Published by Disney Hyperion on January 1, 2006
Genres: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Adventure
The heroic son of Poseidon makes an action-packed comeback in the second must-read installment of Rick Riordan’s amazing young readers series. Starring Percy Jackson, a “half blood” whose mother is human and whose father is the God of the Sea, Riordan’s series combines cliffhanger adventure and Greek mythology lessons that results in true page-turners that get better with each installment. In this episode, The Sea of Monsters, Percy sets out to retrieve the Golden Fleece before his summer camp is destroyed, surpassing the first book’s drama and setting the stage for more thrills to come.
After completing The Lightning Thief, I decided to continue on with the Percy Jackson series right away and picked up The Sea of Monsters. If you’ve read my review of The Lightning Thief (LINK), you’ll know that my main issue with the book was how closely it paralleled my beloved Harry Potter. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed the characters and the adventure, so I hoped the series would adopt more of its own voice as the story continued.
Unfortunately, The Sea of Monsters started off on the wrong foot. There was a syntax error in the first few pages, and a scene at the beginning that closely mirrored the Knight Bus in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I couldn’t believe the similarities, but kept powering through, and I’m so glad I did!
The Sea of Monsters introduces readers to a new character named Tyson, who is a young cyclops. In Percy’s world, cyclopes are very dangerous and thus mistreated by half bloods. I absolutely loved the role Tyson plays in the story, and am impressed with Rick Riordon’s decision to include him. Percy’s journey with Tyson is so touching. It teachers readers about acceptance, and how someone who is a bit different is not necessarily bad. I think it’s amazing that children who read this book will get to see how important it is to be kind and understanding of everyone.
Moreover, The Sea of Monsters is a fast-paced and exciting read. This second book jumps right into the action from the start, and readers are along for the ride without hesitation. While I do wish there was a bit more set-up at the beginning, once I adjusted to the new storyline I was fully invested. Percy is such a great narrator, and his voice makes the book so much fun to read.
Finally, I loved the cliffhanger at the end of The Sea of Monsters. It was a bit predictable, but it was still exciting, and made me want to pick up the next book in the series right away. I was surprised at how short The Sea of Monsters was, but I enjoyed it a great deal, and it was a definite improvement over the first book in the series. I’m excited to continue on and see where Percy’s adventures take him and his friends next!