Review: Percy Jackson and the Olympians

When Rick Riordan’s book “Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief” first released in 2005, it became a smash hit overnight. As the series progressed and more volumes were released, fans wanted a movie adaptation of the series. However, the first film’s release in 2010 was met with lackluster reviews and low critic scores.

Now, almost 20 years after the release of “The Lightning Thief,” a new series on Disney Plus has undertaken adapting the book and satisfying fans. The plot follows Percy Jackson (Walker Scobell) as he embarks on a quest to find and return Zeus’s missing lightning bolt before an all-out war among the gods starts. Along the way, he makes friends, enemies and discovers the truth of his identity and family.

The show mostly follows the plot of the book, keeping certain points that were left out in previous screen adaptations. However, the show adds certain events to deepen characters and the plot. In the fourth episode, Percy and his friends get placed under arrest on a train and meet Echidna, the mother of monsters, which adds context for events to follow and increases the overall threat. 

The show also rewrites certain scenes to add elements to the story or make parts easier to understand. For example, during the first episode, Percy’s mom and Grover explain exactly what Camp Green Lake is, helping to explain an important plot point in the series to newer audiences.

Along with the story, the writing stays loyal to the book, with only minor changes, as the show was co-written by Riordan. The show paces well, with many scenes feeling fleshed out, like the battle scene at the St. Louis Arch. Well shot with mostly good CGI and special effects, the fantastical scenes and locations look realistic; Auntie Em’s Gnome Emporium and the Lotus Casino are perfect examples of the obvious effort that has been poured into the new show.

Despite its merits, the show does have some flaws. Some lines are delivered in a strange way that feels overly scripted. Certain CGI looks off, like some scenes with Chiron, a centaur who appears in the first few episodes of the show. Overall, fans of the series or Greek mythology in general, or even people who just want a show to watch on a Friday afternoon, will find it an enjoyable experience.


Ratings from left to right: 5/5, 4/5, 3/5, 2/5, 1/5

Riley Pepin

Freshman Riley Pepin is a new staff writer for Cedar BluePrints. He wants to go to college for animation and eventually become a video game designer. Pepin enjoys writing and reading in his spare time and loves the freedom the journalism class offers.

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