The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
Summary: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.
You shall find what you seek and make it your own,
But despair for your life entombed within stone,
And fail without friends, to fly home alone.
I have to admit, out of the entire series, The Sea of Monsters is probably my least favorite. I can’t exactly pinpoint why, but for some reason my connection to this particular installment isn’t as strong as it is for the other 4 books in the series. This being said, it is still an action-packed and hilarious read, with an ending that leaves you wanting more, and the characters are as strong and wonderfully developed as ever.
Families are messy. Immortal families are eternally messy. Sometimes the best we can do is to remind each other that we’re related for better or for worse…and try to keep the maiming and killing to a minimum.Hermes, to Percy
The story starts as our hero Percy Jackson, son of Poesiden, returns to Camp Half-Blood after having an unsettling dream: his best friend Grover is in trouble. Even worse, the Golden Fleece (which acts as a barrier guarding Camp Half-Blood from monsters) has been stolen. Can Percy and his friends manage to find the Golden Fleece and save Grover at the same time?
I think what was missing for me here was the action. Sure, there’s quite a lot of it – you’ll never find a page without something intense occurring – but the action sequences didn’t read as intense and urgent as they did in The Lightning Thief, which was a bit disappointing.
Not surprisingly, the characters here are what really make the novel. Percy really begins to take on a leadership role, and we see how much that means to him. Yet, his loyalty, humorous outlook and bravery never falters, no matter the situation. We also manage to learn more about Annabeth Chase, who is my favorite character. Learning about her backstory and her fears really give her a whole new side, and make her such a more complex and wonderfully written character.
Riordan skillfully manages to intertwine Greek myths into a modern-day setting, leaving me at a loss for words with how skillfully he manages to do so. Riordan’s world-building is practically spotless, and so cleverly done.
“The real story of the Fleece: there were these two children of Zeus, Cadmus and Europa, okay? They were about to get offered up as human sacrifices, when they prayed to Zeus to save them. So Zeus sent this magical flying ram with golden wool, which picked them up in Greece and carried them all the way to Colchis in Asia Minor. Well, actually it carried Cadmus. Europa fell off and died along the way, but that’s not important.”
“It was probably important to her.”
With the humorous quotes, well-written action and unforgettable characters, I am more than looking forward to seeing what the third installment (The Titan’s Curse) has in store for Percy, Annabeth and Grover – especially after the amazing ending.