Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters (Book 2)
In my review of book one, I made some Harry Potter comparisons. What’s just occurred to me is that they’re reversed, though, with Percy’s adventures occurring during the summer and normal life resuming during the school year. Not that Percy’s school life is particularly normal either, since he’s been kicked out of at least a school per year. Things have a tendency to explode around Percy that even the helpful Mist cannot explain away without some damage to his reputation with principals.
Also, for as much as he loves his mom, he really looks forward to Camp Halfblood. I’d say it’s truly becoming his home in a way that it didn’t in The Lightning Thief. The time away made him realize how much he loved the place. He doesn’t have an easy time making friends, partially because he attracts trouble and partially because of his hero tendencies which include befriending the unpopular kid, Tyson. At Camp Halfblood, his life may be more stressful, but it’s also more fulfilling, because he’s around people who understand him, even if some of them don’t accept him.
In The Sea of Monsters, one of my favorite things is watching the kids grow up a bit. They’re still young, but they’re just a bit more mature than they were last year. There’s more cooperation, even with people who were enemies before. Stereotypes are being challenged and grudging respect is being found. There’s a long way to go, but I like the way the network is expanding. Plus, I absolutely love the trope where two people who don’t get along are forced to work together, so watching Percy have to deal with Clarisse made me happy.
The plot continues in a similar vein to that of The Lightning Thief. It’s high energy with constant new attacks, both sneaky and overtly dangerous. These are books to satisfy a desire for action. They are for the most part more towards the silly and humorous than the scary. However, as with book one, the twists on mythology are delightful. My favorite part may have been Circe and her guinea pigs.
The overarching plot of The Sea of Monsters centers on the need to rescue Grover, who has been captured by Polyphemus (aka the cyclops that Odysseus faced and eye-poked) and will be made into the cyclops’ bride-to-be. The crew has to get together on a quest to save Grover and the camp, no longer protected by Thalia’s tree, which is dying of poison. Conveniently though explained well enough I’ll let that slide, what’s needed to save the camp is where Grover is. The image of Grover in a wedding dress is indeed a funny one, but I also missed him getting to have a real role in this one.
What Left Me Wanting More:
The one thing I can point to that did make me narrow my eyes was Tyson’s love of horses. Percy loves horses and has an affinity through them thanks to Poseidon being his father and the creator of horses. Tyson, on the other hand, scares horses, which is why Percy has to calm them down before the chariot race. However, shortly thereafter, Tyson befriends another kind of horse very easily and is even able to talk to it. This seemed inconsistent; it could have been explained perhaps, but it wasn’t. Also, sort of related, I’m a little puzzled that the chariot races continued after the mission ended successfully, but oh well.
The Final Verdict:
After the dramatic ending and with an increased cast, I’m looking forward to the group dynamics in the third book. The Lightning Thief and The Sea of Monsters have both been great, but I’m hoping that the feels are coming and the stakes will be getting much higher. So far, there’s no sense of peril in any of the adventure, which keeps my emotions low. However, the big bad is pretty intense and I have hope for the future. On to book three!
Having said that, in Sea of Monsters, the second of what will be five books in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, we are encounter Percy as he dreams that his friend Grover, a satyr (half human and half goat), is running from something. It is stormy out and the wind is blowing. Grover ducks into a doorway which the wind blew open, a bridal gown shop, to hide. But, unfortunately, he is found. Percy has no idea what it all means. Was it a dream? Was it real?
The next morning starts the last day of seventh grade, which is a treat for Percy, because typically hes expelled from the schools he attends. And unfortunately, this will be no different, we find. There are monsters awaiting him, huge, fierce, mean monsters named Marrow Eater and Scum Sucker and worse. In order to get away, Percy does some minor damage to the school, like blowing up the gym. Thus starts Percys adventure.
As Percy runs from the burning school he sees his friend Annabeth, another Half-Blood. Together they get a ride to Camp Half-Blood, their summer home, where they learn about Greek Gods and fighting&a supposedly safe haven for Half-Bloods&only to find total mayhem. The life is being sucked out of the camp, its protective borders losing its powers and allowing in monsters. The only way to reverse the effects is to find the Golden Fleece, which provides a life force. Clarissa, another camper, is charged with this quest, but Percy and Annabeth go on their own quest. A dangerous, dangerous quest.
Those of you who are familiar with this series know that each book is totally filled with adventure. This is no exception. The action is non-stop. The monsters are plentiful. The traitors are active. The danger is abundant. The reading pleasure abounds. Whether youre in seventh grade like Percy or way past seventh grade, Sea of Monsters will make you cringe in fear, make you close your eyes lest you see ugly Cyclopes, make you root for the good guys. So, get hooked on the series now. I know I did.
When the trio arrives at Camp they find that the magical tree that protects the borders of the Camp has been poisoned. Now unprotected the Camp is constantly under attack from monsters. When they arrive it's revealed that Tyson is, in fact, a Cyclops and a son of Poseidon, making him Percy's half-brother. Percy is uncomfortable about having a Cyclops for a brother while Tyson is ecstatic to be Percy's brother. Unlike others of his kind Tyson is kind, gentle and very sweet, acting like a little kid most of the time.
Percy reveals his dreams to Chiron and Mr D who ban Percy and his friend from leaving camp even though Grover might have a cure for the sick tree. But with help from Hermes they leave camp on a quest to rescue Grover and save Camp. Along their way, they run into the traitor Luke who works for the evil Titan Kronos. They manage to escape and continue onwards to rescue Grover from an evil Cyclops named Polyphemus who has the cure for the tree.
Adventure, mystery and excitement fill every page of this book. I loved this book even more than the first, mostly because I loved Tyson. He's so sweet, like a big teddy bear.
The adventure continues as Percy secretly sets out on a quest with Annabeth and Grover in order to find the Golden Fleece to save Thalia’s tree which guards Camp Half-Blood from monsters and mortals. The tree, which contains the soul and dying body of Zeus’ daughter Thalia, has been poisoned by Luke, son of Hermes, who is attempting to resurrect the evil Titan Kronos from his prison in Tartarus.
What stood apart in this novel was an increase in hilarity. I was in fits of laughter for the entirety of The Sea of Monsters, especially the scenes with Polyphemus. Percy’s dry humour and Annabeth’s frequent wit were the perfect combination and the novel progressed naturally through the characters’ interactions.
My favourite character introduced was Tyson, Percy’s (sort-of) half-brother who just so happens to be a Cyclops. Tyson is the sweetest and most precious character I have ever come across in fiction. Each time he was on the page, I just wanted to give him a big hug. I was almost in tears during a scene where he continually giggled and said, “Percy is my brother?” He was so protective of Percy and such a true hero. That little baby Cyclops needs to be defended at all costs. He is too precious for this world.
I loved the inclusion of renowned Greek characters from mythology and in this novel we are introduced to Polyphemus, the infamous Cyclops who Odysseus once blinded on his way home to Ithaca. It is so thrilling to experience beloved characters and real historical people that I have studied in a new and fresh way. I took ancient Greek history for two years in high-school and another three during undergrad. I don’t pretend that I am some sort of expert on classical history, but I recognised almost every character from my studies and couldn’t stop smiling as I read about them once again.
The plot of The Sea of Monsters developed further and focused more on the deadly prophecy which is supposed to be about Percy, as well as the slow reincarnation of Kronos. For those who do not know their Greek history, Kronos was the king of the Titans and the father of many of the Olympian gods. He devoured his children at birth because of a prophecy that stated one of them would kill him and assume control of the world. However, Zeus was spared through the actions of his mother and then sought revenge: he and his siblings (once regurgitated) defeated their father, chopped him into little pieces and imprisoned him in Tartarus. Half-blood Luke, who feels abandoned by his father and the other Greek gods, is attempting to revive Kronos in order to overthrow Olympus and place the half-bloods in power.
Luke is a very complex character who I love to read about. You can’t help but feel for him as he has been completely abandoned by his parent, but you also know that his actions are reprehensible. Riordan is a fantastic writer to have his readers in two opposite frames of mind when it comes to the bad guy.
The Sea of Monsters was a great sequel to The Lightning Thief, increasing the tension and the adventure tenfold. Percy is a fantastic hero, and one we should admire and emulate. The conclusion of the novel promptly gave me a heart attack while simultaneously exciting me.
For The Lightning Thief review: thebookcorps.wordpress.com/2016/11/25/the-lightning-thief-by-rick-riordan/
For all other reviews: thebookcorps.wordpress.com
My favorite part was with Grover. Anything he does is hilarious!
It could have been better. The mythology was just as great as the first!
I prefer the first one to this, but it was just as good. It was written just as I like it, maybe even better. The jokes were just as funny, even better. I thought that the idea of the golden fleece story mixed with the Odysseus story. I found that really interesting. As well, the plot thickens and will eventually build up to a grand finale in the last book of Percy Jackson.
*previously posted on my book blog, Most Important Letter*
The Sea of Monsters
Author: Rick Riordan
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Release date: May 3, 2006
Age genre: Youth fiction
Sexual content: I would hope not.
Profanity: No one likes to hear a thirteen-year-old curse. So no.
Violence: Percys supposed to be a warrior. Do you think?
Other notables: None
Genres: Greek mythology, adventure
L: Usually sequels dont live up to the first in the series, but I think that this one did a pretty good job.
The ever down-to-earth Percy Jackson has to save his best friend Grover and his beloved Camp Half-Blood. Do you think he can kill two birds with one stone?
My favorite part in this book? The (always) funny interaction between Percy and Annabeth. Boy, when are they going to realize &?
Copy: Paperback, borrowed from friend
Rating: 3 out of 5 letter blocks
Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters:
This is the second book in the Percy Jackson series. In this book Percy has to go on a quest to save his friend Grover. This quest is actually assigned to Percys rival Clarisse. So there is a lot of competition. Percy discovers that he has siblings whom he finds quite disturbing. I liked this book because it has a lot of adventure and humor but it does not have a great plot. The details in this book are quite vivid. You can imagine the story happening in front of you.
This book was just as hilarious as the Lightning Thief! Percy's made a new friend . . . avery unpopular one. Suprisingly, he's lasted almost all year at the same school. But on the last day, a simple game of dodgeball turns into a fight against cannibal Laistrygonian giants. Or Canadians, as Annabeth calls them. She brings news from camp, and it's not good. Find out what happens and read this hilarious book centered around Greek mythology. Beginning with 'Chapter One: My Best Friend Shops For A Wedding Dress' this book will make you laugh out loud!
I actually liked this smart and adventurous sequel better than the first! The Greek mythology angle in it is very interesting, but if you are like really religious it may come off weirdly. But hey I'm Catholic, believer in God, and as long as you know this book is fantasy, there's no moral prob with reading it.
Even if you aren't a Mythology buff, or not particularly inclined to fantasy, give this book a try! It is funny, has good action, and has interesting characters.