Book 22: The Sea of Monsters – Rick Riordan

This is the second novel in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and was just as exciting and as quick a read as the first book. With the beginning of this book the reader finds Grover on his search to find the legendary Pan, god of the wild, and Percy trying to survive yet another school year in the mortal world. Giants attack Percy and he discovers that his friend over this past year is a cyclops named Tyson, whom we later find out is his half brother when Poseidon claims him similar to the way he claimed Percy.

As they make their way to camp, they find out how much things have changed and how dangerous the world has become for half-bloods. Luke, a son of Hermes, has poisoned the sacred pine tree and the camp’s protections are slowly fading. Meanwhile, a full grown, incredibly dangerous cyclops holds Grover captive, and also has in his possession the legendary Golden Fleece. We discover that Grover bound himself to Percy so that if he dies so does Percy creating a greater sense of urgency.

Once Percy, Annabeth and Tyson are back at Camp Half-Blood a quest to find Grover must begin, however Chiron was replaced by Tantalous, a spirit from the Fields of Punishment. We find that Chiron is a son of Kronos, the Titan who caused so much trouble in the previous novel. Clarisse, daughter of Ares, and often antagonist of Percy, receives the quest. Needless to say, Annabeth, Percy and Tyson, with the help of Poseidon and Hermes leave camp quickly and begin their own quest. Long story short a long quest ensues where we encounter many more mythological characters and stories.

Percy, Annabeth and Tyson run into Tyson and the ship he is now using to recruit other demigods/Heroes and monsters, Princess Andromeda. They barely escape both times, but ultimately they leave him in humiliation. The quest is successful (clearly as there are three more books in the series) and Percy shows that not only has he grown as a demigod, but that he is maturing with how he handles his emotions and deals with those around him (the end of the quest).

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, especially as it delves more into the powers Percy has as a demigod/Hero. He is gaining in both confidence and ability and the way in which Riordan handles both is fascinating as he is still discussing a thirteen-year-old. I loved the way Riordan described Percy’s interactions with Black Beard’s ship and the encounter with the Sirens. This book clearly shows the maturation of the characters and the writers with both loss and budding love. I couldn’t wait to start book three in the series, The Titan’s Curse.

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