Saturday, June 05, 2010

The Sea of Monsters

You'll have to bear with me. It's been nearly two weeks since I finished reading the second book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, so the details may be a little fuzzy in my head. But rest assured, I did read the book and I am here to give you my review of said book.

The Sea of Monsters, as I mentioned before, is the second book in a series by author Rick Riordan. We pick up nearly a year after The Lightning Thief left off, and Percy Jackson has seemingly grown accustomed to life as a teenage demigod. He's back at home, living with his mother, and going to a new private school that he's managed to attend an entire school year without being expelled. We learn that over the course of the school year, he's become friends with a large homeless kid named Tyson, whom Percy feels needs protecting since he gets picked on so much. Right away, we see that Percy is still a pretty good kid and his heart is in the right place.

The calm that Percy has known since last summer is quickly disrupted as the story begins and adventure ensues. His camp friend, Annabeth, shows up at Percy's school as they are attacked by a group of giants at a monster game of dodge ball. In the midst of this deadly game, the dodge balls become fireballs and Percy's friend Tyson is discovered to be a very young cyclops. Thanks to what's known as "the Mist," the creatures of myth are often obscured from the view of mortals. So while Percy has been in the real world with Tyson, he's only seen Tyson as a normal kid who wears a hat low over his eyes (or eye).

Annabeth gets Percy and Tyson safely to Camp Half-Blood where disastrous events have occurred. The pine tree that protects the magical borders of the camp has been poisoned, allowing all sorts of monstrous creatures to gain access to the camp of young heroes. Because of this lapse in security, there has been a change in camp staffing. Although things at camp are bad for Percy, a series of dreams that he has shows him that his friend Grover, a satyr, is having a worse time. It is determined that a quest must be undertaken to find the Golden Fleece which has been held for centuries on an island in the midst of the Sea of Monsters (found in the modern day Bermuda Triangle).

Percy, Annabeth, and Tyson make their way away from camp and set out on an adventure that rivals that of the first novel. Once again, Riordan is able to take characters and themes found in classic Greek literature and myth and weave them into a tale that makes sense in a modern context. The hero of the series, Percy, shows the kind of strength of character that heroes often have. He also displays a certain impetuousness that gets him into trouble. What makes him heroic isn't his bravery or skill, it's the fact that he's willing to do the right thing, no matter what those in authority may wrongly tell him. He's willing to do the right thing, no matter the cost to himself.

Again, I've always found Greek mythology to be a fascinating subject. So finding an author that takes those old stories and gives them new life is brilliant. This sequel is a fitting follow-up to Percy Jackson's introduction and I look forward to the next installment in the series.


  1. Have you not read the whole series yet? Get them all. And then get the first book of his new seriers, The Red Pyramid.

  2. I just started Book 4 today. I haven't had a chance to write my review of 3 yet, but I'm getting there. I think they're awesome.