Book Review: A Sea of Monsters

Title/Author:  The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
(Percy Jackson and the Olympians #2)

Genre:  Middle Grade, Fantasy, Mythology

Published: April 1st, 2006 by Disney Hyperion Books

Audiobook, Hardcover, 279 pages

How I Got This Book:  Checked out the audiobook and the hardcopy from my library.

Why I Picked It Up?:  Well, this series has been on my TBR pile for a while!  But as to why I picked up the audio…?  I had a solo road trip and wanted something to occupy my time in the car.  =)

Book Jacket Blurb:  “Percy Jackson’s seventh-grade year has been surprisingly quiet. Not a single monster has set foot on his New York prep-school campus. But when an innocent game of dodgeball among Percy and his classmates turns into a death match against an ugly gang of cannibal giants, things get . . . well, ugly. And the unexpected arrival of Percy’s friend Annabeth brings more bad news: the magical borders that protect Camp Half-Blood have been poisoned by a mysterious enemy, and unless a cure is found, the only safe haven for demigods will be destroyed.

In this fresh, funny, and hugely anticipated follow up to The Lightning Thief, Percy and his friends must journey into the Sea of Monsters to save their beloved camp. But first, Percy will discover 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.”

My Review of the Work:

Well, as plans change, reading habits must adapt.  Instead of making my trip to Mommy-sit after her surgery solo, I ended up travelling with my Hubby, who was trying to finish up Book Three of this series.  So, rather than making him listen to a book he just finished reading, I just read the hardcopy instead.  However, I did listen to the first couple of chapters on audio before this trip, and I have to say I found listening to them very delightful.  I will probably listen to the 3rd in this series completely on audio.

Anyway, on with the review.  =)

Being almost 100 pages shorter than the first in the series, The Sea of Monsters opens up right to the excitement of the life of being a half-blood.  Percy Jackson has made it to his last day of a school year without getting in trouble or being expelled, and his mom has promised a huge celebration for him and his new homeless friend Tyson after school.  On the way to school, he senses a presence following him, but he doesn’t see, hear, or smell anything fishy or monstery, so he continues on to school.  However, his luck has run out, for his P.E. dodgeball game gets ruined by a bunch of giant cannibals who throw flaming balls super fast!  The entire gym catches on fire, and it looks like everyone is going to die!  But in steps Tyson, who defends Percy from the flaming balls, using his body to deflect them.  Oh, did I mention that Tyson is a Cyclops?  ‘Cuz yeah, he is.  =)

With the saving grace of Annabell, Percy and Tyson join her in travelling via taxi to Camp Half Blood, which is under attack of monsters.  Why?  Because someone has poisoned Thalia’s tree, so the protective borders are ceasing to keep monsters out.  Thus, Percy, Annabell, and Tyson are thrust into another adventure to rescue Grover from the Cyclops lair on an island in the Sea of Monsters and retrieve the Golden Fleece to heal Thalia’s tree.

Although this adventure is a lot shorter than trekking cross-country to find the lightning bolt, this novel is full of mythological goodness.  Percy and Annabell encounter many more mythological creatures, ghost ships, and, of course, the meat-eating sheep.  But their demi-god-ness and quick wits make them successful in their journey, but not without consequences.

What can I say?  I am really enjoying this middle grade series.  The quirkiness of Percy, the 7th grade boy, makes me laugh out loud because he tells us exactly what he is thinking, which is so middle-school boy.  =)  And the introduction of new characters (aka. Tyson) only makes you love the story more.

The overall series plot is thickening.  What will happen next in this war over Mount Olympus?

And wow, way to end with a DRAMATIC CLIFF HANGER, Rick!  I mean, it works.  I’m eager to continue the series, and will do so very soon!

Memorable Moments:

“We only came close to dying six or seven times, which I thought was pretty good.  Once, I lost my grip and I found myself dangling by one hand from a ledge fifty feet above the rocky surf.  But I found another handhold and kept climbing.  A minute later Annabeth hit a slippery patch of moss and her foot slipped.  Fortunately, she found something else to put it against.  Unfortunately, that something was my face.
“Sorry,” she murmured.
“S’okay,” I grunted, though I’d never really wanted to know what Annabeth’s sneaker tasted like.

My Bookshelf Rating:

Another cute and clever story in this series.  I love books that make you laugh out loud, and this book has those quirky boyish moments that just make you giggle.  In this novel, you get introduced to even more mythological monsters and characters, and you find yourself rooting for Percy and Annabeth and loving baby Cyclops Tyson and hoping that they can save Grover!  This book has a very reader-interaction story that grabs you and keeps you wanting more.

Can’t wait to continue reading this series!

Love and giant cannibals playing killer dodgeball,
Jennifer

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