Some years ago, I met Rick Riordan at a library Reading Festival event. By met, of course, I mean I was in the same room as he was, I asked a question, and I laughed at his jokes. Still, I was a Youth Services librarian at the time, this book had recently come out, and it all was pretty exciting and memorable.
For a while, I could quote some of the things he said at the event. Sadly, life intervenes, and things become fuzzy. I do, however, remember he was extremely intelligent, informed and well-read. All of those qualities appear in this book, which is a very good start to the series.
I wanted to give this book five stars, but couldn't quite. The protagonist acted, sounded and felt a few years older than the stated age. This sounds like a minor criticism, and in some case it would be, but here it is the heart of the book. I had to keep reminding myself as I was reading that Percy was only 12 and not 14 or 15, and that slightly marred my enjoyment of the book.