My rating: ❤❤❤❤❤ of 5!
It’s always a bit dicey when going into the second book in a series. Mostly because there’s so much pressure on the author(s) to prove that the first wasn’t just a fluke. We demand that they can keep the story compelling over the course of a number of books, without turning the middle ones into “fillers”, before the series reaches its grand finale. I had faith in Rick Riordan and, I’m super happy to say that he didn’t let me down.
I know I’ve mentioned this before, but to be fair I probably will many times over; Percy is without a doubt one of my favorite narrative voices, I’ve come across over the past 5-6 years. He’s so deliciously sarcastic and full of good humor, that I find myself chuckling over the things he thinks or says.
Clarisse: Don’t worry about always coming in second, Jackson.
Percy Jackson: You know everything they say about you is wrong, Clarisse. You actually do have a sense of humor.
Personally, I find the story to be slightly less compelling than the first book. However, I do believe this is only because we’ve already been immersed in this world where the gods exist so there is less to learn about now. In some ways it does make it feel a bit less mysterious and more familiar, but who’s to say that’s a bad thing? This means that I had more time to invest in the side-plot with Grover, Tyson and the messy family drama with Luke and Hermes.
Once again Rick shows of his creativity when we learn where the entrance to the Sea of Monsters is, where else, than the Bermuda Triangle.
When we return to Camp Half-Blood we learn that somehow Thalia’s tree has been poisoned (did anyone say Luke?), naturally, someone must pay so it’s bye bye Chiron and hello Tentalus (that’s right, the guy in Hades’ territory who can’t eat or drink).
“Tantalus made a wild grab, but the marshmallow committed suicide, diving into the flames.”
Since Thalia’s tree provided a magical border for the camp, now without it, the camp is under constant attack.
However, when it becomes clear that a quest is needed to get the fleece, Percy is overlooked and instead Clarisse La Rue (daughter of Ares) is given the prophecy as follows:
You shall sail the iron ship with warriors of bone,
You shall find what you seek and make it your own,
But despair for your life entombed within stone,
And fail without friends, to fly home alone.
While Percy is busy brooding on the beach (his father has ignored him, his brother is a cyclops, you know the usual teenage annoyance), he meets Luke’s dad. Hermes tries to help Percy out of his bad mood and asks him, to please try and reason with Luke if/when he sees him.
“Families are messy. Immortal families are eternally messy. Sometimes the best we can do is to remind each other that we’re related for better or for worse…and try to keep the maiming and killing to a minimum.”
Throughout the book we meet magical creatures like the majestic hippocampus, the mythological seahorse, that Poseidon sent to aid his two sons (Percy and Tyson) and Annabeth to travel.
Throughout the book we see the reluctant friendship between Percy and Annabeth grow, as they most of the book only have each other. On top of that we get to experience more character building, and Rick makes sure to include pretty much everyone. With Annabeth being the daughter of Athena and therefore, a natural strategist, I did enjoy seeing Percy take more control and allow Annabeth to lean on him.
Have you read this book or anything like it? Comment and let me know.