Thursday, September 18, 2014

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters

Continuing this journey of reading books I should have read years ago, I'm working my way through Percy Jackson & the Olympians, by Rick Riordan. This is a series that my youngest sister has been telling me to read for a couple years now, much like the Artemis Fowl series. (I'm going to admit that I liked Artemis Fowl a lot more than I like these books, but I digress.)

I was obsessed with Greek mythology when I was a kid. Weird thing for a young girl to be obsessed with, I know, but I was homeschooled and hey, I enjoyed it. So reading ancient myths wasn't really like school for me. And quite frankly, I have always had a soft spot for mythology; Egyptian, Roman, Greek, Norse, Japanese (another favourite), etc. That's another post for another day, though.


The Sea of Monsters is the second book in the Olympians series, following The Lightning Thief. At the start of this book we see Percy Jackson at the end of his seventh grade year of school. Surprisingly, nothing has happened all school year to get him kicked out, which he is amazed by because he's a half-blood, a son of Poseidon. And then gym class happens. And wouldn't you know it, there are Laistrygonian monsters after him. Not because they want to kill him for any higher power, but because they want lunch. Go figure.

Percy and his big bumbling friend Tyson manage to get out of the mess only with the help of Percy's friend Annabeth, also a half-blood, a daughter of Athena. When they finally reach Camp Half-Blood on Long Island, they learn that Thalia's tree, which protects the camp, is dying. The only way to save it is to find the Golden Fleece (yes, that one). That's where Percy and Annabeth's satyr friend Grover comes in. Percy had already been having dreams about him being trapped somewhere by a Cyclops, presumably where the nature magic is plentiful, since Grover is on a search for the god Pan.

Oh hey, that island is where the Gold Fleece is hanging out! But of course, it's in the Sea of Monsters, which is a place not entirely related to the actual sea. In fact, just like Hades and Mt Olympus, the location of the Sea has moved around depending on where the height of Western Civilization is. So while Hades is under Los Angeles and Mt Olympus is above the Empire State Building, the Sea of Monsters is off the cost of Florida somewhere.

Getting into the Sea is kind of a problem, though. After all, one must pass by Scylla and Charybdis. And then there's the Sirens, somewhere in the Sea. And so on. And all this time, the kids have to be worrying about the fact that the Titan Lord Kronos is being awakened from deep in the pit of Tartarus. Like they didn't have enough on their plate already.


I'm not going to tell you any more of the story for spoiler reasons, but I do have a few things I want to say about the book (and series, I guess) as a whole. Like I mentioned before the review section, I adore Greek mythology. And while I'm not sure how I feel about Rick Riordan's writing style (first person writing is just...well it's a preference thing I guess), he has such a wonderful grasp on mythology and I kept squealing with delight at things as they happened. Honestly, this is the kind of story I could have written, though probably not in the first person haha. So I will keep pushing through. I started the third book, The Titan's Curse, last night. I'm already almost halfway through, so there will be a review up by the weekend, I'm sure.

In conclusion, four stars for this book. So far, it's my favourite. Since I've only read two and a half, I don't know if that counts, but I was just really excited about the Golden Fleece and the Sea of Monsters.

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