Monday, July 11

The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

In accordance with the FTC, Quill Café would like to disclose that the reviewer purchased this book. The opinions expressed are hers alone and no monetary compensation was offered to her by the author or publisher. Cover art is copyright of Hyperion Books and is used solely as an aide to the review.

Percy Jackson is not a normal thirteen year old kid. He has a mother who's mortal, a father who's one of the Twelve Olympians and a tendency to get kicked out of every school he enrols in.

When the school year ends, Percy at least has Camp Half-Blood: a place for children of half-god, half-mortal parentage. Glad to be back amongst his friends, the fun soon ends when the magical tree that protects the camp starts dying and Percy receives a distress call from his friend, Grover.

He sets out on a journey with the bossy but brilliant Annabeth, to face up against both cruel and cry-baby Cyclopes and plenty of other troublesome woes.

Can Percy save Camp Half-Blood and find Grover? To do so...he'll have to survive the Sea of Monsters.

I ran out and ransacked bookstores to find this as soon as I was done with The Lightning Thief, the first book in the Percy Jackson series. Still on my high from the first installment, I was keen to see the story continue with the same level of excitement. It did not disappoint.

The world that the author creates, with the ancient Greek gods and monsters living in modern day New York and all throughout America, is a refreshing and exciting read. There were plenty more meddlesome creatures and characters in this book to enjoy and I liked the further insight into some of the old characters as well as seeing plenty of new ones.

The inclusion of a character like Tyson in the book could have been an irksome disaster but Riordan managed to make him a loveable and humourous character that showed another side to Percy and provided him with a lot of growth.

The way in which well-known mythological figures like Hermes and Tantalus were portrayed was sheer brilliance. Riordan really brings to life characters that are just a name and an idea and makes them tangible and quirky.

I liked – both in The Lightning Thief and The Sea of Monsters – that the characters that aren't human can show the greatest qualities of humanity, that both characters like Percy and Annabeth needed to aspire to. It gives the reader something to contemplate and shows another level of depth in the story, where you can see that "monsters" is a label that doesn't define the true nature of a character, just like how the half-bloods are not defined by their parentage.

There was plenty of conflict and intrigue to propel me through this book and the ending was one that had me in despair that I didn't have the third book, 'The Titan's Curse,' on hand. I look forward to reading it.

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