Thursday, July 18, 2013

Book Review: Percy Jackson - The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

The Sea of Monsters
The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So, we're back in the world of Percy Jackson for the 2nd installment of the series by Rick Riordan, a world where mythological creatures actually exist and, well, the ancient gods and goddesses still have kids out of wedlock. Why do I love these books so much, even knowing as much as I do about Zeus, Poseidon, and the rest? Search me!

All I do know is that Riordan knows how to spin one heck of a fascinating story! One reviewer mentioned how they disliked the lack of parental influence in the kid's lives. This is true, but it doesn't really bother me because these stories in no way, shape, or form resemble reality. Percy's mom sends him off to Camp Half-Blood every summer and then he goes on a quest and nearly gets killed by mythological monsters. How does that reflect reality? So, yeah, parents not really involved, and I don't mind a bit. Moving on.

In this 2nd installment to the series, Camp Half Blood is in trouble, and we're talking majorly serious trouble. Their magical borders are collapsing and the tree who was once Thalia, daughter of Zeus, is dying. The only thing that could possibly save both the camp and the tree is the Golden Fleece with its magical healing properties. It turns any land that owns it, lush and green and prosperous, so yeah, that would work. Except it means a quest and this time Percy and Annabeth are not the chosen favorites of the camp, ever since Chiron was accused of poisoning Thalia's tree and replaced by the irascible Tantalus who hasn't eaten in 3,000 years.

Still, the kids manage to find a way to be included, even if it means accepting advice and gifts from Hermes, who not only runs the postal service but is also the god of thieves. Percy, Annabeth, and Percy's half-brother Tyson who happens to be a Cyclopes (that's what happens when gods mate with nature spirits, really, Poseidon, come on dude, show some class) race off to not only find the fleece, but also rescue Percy's satyr friend, Grover, a character from the 1st book. Grover's quest to find Pan, the nature god (I think), isn't going so well, or at least that's what Percy's dreams imply. So not only does he have to find that Golden Fleece, but his best friend too, all while avoiding flying so Zeus doesn't blast him out of the sky. Fun times!

Bits of The Sea of Monsters felt repetitive, like going to summer camp and going on a quest. But there were still moments I didn't see coming and that ending is a humdinger. Should be fun in the movie! What can I say, this is a great read. I love the spunky thought processes that Riordan gave to Percy, aptly accomplished in the first person writing style. The kid is likeable and fun, and yes, crazy too. Not to mention the positive outlook that Riordan places on western civilization. The gods only exist while the west exists, and they cause western civilization to thrive. I love that. The west is an awesome place to live and it's terrific reading a series that appreciates America, even though it is a bit strange having the entrance to Olympus being on top of the Empire State Building. Cool though. I can hardly wait to start reading the 3rd installment because Kronos, the big baddie, is cooking up something nasty and must be stopped at all costs!

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