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Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson and The Olympians Book 2: The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordian
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Genre: Action/Adventure, Fantasy, Contemporary
Age Recommendation: 8+
Pages: Full Length (279 pgs)
Rating: 5 Suns
Reviewed by Honeysuckle

Percy Jackson’s seventh-grade year has been surprisingly quiet. Not a single monster has set foot on his New York prep school campus. But when an innocent game of dodgeball among Percy and his classmates turns into a death match against an ugly gang of cannibal giants, things get . . . well, ugly. And the unexpected arrival of Percy’s friend Annabeth brings more bad news: the magical borders that protect Camp Half-Blood have been poisoned by a mysterious enemy, and unless a cure is found, the only safe haven for demigods will be destroyed.

Percy, Annabeth, and Grover are back for a new quest and have a new friend in the form of Tyson, a young Cyclops. There are also new batches of monsters to fight. Even before school lets out at Meriweather College Prep, Percy must fight cannibal giants who just happen to throw exploding dodge balls. Just another day in the life of a half-blood, you ask? Right!

Percy and Annabeth, with the help of Tyson, set off to rescue Grover and steal the legendary Golden Fleece in hopes of saving Camp Half-Blood. Naturally, the gods of Olympus manage to hinder rather than help their prodigy along the way. Throw in the Hydra, some demon pigeons and meat-eating sheep and you have the recipe for The Sea of Monsters.

Mr. Riordian did not disappoint in this second installment of the Percy Jackson series. As with The Lightning Thief, the writing is excellent and while geared to the young adult reader, older readers will be just as entertained. The relationship between Percy and his father, Poseidon, continues to develop as we learn more about just who the god of the oceans really is. Even though Percy is only a half-blood you see how his humanity makes him more powerful than the gods that try to direct their children’s lives from Olympus.

From beginning to end you feel as though you are on the journey with Percy, Annabeth, Tyson and Grover. There is an underlying story that began in The Lightning Thief and continues with The Sea of Monsters. Don’t forget to have book 3: The Titan’s Curse handy when you finish book 2, the adventure isn’t over yet!

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