Growing up, I didn’t hear of the Percy Jackson series until I was a teenager. I thought that meant I was too old for such a series. Now I realize that you’re never too old for a book–the best kinds of stories can be enjoyed at all ages. My boyfriend is a big Percy Jackson fan and has finally convinced me to read them. I read The Lightening Thief about a month ago, and now I borrowed the sequel, which I was able to read in two days.
Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters is the second book in the original Percy Jackson series. With that in mind, this review may have spoilers for the first book in the series! In this novel, Camp Half-Blood has been poisoned and Grover is in trouble. The only way Percy can help is by sailing the Sea of Monsters to retrieve the Golden Fleece, setting the plot up for an action-packed series of events.
The author, Rick Riordan, has written a plethora of books for young readers as well as a mystery series for adults. He used to teach middle school so many of his books seem to be set around that age group. He currently lives in Boston with his family.
Overall, I would give this book four stars out of five. I do think it’s a bit young for me, but I still enjoy it. There are parts that are funny and parts that make me want to cry.
Though it may be hard to connect with characters ten years younger than me, I find that I could relate to them sometimes. For example, I really enjoyed the relationship between Percy and the new character, Tyson. The development between the two touched my heart. I thought overall Tyson’s character was a great moral of how one shouldn’t judge another by their looks or where they come from. Percy’s struggle in wanting to fit in but also caring for Tyson also showed how difficult peer pressure and popularity are for middle-school students. There were times when Percy’s reactions to events surrounding Tyson made me want to cry.
Similarly, Percy and Annabeth’s friendship grew even stronger here. There were some hints that there may be something more someday, but it could also just be the reaction of a thirteen-year-old boy hanging out with a thirteen-year-old girl. The way they always have each other’s backs made me smile.
I also loved how Clarisse had a bigger role in this book. Though she may be a bully, I like her–in some ways, I find her charming. If you ever played the Harry Potter Mystery game on mobile, Clarisse reminds me a lot of Merula. Anyway, Clarisse seems to have had some character development over this book, even if she is still sometimes a jerk.
The book was also very fast-paced, in a way that made reading it go quickly. I’m usually more of a slow reader, but this only took me two days to get through. Perhaps that’s because the writing style is aimed for younger readers and the chapters are shorter, but it could also just be enthralling–and good for those with short attention spans!
There were one or two parts in the plot that made me question everything, though. At one point, Clarisse just disappears entirely for a few chapters and no one seems even vaguely worried about her, which is not like Percy. Even if he hates someone, he still would worry about them, because he is naïve and kind. There is also a scene in the beginning of the book where monsters are attacking and the adults don’t notice, but the kids do. If the Mist blurs things for mortals, showing things that would make more sense, I want to know what the kids saw as monsters attacked them. They are mortal but the book made it seem like they saw everything. In the end, we will never know! Finally, something that bugs me from the end of the first book when they found out that Luke was working for Kronos and would attack any minute, they decided to wait a whole year to do anything! With the big surprise ending on this book, I wonder if and how they are going to wait a whole other year before any other action.
While Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters may be written for a younger audience and have a few plot flaws, I found it overall enjoyable. This fantasy action series, based on Greek mythology, is perfect for middle-grade readers or anyone with a young heart ready to get introduced to the world of fantasy.
Book Trailer here.
Rick Riordan’s Twitter here.