“The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #2)” by Rick Riordan
Genre: Middle Grade Fiction, Fantasy, Adventure
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
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.
I’m pleased that the book doesn’t have too much of the second story syndrome. Yes, we have another prophecy and quest to save the day but that’s kind of the point of this series. I felt like the quest of this book was different enough that I didn’t feel like I was reading a re-run.
I like that we get to see Percy having flaws within this book. He acts like a normal kid for the whole Tyson situation. He tries to get away from him because he doesn’t want to be labeled as a weirdo like Tyson but when he can’t avoid it, Percy just sucks it up the best he can. Once it’s revealed that the two are brothers, Percy gets a bit more angry at the situation (despite the happiness that it brings Tyson). You can understand Percy’s frustrations.
I think the anger definitely makes him seem like a real teenager. I think it’s great to see our hero acting like a brat. One, it shows you don’t have to be perfect to be considered a ‘hero’. Two, it gives him room to grow. Thankfully Percy does mature and realize that his dad wasn’t intentionally trying to be mean or hurtful. Percy realized that the problem was with him not with Poseidon or Tyson.
The bottom line? An enjoyable second installment of the series.