|Author: Rick Riordan
Book Review by: Anshuman Nagpal
Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters
It’s been a whole year since Percy Jackson transformed himself from the troublesome 12-year-old kid with ADHD and Dyslexia and became known as the tremendously powerful son of Poseidon who famously embarked on a quest to retrieve the Lightning Bolt with his friends Annabeth and Grover. Having built quite the reputation for himself at Camp-Half-Blood, Percy is set to go for yet another adventure where he and his fellow friends fight to the death against countless foes to bring victory for their Camp once again!
In a flash of impressive tactical performance, intense compromises, excessive use of wisdom and intelligence, along with events that explain the power of friendship and trust, Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters, authored by award-winning Rick Riordan, brings the Percy Jackson series to an all new high.
In the second installment of the Percy Jackson series, Percy is now faced with another task after successfully finishing his first quest. The magical borders that protect Camp Half-Blood from an assortment of demons and monsters are slowly dissolving, and more and more mythical creatures are finding their way in, disrupting the safety of the campers. To help preserve Camp Half-Blood’s peace and consequently save the lives of all the campers, Percy, his newfound half-brother Cyclops named Tyson, and Annabeth embark on a journey to the Sea of Monsters to find the highly coveted and equally magical Golden Fleece.
But there’s MORE.
Along with retrieving the Golden Fleece, guarded by the relentlessly evil Cyclops infamously known as Polyphemus, Percy has another daring task waiting for him. He must rescue his satyr companion Grover and one of his peers from the Camp, who had earlier gone to get the Fleece with the same motives as Percy and co. It is quite an enthralling story, with many more challenges and obstacles than in the book’s prequel, The Lightning Thief.
As we progress further into the Percy Jackson series, even more Greek mythology is present, with the characters and readers alike being introduced to a whole new group of monsters and major and minor gods. The development of relationships between characters is quite visible, ranging from how Percy adapts to the absurdity of having a Cyclops as a half-brother, and how Annabeth stops being distrustful of Percy’s motives and becomes much more open with him. Once again, the humour, no matter how subtle it may be, is perpetual and rather inevitable in Riordan’s writing. It is a great way to cope with the suspense and dangerousness of the quest that Percy and Co. face in the story. Even this short excerpt is enough to give any sane reader a chuckle:
“It doesn’t matter if they (family)hate you, or embarrass you, or simply don’t appreciate your genius for inventing the internet-”
“You invented the internet?”
“It was my idea”, Martha said.
“Rats are delicious”, George said.
“It was my idea!” Hermes said. “I mean the internet, not the rats. But that’s not the point.”
However, despite how much the Percy Jackson fandom has lauded The Sea of Monsters, a few things trouble the readers, including me.
Firstly, the quest that Percy Jackson and Co. lead in the story is, in my opinion, WAY too dangerous, even for demigods. The challenges faced in the story don’t seem to match the characters’ skills, which could be partially because of their age (JUST 12-13 y/o). The missions become even more unrealistic when one realizes that The Sea of Monsters is among the shortest books in the series, despite how action-filled it may be.
Secondly, focus on other characters has not been given as much as Percy, Annabeth, and Grover originally got (and are still getting). Although the delve into Clarisse’s (Percy’s peer from Camp Half-Blood) life is appreciated, we are still yet to see a spotlight on some sub-characters in the story.
So, can Percy Jackson and his friends find the Golden Fleece and protect the camp from deadly monsters? Will they be able to save the Camp and all the people they hold dear, safe? What challenges shall the main trio face, and what will they be forced to give up or leave behind? To find out about all that, you must claw the book out of the nearest bookshop yourself and experience the wonder that Percy Jackson has to offer!
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