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Rick Riordan – The Sea of Monsters

March 26, 2012

29. The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan (2006)
Percy Jackson and the Olympians, book 2

Read my review of book:
1. The Lightning Thief

Length: 279 pages
Genre: Mid-Grade Fantasy

Started: 10 March 2012
Finished: 11 March 2012

Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? I enjoyed the first book in the series more than I was expecting to, so I thought I’d carry on.

A Caribbean
cruise sounds like less fun when you
keep fighting monsters.

Summary: Percy Jackson has almost survived an entire year of school – something that wouldn’t be a big deal for ordinary kids, but Percy’s the son of Poseidon, and therefore not exactly ordinary. But on the last day of class, a dodgeball game turns deadly when the opposing team turns out to be monsters. Percy flees school, hoping to find sanctuary at Camp Half-Blood, but something’s gone very wrong there, as well. The tree that protects the camp has been poisoned, and there are monsters testing its borders. Furthermore, Percy’s been having nightmares that his best friend Grover (a satyr) is in terrible trouble. So now it looks like it’s up to Percy, his friend Annabeth, and his younger brother Tyson (who he just learned existed) to not only save Grover, but also find the mystical artifact that can save Camp Half-Blood.

Review: Darn it, Rick Riordan! I’ve come to suspect that you are almost single-handedly wearing down my resistance to mid-grade action/adventure fiction. Or maybe just my resistance to mid-grade action/adventure fiction that is entirely based on Greek mythology, and the presence of ancient gods in the modern world, and that has a really good, snarky sense of humor that doesn’t rely entirely on fart jokes. Which, I guess I probably didn’t have that big of a resistance to in the first place, since mythological fiction and snark are two of my favorite things. But still!

These books are clearly not Serious Literature, and I read them 100% for their entertainment value. But on that score, they serve their purpose well: funny, fast-moving, with plenty of twists and turns and a pinch or two of some more serious issues to keep them grounded. I liked The Sea of Monsters maybe just a little bit less than The Lightning Thief, since it stuck primarily to one myth (parts of the Odyssey, although with a touch of of Jason and the Argonauts), so it was easier to tell what was coming, and there wasn’t as much variety in the “spot the clever modern use of mythological source material” side of things. But that didn’t stop me from tearing through this book, and thoroughly enjoying myself. 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: Don’t start with the second book, of course, but if you like your fiction with a heavy dose of mythology, you’ll definitely get a kick out of this series.

This Review on LibraryThing | This Book on LibraryThing | This Book on Amazon

Other Reviews: Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog, The Book Nest, Bookshelves of Doom, Confessions of a Book Hoarder, Eclectic/Eccentric, It’s All About Books, The Little Red Reviewer, Reading with Tequila and more at the Book Blog Search Engine.
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First Line: My nightmare started like this.

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. March 26, 2012 2:13 pm

    I read the first three books of this series and felt very similarly to you – they’re fun, fast-paced, with clever use of the myths. I was never really compelled urgently to go much further, but I would definitely pick them up again.

    • April 18, 2012 5:10 pm

      Meghan – I just started the fourth one today, so I’ll let you know… they’re reliable brain-candy reads, which are always nice to have around.

  2. March 26, 2012 6:13 pm

    I know my son listened to the first one in this series and loved it. I’ll have to ask him if he’s read any of the others.

    • April 18, 2012 5:11 pm

      Kathy – They’re a lot of fun to read; I bet they’d be equally fun on audio.

  3. March 27, 2012 11:17 pm

    I read the first book in this series last year and enjoyed it. I have this one on my shelf but haven’t read it yet. You’ve reminded me about what I liked about The Lightning Thief and now I’m eager to read this one (hopefully) soon.

    • April 18, 2012 5:13 pm

      Suzi – If you’re doing the read-a-thon this weekend, it would be perfect for that!

  4. March 28, 2012 10:48 pm

    They’re certainly not Serious Literature, but I agree they’re so much fun! And they are good for the mythology, either introducing kids to it or doing fun things with it for people who already know the myths.

    • April 18, 2012 5:15 pm

      Cheryl – For sure! We read the D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths in sixth grade, which is about the age I think this series is geared towards; I’m sure I would have loved these books just as much back then as I do now, if not more!

      • April 18, 2012 6:54 pm

        My school library had a copy of D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths. It was Magical! I’ve been meaning to buy my own copy forever, just because it seemed so wonderful when I was twelve.

      • April 19, 2012 11:16 am

        We read it in class, and I put it at the top of my Christmas list that same year, and have loved it ever since! I only found out a few years ago that there’s a D’Aulaire’s Book of Norse Myths, too, which is also lovely but doesn’t quite hold the same place in my heart.

  5. buriedinprint permalink
    April 11, 2012 6:26 pm

    I’m hoping to finally get to this series with the Once Upon a Time un-challenge to urge me onward; I did start it once — and thought it good fun — but then lost track of it somehow. Thanks for the nudge back in its direction!

    • April 18, 2012 5:35 pm

      BiP – I hope so too! They’re fast reads, so hopefully that’ll help inspire you to keep going.

  6. April 14, 2012 7:14 pm

    I know what you mean! Not Serious Literature, but so much fun anyway.

    • April 18, 2012 5:46 pm

      Emily – Everyone needs a little brain candy now and again!

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