Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Children of Gods: Take Two

The Sea of Monsters

Written by: Rick Riordan

Released: April 15, 2006 by Hyperion Books

Summary: After a summer spent trying to prevent a catastrophic war among the Greek gods, Percy Jackson finds his seventh-grade school year unnervingly quiet. His biggest problem is dealing with his new friend, Tyson-a six-foot-three, mentally challenged homeless kid who follows Percy everywhere, making it hard for Percy to have any “normal” friends.
But things don’t stay quiet for long. Percy soon discovers there is trouble at Camp Half-Blood: the magical borders which protect Half-Blood Hill have been poisoned by a mysterious enemy, and the only safe haven for demigods is on the verge of being overrun by mythological monsters.
To save the camp, Percy needs the help of his best friend, Grover, who has been taken prisoner by the Cyclops Polyphemus on an island somewhere in the Sea of Monsters, the dangerous waters Greek heroes have sailed for millennia-only today, the Sea of Monsters goes by a new name; the Bermuda Triangle. Now Percy and his friends-Grover, Annabeth, and Tyson-must retrieve the Golden Fleece from the Island of the Cyclopes by the end of the summer or Camp Half-Blood will be destroyed.
But first, Percy will learn a stunning new secret about his family-one that makes him question whether being claimed as Poseidon’s son is an honour or simply a cruel joke.

You know, I think that I enjoyed this book better than the first though I’m not sure why. Maybe because there was less drama introduced, or that there were only a few new characters; whatever the reason, I really enjoyed this second book in the series.

The plot was definitely more basic – save the camp, save Grover, find the Golden Fleece – but I think that the simplicity and the cut down on new settings was what made it that much better than the first. This novel made me laugh out loud a few times too, much to the annoyance of my cat. Still, there were the moments where it evoked sadness, anger, surprise, astonishment, and other emotions.

I really enjoyed, again, how Greek myths were incorporated. It seemed as though a lot in this book was taken from the Odysseus story – the island of Circe where men are turned into (guinea)pigs, the Cyclops island where the inhabitant has a grudge against ‘Nobody’, the Sirens – and it was nice to read and remember back to when we studied the Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey in English.

Percy and Annabeth grew as characters during this story, which was a nice reflection on just how they’re actually growing up. Their chemistry together as a literary pair who are able to work together which fighting most of the time is something nice to read too; it’s humorous and leaves you wondering if there’s a future there. Maybe that’s just my inner romantic though.

I’m giving that book a 7/10 or maybe a 6.5/10… I can’t decide. Either way, I liked it better than the first and I can’t wait to read the next one, which is at the top of my reading pile.

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