Wednesday, 26 May 2010

The Sea of Monsters

Author: Rick Riordan
Genre: Young Adult / Supernatural
Pages: 279
Published: 2006
First Line:"My nightmare started like this."
Series: 2nd book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series
Series Order:
  1. The Lightning Thief
  2. The Sea of Monsters
  3. The Titan's Curse
  4. The Battle of the Labyrinth
  5. The Last Olympian

Synopsis: Percy has started yet another new school in NYC and it doesn't look good. When a game of dodgeball turns into a deadly game, complete with canabalistic opponents, and Percy's only friend at school is a really weird, huge street kid --- it looks like it isn't going to be a great school year for Percy.

Luckily Percy has Camp Half-Blood to look forward to. The camp is like a second home for Percy. It's an enchanted place that protects children who have one of the Greek gods for a parent. When the camp is poisoned and suddenly overrun with monsters they know that something is wrong and help is needed.

On top of all that 13-year old Percy, who is one of the sons of Poseidon, learns that his best friend Grover, a satyr, is being held captive by Polyphemus, a blood thirsty cyclops who is in control of the infamous Golden Fleece. Percy knows that he has to go on a quest to rescue Grover as well as bring the Golden Fleece back to Camp Half-Blood to restore the magical protection around the camp.

With Annabeth and his new friend Tyson, they set off on a quest through the Bermuda Triangle and into the Sea of Monsters where they encounter many famous monsters from mythology with a fair bit of action thrown in for good measure.

My Thoughts: I really like this series and I'm glad I listened to my 10-year old son and picked up the first book. It's a very easy read (I read most of this book in 1 day) and I love reading about the mythological characters that I learned about in a university course I took years ago (albeit with a new, modern slant!). I think it's a great way to get young readers interested in Greek mythology. This is an easy series to get immersed in and get young imaginations racing.

Percy is a really likeable main character. Like Harry Potter, he is a fairly weak, unpopular kid who has been in the dark about his powers. He's an unlikely hero who goes through a lot of changes in this book. I think that Riordan handled Percy's initial discomfort with Tyson really well and showed that Percy is a flawed character ... with a good heart. I love that! I also love the fact that Annabeth is such a strong female character. She doesn't wait around for her prince to save the day ... she saves herself.

I found it interesting how the book explains away some of the modern day myths. For example, the Bermuda Triangle is actually in the Sea of Monsters which is why so many planes go missing without a trace. Huh.

There are still some big similarities between the Harry Potter series and this series. I'm not sure I like how similar the stories are. The "Voldemort" character, Kronos, is mentioned again and even has a very similar storyline to Voldemort from HP fame. A little too close for comfort actually.

Overall, this is a great sequel to "The Lightning Thief" and even though quite a bit of it was used to set up future storylines, this book was filled with adventure, humour and heart. I'm really looking forward to reading the next book in the series to see where these burgeoning storylines and new characters will go.

My Rating: 4/5

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