We saw Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief on Saturday. Let me say from the start that I haven’t read the book. My daughter Amber(10) has the whole series and loves them though, so hopefully I’ll get around to it eventually.

The movie was fun. Percy is a Manhattan high-schooler who learns he is a demigod. He’s the son of Poseidon and a mortal woman.

This revelation comes out after Zeus wrongly blames Percy for stealing his lightning bolt and threatens a war with Poseidon that will finish humanity. Percy’s mother is kidnapped by Hades, brother of Zeus and Poseidon who also wants the power the lightning bolt would provide.

Joined by a satyr and the butt-kicking, demigod daughter of Athena, Percy sets off on a quest to save his mom. There are several stops along the road, including Medusa’s lair and the Lotus Hotel and Casino in Vegas. There are monsters to fight and gods to outwit.

I personally love that the book and movie have taken the traditional Greek gods, goddesses and myths, put a slightly new spin on them and introduced them to our kids. In Amber’s case at least, not only is she excited by the book series, it’s also sparked an interest in mythology.

The movie was enjoyable and action-filled. It’s chock full of gods and monsters, fight scenes and magic. Amber could barely sit still through some of the tenser parts.

After the movie, I asked Amber if she liked it. She said it was awesome. When I asked her if it was like the book she said yes, but then the more she talked about the differences, the more I questioned if they were really that similar. Apparently for a kid, the fact it had the same characters and some similar situations was enough, but to me it sounds as if there were more differences, even the whole purpose for the road trip was not the same. In the movie, they have to find Persephone’s pearls. In the book, according to Amber, they’re given the three pearls, there is no treasure map to finding them.

I really liked the movie. It was great for our family to see together, adn we’ll be buying the DVD when it comes out. But I’d also encourage your kids to read the book. If Amber’s any indication, they won’t be able to put it down. Literally. We walked out of school one day when I picked her up with her nose still buried in the book. She had to see what happened next. And be forewarned, they will want the whole series.