Friday, October 7, 2011

The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

Book Details
The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
Hardcover, 288 Pages
2006, Disney-Hyperion
ISBN: 0786856866
Series: Book 2 of Percy Jackson and the Olympians

After a summer spent trying to prevent a catastrophic war among the Greek gods, Percy Jackson finds his seventh-grade school year unnervingly quiet. His biggest problem is dealing with his new friend, Tyson—a six-foot-three, mentally challenged homeless kid who follows Percy everywhere, making it hard for Percy to have any “normal” friends.

But things don’t stay quiet for long. Percy soon discovers there is trouble at Camp Half-Blood: the magical borders which protect Half-Blood Hill have been poisoned by a mysterious enemy, and the only safe haven for demigods is on the verge of being overrun by mythological monsters. To save the camp, Percy needs the help of his best friend, Grover, who has been taken prisoner by the Cyclops Polyphemus on an island somewhere in the Sea of Monsters, the dangerous waters Greek heroes have sailed for millennia—only today, the Sea of Monsters goes by a new name…the Bermuda Triangle.

Now Percy and his friends—Grover, Annabeth, and Tyson—must retrieve the Golden Fleece from the Island of the Cyclopes by the end of the summer or Camp Half-Blood will be destroyed. But first, Percy will learn a stunning new secret about his family—one that makes him question whether being claimed as Poseidon’s son is an honor or simply a cruel joke.

I love the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. I was afraid The Lightning Thief was a fluke, and that Rick Riordan couldn't possibly continue this series in the fun and intelligent manner it started in. The Sea of Monsters has firmly put that concern out of my mind.

In the Sea of Monsters, Camp-Halfblood is in danger as Thalia's tree has been poisoned. Grover is trapped by a cyclops and will have to either marry it or be eaten by it. Luckily, the island Grover is being held is the same island the Golden Fleece (which could cure Thalia's tree) is located. Only, to save the day, Percy and Annabeth must defy camp officials, cross The Sea of Monsters and beat a cyclops on its own turf.

The Sea of Monsters is full of action, adventure, and fun, yet remains educational. That's one of the major things I love about the Percy Jackson series - it teaches readers about mythology in a way that they will grasp easily and remember for a long time to come. Another huge plus about this series is although it is written for the middle grade crowd, Riordan pulls no punches. In the same way it isn't dumbed down, it doesn't lessen the stakes because of its intended age group. There is real danger here, and a real potential for death, which only makes the story more exciting.

The Sea of Monsters is a fantastic adventure that will delight readers young and old. The powers that be have announced that a film version in is the works. I'm excited, as long as it sticks closer to the story than The Lightning Thief movie did. These books deserve film versions - just as long as those versions do Riordan's wonderful words justice.



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