book notes: The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson #2) by Rick Riordan
The Sea of Monsters is the second book in Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series. Notes on the first book, The Lightning Thief, can be found here. Notes on the next book in the series, The Titan’s Curse, can be found here.
In this second of the series, Percy Jackson (son of Poseidon and a mortal mother) continues to learn what it means to be a half-blood, and finds that the Titans, whom the Greek Gods overthrew thousands of years ago, are awakening to take back Olympus.
Percy and Annabeth (daughter of Athena) must rescue their friend Grover (the satyr) from a large cyclops on the Sea of Monsters (which just happens to be in the Bermuda Triangle). Grover was searching for the god Pan, but instead found the Golden Fleece, which makes the land healthy just like Pan would. Camp Half-Blood (where all the half-blood’s go in the summer to be trained and educated in the ways of heroes and gods) selects Clarisse, daughter of Ares, to lead the quest to get the Golden Fleece, in hopes that it will restore to health the magical tree that protects the borders of the Camp; the tree was poisoned by Luke, a half-blood who now supports Kronos of the Titans. The tree was created out of the essence of Thalia, daughter of Zeus, who was killed trying to reach the camp.
Percy and Annabeth are left out of the quest, so they strike out on their own to save Grover. Along with them is Tyson, a Cyclops who Percy has found is his half-brother (Poseiden is his father as well). Along the way they run into:
- Luke, on a haunted cruise ship with Kronos chopped up remains and an army of monsters;
- the Goddess Circe, who turns Percy into a guinea pig (his ‘true form’!);
- the Sea of Monsters, where a large cyclops with bad vision is trying to marry Grover;
- Clarisse on her quest.
The writing is funny and fast paced, and the amount of Greek mythology that is interwoven into the plot and characters shows excellent research. In the first novel, The Lightning Thief, Percy encounters the god Ares; in The Sea of Monsters, they find Hermes. This is a terrific series, an enjoyable read for young and old.