprisingly deep. These books are justifiably popular.

The weakest aspect of this audiobook is the narration. Jesse Bernstein is clearly interested in the text and reads with admirable pacing, cadence, and emotiveness.. but his range is limited (characters consequently sound similar); his repertoire is poor (Bernstein tends to surfer-dudes and Southern accents); and he delivers most of the book in a matter-of-fact timbre (even during action scenes). I'm convinced another reader would vastly improve this project.

I no longer have little ones at home, but genuinely enjoy books written for children. If you have pre-teens (this is likely too sophomoric for older youth), 'The Lightning Thief' is engrossing - they'll love it. For an adult listener, it's only worth 5.5 stars out of 10. I can personally set aside the subpar reading (I will be continuing the 'Percy Jackson and the Olympians' series - it's a captivating premise).. but you are justified if you decide to pass on this one.

[I hope Bernstein does better with Book 2]

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome, a little to dark for me.

I liked it until the underworld. It was very creepy.
Definitely would not recommend for kids under
10 maybe even 12.
It’s funny most of the time the chapters have good names. :)

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Michelle
  • 2010-01-27

Fun, even for adults.

I enjoyed this book because it was fun, light "reading." I even learned or remembered a few things from Greek mythology. My 9 year old lost interest quickly, so I recommend it for maybe 13-14 yr olds. I do think the narrator used some strange interpretations of voices. Some of the characters sounded absolutely the same, which left me wondering if they are the same person(but I won't find that out until later), or he has a limited number of voices period. I will definitely download the next book in the series. I think if you like the Harry Potter series, you will probably enjoy these.

31 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ann W.
  • 2017-12-07

Great first in series

Would you listen to The Lightning Thief again? Why?

I really love these stories. I've read them myself and have read this book with my students. A lot of people mention disliking the narrator. But, I felt the narrator did a good job in voicing the character of Percy Jackson. As it's a first-person narrator telling the story, it's important that the actual performing artist embrace the character of Percy Jackson. I felt the narrator did a great job interpreting the character of Percy into is performance.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tyler H.
  • 2019-06-25

a good read

a good read but could use some work such as more variation on voices and speeding up on areas of high action and slowing down at appropriate moments

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sara
  • 2005-08-17

The Lightning Theif

This book is a fabulous tale of a 12 year old boy Percy Jackson who is trying to discover who he is and how he fits into the world around him. He is not like other kids because he was fathered by one of the greek gods and a mortal mom. The book introduces the reader to several of the greek gods and goddesses which allows the reader to remember who they were and what they did. Once you start listening you just can't stop. My 9 year old couldnt put it down for 2 days. he would have never read the actual book because of the length but was mezmorized once he started listening. Believe me you won't be disappointed.

29 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Squigy
  • 2010-04-24

Great Read

I purchased this book for my son who is learning about greek mythology in school and he thought the book was awesome!

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Julia
  • 2010-02-28

Loved the story - but.....

I've always had a love of mythology so I was intrigued by the series after I saw the movie trailer. I loved the story - but I will purchase the paperback books and read them instead of downloading the next in the series because I could not abide the narrator. I'm usually fairly non-judgmental about the narrator if the story is good - and I totally get that he is suppose to be just a kid and "clueless" but I felt the narrator's inability to bring the characters to life did not do the story justice. My own mind can do a better job while I read the printed page and I won't be as annoyed as I got with this audiobook.

127 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ariel
  • 2014-02-05

Great story, terrible narration.

Jesse Bernstein's voice has a condescending tone, like he is talking down to children, in every moment of the story. It makes him unbelievable as the main character, though he does a fine and consistent job as other character voices. It doesn't make the book unlistenable, but it certainly detracts from the enjoyment of a good tale.

81 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Muffy S.
  • 2005-07-24

Decent story - distracting narration.

The story itself was good - if predictable at several points. Not great literature, but a diverting read for a few summer afternoons. I enjoy young adult literatire, and while this doesn't compare to classics like Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials Trilogy, or recent greats like Cornelia Funke's Inkheart, the story was entertaining enough.

However, I had a hard time not being completely irritated by the narrator. Generally I give myself over to the story, but I found myself thinking over and over that I wished someone else - anyone else - were narrating instead. Everything he reads is delivered in an over-earnest voice, like a child actor trying too hard to be super cute and precocious. His female voices are grating. And the worst offense was that in an attempt to give the male characters different voices, one of them - who could have been an interesting, complex character, instead sounds just like Keanu Reeves in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure; like a dim-witted surfer with a script in front of him.

To be fair, the reader's delivery may appeal more to children than adults. I mean, there must be some reason kids like Barney but adults can't stand him, right? And if it is appealing enough to children that it encourages them to love literature, then I suppose that's what really matters.

78 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Theodore
  • 2013-06-02

Fun KIDS Book

The quintessential truth about this book is that this is a book for kids. That is no to say that as am adult you can't or won't enjoy it but the long and short is this book was designed for kids. The author takes some obvious liberties taking this into consideration and if I have to base my review solely on it being a kids book... This book was actually great... Pity though I am not a kid nor do I have any at this time.

I liked the concept of the book, the thought process that went into creating this mythical world intertwined with our current time was rather impressive to say the least. If turned into a more young-adult/adult genre book I would thoroughly have enjoyed it because I would think the characters would have a lot more depth and certain concepts about this world would have been thought out much better. From my personal vantage point the book would have probably gotten 2 or 3 stars but thinking of it as a kids book it would get 5 stars..... so a clear medium was found here in giving it 4 stars.

33 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jared M
  • 2006-12-08

good book, bad narrator

I liked the story, although it is a little sophomoric. The narrator almost ruined the book for me. I couldn't get past his bad acting and horrible sound effects. I'll get the next one if someone else reads it.

21 people found this helpful