The Sea of Monsters
by: Rick Riordan
Percy sets out to retrieve the Golden Fleece before his summer camp is destroyed, surpassing the first book's drama and setting the stage for more thrills to come
I enjoyed this even more than the first one! Oh gosh... so much mythical-ness (totally a word, right? ;) ) and so much action. And a whole lot of laugh out loud moments! (Grover's wedding, guinea pigs, and party ponies, to name a few...)
Brave and Smart Hero: CHECK
Percy is just amazing. He's only 13 and yet he's totally kick-butt, wielding Riptide like a boss. And he so sweet to Tyson and Annabeth and even Clarisse (kind of). I just can't handle how amazing and heroic he is (not even "for a thirteen year old", but for anybody). Well, I'm done gushing... for now. I just know that Percy is earning his well-deserved spot on my list of favorite characters.
Brave and Intelligent Heroine: CHECK
As I said in my review of The Lightning Thief, Annabeth is super kick-butt. She's incredibly smart and courageous. And I loved how she chose to listen to the sirens to gain wisdom, even though she knew it would be dangerous. It showed just how truly she is a daughter of Athena.
Extraordinary Supporting Characters: CHECK
Tyson: You can't not fall in love with tyson. He's a loveable lug of a guy and absolutely hilarious. like,
""Powdered donuts," Tyson said earnestly. "I will look for powdered donuts in the wilderness." He headed outside and started calling, "Here, donuts!"
When I read that, I completely laughed out loud. But, he wasn't just funny. He saved everyone's butts around a thousand times. and never even asked for a thank you. So of course, it made me really happy when Percy proudly announced that Tyson was his little brother and Annabeth said that he was the one who deserved the glory.
Clarisse: I disliked her just as much in this book, because she wasn't just rude. Most of the time she was downright stupid (like screaming out at Polyphemos and single-handedly getting the ship sunk.) But, I did feel quite sorry for her, because how awful would it be to have Ares as a dad. And I even admired her for continuing so bravely on the quest even when she thought the oracle had promised her failure.
Grover: wedding dress. falsetto voice. veil. (that's all I have to say. let your imagination run wild.)
Hermes: Finally we meet a god (other than Poseidon) that I actually like and strangely it happened to be Luke's dad. He was really down to earth and he seemed nice, if only a bit manipulative. and his snakes were hilarious...so points for that.
Polyphemos: I loved everything with him, because he's in an old myth that I have actually read (I read the Odyssey freshman year). I appreciated how well Rick Riordan worked the original story into this one (such as with "Nobody" and everything with that.)
Chiron: His family = so flipping hilarious. I just loved their name (I mean, come on. The Party Ponies. So great.) And I had a lot of fun imagining Luke getting punched in the face with a punching glove arrow.
Luke: Rick Riordan knows how to write a convincing villain, because I completely hate him. HATE HIM. And I am disgusting with how he could so easily betray Thalia.. you know, the girl who gave her LIFE for him. I know he thought she would side with him, but that is simply justification on his part.
Kronos: He's barely ever talked and yet he terrifies me. I want to send that sarcophagus right back into Tartarus.
Tantalus: He's basically a total creep. But, when Percy said this I'll admit I fistpumped.
"...I told Tantalus to go chase a doughnut, which didn't help his mood."
The humor in these books is always exactly on point.
Unique Setting and Original Plot: CHECK
Rick Riordan is a complete genius. He finds a way to perfectly weave the myths and all of their nuances into his story and yet modernize them. (For example, Hermes' phone, Circe's nickname and guinea pigs, and Polyphemos and "Nobody") He is just an incredibly smart and thoughtful writer.
Excellent Plot: CHECK
Action and pacing are both crucial in a book like this. Luckily, Rick happens to be an expert of both. Seriously, he found the perfect way to tell his story and he told it that way. I can't get enough of being inside Percy's head and hearing all his hilarious thoughts.
and can we talk about the ending for a second? WHAT? I am now sort of glad that I waited this long to read them, because I can (and will) just go to the library tomorrow to pick up the third and fourth ones. I feel so bad for all those poor souls who read them while they were coming out and had to wait for it. If you are one of those people and you are reading this now, I can only tell you that I am so, SO sorry for all the pain inflicted by this cliffhanger. I only have to wait until tomorrow and it's still horrible.
"Laistry-I can't even say that. What would you call them in English?" She thought about it for a moment. "Canadians," she decided."
"He was too innocent to understand how much they were making fun of him, how cruel people were."
"...if there's one thing I've learned over the eons, it's that you can't give up on your family, no matter how tempting they make it..."
"I knew what direction we needed to go. I knew we were exactly one hundred thirteen nautical miles west by northwest of our destination. But that didn't make me feel any less lost."
"Well, surely you're not happy the way you are! My goodness, there's not a single person who is."
"How could music cause so many lives to veer off course? I mean, sure, there were some Top Forty songs that made me want to take a fiery nosedive, but still..."
"Don't you ever feel like, what if the world really is messed up? What if we could do it all over again from scratch? No more war. Nobody homeless. No more summer reading homework."
"Heroes embody that struggle. You fight the battles humanity must win, every generation, in order to stay human."
"Families are messy. Immortal families are eternally messy. Sometimes the best we can do is to remind each other that we're related, for better or worse...and try to keep the maiming and killing to a minimum."