April 20, 2011

BROTP The Adventure, Fleece Out! • The Sea of Monsters

The Sea of Monsters book cover
The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
Series: Percy Jackson & The Olympians #2
Previous Book: The Lightning Thief
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion Books
Publication Date: April 1, 2006
Source/Format: Bought || Hardcover

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. 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. Together with his friends, Percy must retrieve the Golden Fleece from the Island of the Cyclopes 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.

The Sea of Monsters does not fail to deliver more intense action scenes, twists and turns and new characters that we all grow to love. In fact, in a way, I enjoyed this book even more than the first - simply because we no longer had to go through the whole introduction process, and just jumped right in.

Percy's had a relatively peaceful year at school for the most part - until he gets attacked by Laistrygonians during a "friendly" game of dodgeball. He's protected by his friend Tyson, a homeless kid, who he eventually discovers to be a Cyclops. Tyson's one of the new characters; the idea of a friendly Cyclops was a wee bit difficult to grasp at first, but he eventually grew on me, especially with the brotherly affection he ends up having for Annabeth and Percy.

The mission for this book? To find the Golden Fleece to heal Thalia's tree, which is dying and weakening Camp Half-Blood's protective borders. Clarisse (a daughter of Ares) is given the mission of obtaining the fleece. This, of course, does not deter Annabeth, Percy and Tyson, who proceed to board the Princess Andromeda, where their friend-turned-enemy Luke is holding court amongst the cronies of Kronos (the evil Titan lord, in case you didn't know). After a narrow escape, they end up joining Clarisse on her mission into the Sea of Monsters (otherwise known as the Bermuda triangle), where they encounter Sirens, Scylla, the sorceress Circe and even a violent Cyclops. Allowing Clarisse to return triumphantly to the camp, the trio gets captured aboard Luke's ship and nearly are defeated - Chiron and his brother "party ponies" hop to the rescue.

The pacing of this book was done very well, never leaving the reader a chance to be bored. With all the crazy things that they encountered on their mission (and apart from it), it was a definite page-turner. Using a combination of wits, brawn and luck, it's entertaining to see how everyone gets in to and out of their scrapes. Plus, we meet a whole new host of mythical creatures, both evil and good.

Readers will get a chance to delve further into the scheme that Luke is acting behind - the one to reform Kronos. There's fair opportunity to discover what Kronos and Luke have been aiming to achieve, as well as being exposed to some of the cohorts behind him. The idea of all that evil on the ship Princess Andromeda was scary and plus, you get the sense that this is definitely not all there is to it.

The Sea of Monsters ends on another crazy cliffhanger, prompting fans of the series (like me) to be eagerly anticipating reading the next one.


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