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Book Reviews

Review: “The Sea of Monsters,” Rick Riordan

September 21, 2010
Review: “The Sea of Monsters,” Rick RiordanThe Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson & the Olympians #2)
Written by Rick Riordan
Published April, 2006 by Disney Hyperion
279 pages
Genres: Mythology, Urban Fantasy
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three-stars

After a summer spent trying to prevent a catastrophic war among the Greek gods, Percy Jackson is finding 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 that 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 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.

A great addition to the series, though not as gripping as the first installment, The Lightning Thief. Laugh out loud moments make it an enjoyable read.

The first thing I must say is simply this: Party Ponies

This was a great sequel to Percy Jackson & The Olympians, although it doesn’t surpass it in quality for me. Some readers think The Sea of Monsters is the best of the series, some think it is the worst. I can’t say, since I haven’t completed the whole series, but I know that I definitely like the first installment the best so far.

I saw the film before I read the books. I usually like it to be the other way around, but honestly I hadn’t heard of Rick Riordan’s amazing series beforehand. I was immediately sucked in to the elaborate world of the Demi-Gods and their mythical companions. If you liked the film, you’ll like the novels a lot more. There is much more to see and do within the boundaries of Camp Half-Blood. It has more of a Hogwarts-y feel to it, am I right?

The Sea of Monsters had some great characters. I recall the author, Rick Riordan, saying that Tyson was actually his favourite character. While I do like Tyson, I don’t think he’s that fantastic. I didn’t like the idea that Percy actually had siblings; I was prepared to live in the little bubble that Poseidon had one true love, and that was Percy’s mother. Although, I was a little stupid thinking that since he is very, very old. Ah, call me a romantic!

Rick Riordan never ceases to make me laugh at some of the lines he adds. A guy in Greek armour slipping on Pina Colada in the middle of an intense battle? Centaur’s crying ‘Dude!’ before headbutting each other? I love his humour! It’s just so refreshing and will make even the most reluctant readers have a bit of a giggle.

Which brings me back to where I started: Party Ponies

Is this perhaps the funniest thing I’ve read in a long time? Yes. Can you imagine Pierce Brosnan (he plays the character of centuar, Chiron, in the film adaptation) arriving on deck of a cruise ship with many centaur relatives clad in beer helmets and giant foam fingers? Now, imagine them wearing shirts that cry ‘PARTY PONIES’. I die, I die.

I could go on about the good points of this story for a very long time. However, it took me a few goes to finish the book. I blame myself and my previous reading material. After finishing a swarm of books intended for an older audience, The Sea of Monsters was a little hard to swallow at times. Getting back into the mindset of a younger reader is especially hard after you’ve been eagerly awaiting steamy kisses and tingles in previous reads.

If you haven’t read the series, you should know that our characters are about thirteen. There is no romance (yet) and it’s a little hard to adjust to after reading seventeen-year-old-centric stories. You have to go in ready to be gripped only by the action, plot and humour. Oh, and the wonderful characters!

I’ll definitely be continuing the series!

Recommended to: Fans of the first book, Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief, or anyone wanting to continue the adventure after the film adaptation.

About Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan is a teacher and a writer, and has won many awards for his mystery novels for adults. He says that the idea for Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief first came to him while he was teaching Greek mythology at middle school in San Francisco. Rick lives in Texas (apart from his summers on Half Blood Hill) with his wife and two sons.

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