Just finished this yesturday.
It was a good read, but not great.
First off, yes - I saw the movie first. I also felt the same way with the movie: Okay, but not great.
Though now having read the book myself I can completely understand why fans hated the movies - there were alot of liberties taken and a number of glaring changes which I suspect will make it difficult or impossible to make future movies. But this isn't a movie review, it's a book review so... moving on...
I liked the concept behind this series.
Being a big mythology buff, I felt the setting was great.
The characters are interesting and the plot worked.
It had all the right pieces, but there was a spark missing for me.
There was something bland about it. I don't know what that is though. I can't put my finger on it.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it, but it really didn't excite me.
I'm going to continue on to book 2 and see where it takes me. Maybe things will pick up for me. We'll see.
One thing worth mentioning since I know it's been brought up by other reviewers already, but yeah, it does feel a bit like a Harry Potter ripoff. I'm not trying to accuse the author of that by any means, but there really are alot of similarities, so much so that it kind makes me raise a brow and wonder. However, the HP world is much more realized, detailed and immersive whereas I never felt pulled in my Percy's world. I also don't feel the voice was as geniune.
My other issues is the fact that all these Half-Bloods are bastards and all half-siblings and cousins. Let's remember that the Gods were pretty much all related to begin with. I really hope they start addressing these facts later in the series and if they decide to have any love interests form between half-blood characters (particularly Percy and Annabeth), I hope Riordan has the foresight to tackle the fact that it's incest. If these issues are addressed later, I'll probably find the series more interesting, but if they glaze over it I'm not sure how interested I'll be in it. I'd like Percy to wake up and see the gods for what they really are - incestious higher beings who are ruled by their selfish and capricious passions and whims. I hope that's where this goes, because I don't like the idea of holding these absentee parental figures up on any sort of pedestal.