Sea of Monsters is the second book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan. Camp Half-Blood is in danger as the tree that provide it protection has been poisoned and is dying. Grover is missing in action and enters Percy’s dream calling for help. He’s trapped on an island with the Cyclops Polyphemus. Turns out the solution to both things is almost the same, the Golden Fleece can cure the tree and Grover is on the island where the Golden Fleece is. The quest is given to Clarisse La Rue, but Annabeth, Percy and their new friend Tyson tags along anyway.
Rick Riordan is an American author from San Antonio, Texas. He lives in Boston with his wife and two kids. To my surprise, he has been called an overnight success. There’s the fact that there’s really no overnight success with authors, because they (should I start saying we?) slave and slave to write a good book that might or might not get publish and there will be countless of failures along the way, not all which are known to the public. Even discounting this, Riordan has written another series almost ten years before he started PJO. Some, I know, are success from the very first book they write, but those are really, really rare. Anyway, here’s an interesting piece from the man himself.
The Sea of Monsters is full of references to Greek Mythology (duh), but there’s a lot of references to Odysseus in this one. Many scenes are recreations of his exploits in the Odyssey by Homer, which details him trying to return home after the Trojan War. His story is one of my favorites in Greek mythology so it was awesome to see it recreated in a modern setting.
Tantalus is a masterpiece of a character. He doesn’t have a lot of scenes, but Riordan makes me love to hate me in the few scenes that he appears me. He’s kind of a lesser version of Umbridge from Harry Potter. And it’s comical to see him chasing after food that just flees from him. Serves the bastard right.
I’m not usually one to be bothered by the adults are stupid thing that happens in a lot of middle grade and young adult fiction, but there’s one instance in this book that really got my nerve. Chiron, the activities director at Camp Half-Blood is fired because, get this, he’s the son of Kronos and he’s suspected to have poison the tree. Two issues with this. One, racism, or speciesism, or another word that says you’re judging someone just because of their birth/father. Just because he’s Kronos’s son doesn’t mean he’s the one who poisoned the tree or in fact that he would ever work with Kronos. In that case, shouldn’t some of the gods themselves be liable to turn as well?
Issue #2. If you suspect someone of committing a crime, a serious one, won’t you usually, I don’t know, imprison him? At have a trial or something? Instead of firing him and letting him roam around the world?
I just love Rick Riordan’s writing. It’s humorous and it flows pretty smoothly. That said, I found a lot of scenes in the book feels a little tacked on. Not to say that it’s necessarily bad, but it does make me feel that it’s filler contents. Sidequests so to speak and not part of the main story. With those scenes remove, the book could actually have been really, really short. That said, I’m glad that those scenes exist, because it mean more Greek mythology exploration and more time with Annabeth and Percy!
Has its issues, but like the first book, the good is way, way, way over the bad and thus I’m more forgiving of its flaws.