The Sea of Monsters ups the stakes while keeping the same antics and fun tone.
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 honor or simply a cruel joke.
(Description from Amazon)
I love how in this book the situation is intensifying and the tone is a tiny bit more serious, but the series keeps its humor. My favorite quote from the books is this:
This quote makes me laugh, it made me laugh when I first read the series and it makes me laugh now. This series has such wonderfully done “light” dark humor that really hits the right way. Riordan does a spectacular job of writing humor that can be appreciated by both kids and adults. As a kid I didn’t really think about the actual repercussions of Europa falling to her death, but as an adult the humor is different because I actually thought about it.
It’s not all laughs though. The Sea of Monsters ups the intensity by throwing in more backstory and giving Percy a family member that he isn’t so willing to accept. I love how this book is relatable for kids in a different way. A lot of kids know how difficult it can be to have a new sibling, especially if that sibling is a lot to deal with. Percy goes through that and he learns a lot of lessons about family along the way. Percy learns acceptance and humility, and he also learns that family is a complete mess and you are bound to run into issues here and there.
One quote that particularly stands out and perfectly explains what I’m getting at is this,
On top of Percy learning to accept his family, Annabeth also learns to get over a prejudice and accept someone for who/what they are. She learns that no ones fate is guaranteed by their parentage or race. I like how this is done subtly, and I think Riordan is a genius for how he implemented these real world issues into this middle grade novel. Kids don’t even know they’re learning about acceptance and family issues until after they’re done reading. It’s hard to achieve this kind of writing without laying it on too heavy, it’s so easy to show a lesson, but it’s difficult to make a lesson fun.
The series really starts to pick up from this point so I expect my reviews to be a bit longer from this point on. A lot more themes are about to come into play, and the tone will darken a bit. Stick around and check out what I think of the next book in the series, The Titan’s Curse.
The Sea of Monsters is an easy 5/5 stars!
Have you read the second installment in the Percy Jackson series? Did you read it as a kid or as an adult? Let me know in the comments.