Monday, September 2, 2013

Book Review: Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters

Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters [Percy Jackson & The Olympians #2]
by Rick Riordan
279 pages
published by Hyperion Books, 2006

Goodreads Description:
The heroic son of Poseidon makes an action-packed comeback in the second must-read installment of Rick Riordans amazing young readers series. Starring Percy Jackson, a "half blood" whose mother is human and who's father is god of the sea, Riordan's series combines cliffhanger adventure and Greek mythology lessons that results in true page-turners that get better with each installment. In this episode, The Sea of Monsters, Percy sets out to retrieve the Golden Fleece before his summer camp is destroyed, surpassing the first book's drama and setting the stage for more thrills to come.

My Review:
Fantastic. Riordan just doesn't disappoint. This being a second in series, I didn't expect to be as surprised, intrigued, thrilled as I was reading the first book. It's just a habit for sequels to disappoint me, but Riordan managed to impress. Sea of Monsters has more thrills and edge-of-seat action than the first book did, and this one was much shorter in length even. The action really builds, and the reader's curiosity is twisting and bending trying to get a peek at what might happen next because there's just so much going on. The action in this book was killer. Speaking of killer, plenty new mythological beasts come to wreak havoc, which is all the more enjoyable for us readers. The number of beasts in this book was great, all with mythological relevance of course. I actually loved the villains in this book. They were just the right amount of terrifying and stupid, and even humorous too. 

The action was great. The beasts were great. However, I do struggle some with our heroes. Is it just me or do they seem a bit redundant. I guess that's natural when following the 'hero on a quest' archetype. Things are bound to overlap. I just didn't get the feeling that Percy was truly unique. I love his powers and abilities, but as far as his character goes he really doesn't carry much of the story in my opinion. Percy's dry wit does give him a bit of an edge, and Grover creates a unique dynamic to Percy's character, so I can't be too harsh. 
Annabeth always has all the answers. Truthfully, I find her character a bit predictable, but I really enjoyed the personal struggle with she and Tyson in this book. It gave her more depth than in the first book (you just have to read the book to know what I'm referring too). 
The addition of Clarice and Tantalus in this book was great. They are two very unlikable characters, yet you become sympathetic for them in a way. They're just the final touch to the chaos that Riordan creates. 

I thought this story was completely entertaining. Riordan took the book in a new, yet thrilling direction. He kept up the beat all the way to the very end of the book, leaving readers ready for the next installment. I know I'm ready to read the rest of the series!

I give this book five out of five foxes. Sea of Monsters proved to be a dramatic and adventurous sequel to The Lightning Thief. It presents new challenges, engages with terrible and even comic mythological beasts in an exciting way, and it never stops entertaining the reader. 

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