Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Sea of Monsters

The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

Confused as to why I'm reading this older book? CLICK THE LINK OF VAGUE EXPLANATION

Missed the first book in the series? You don't have to! I reviewed it too! THE LIGHTNING THIEF REVIEW

URMAGAWD. LET'S GET, have an amazon 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." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE

You know what? That summary can suck it. Tyson is a good dude. Shut up summary, you just shut up. ...wench.

Alright, so something that only mildly bothers me about this book, is that we don't get to see any of the time that Percy spent with his Mom or at his school except for ONE day. Now, I know the school and mom portions are 'boring' compared to all the action-y and cool stuff, but really? I think more than a few pages of "Oh yeah, the SCHOOL YEAR went great, no problem with monsters, pretttty sweet, oh and my mom hasn't turned anyone into a statue for a while, so that's cool too." I'm pretty sure the later books use this same method of TIME PASSES, but we'll get to that when we get to it.

So the book starts off with Percy going to his last day of school, a few interactions with his mom (also, I'd like to point out that Percy PINES for attention from his Dad but is like 'yeah whatever' at his mom. Apparently she needs to be in some sort of peril to have the care from him), and someone stalking him.

Normal Percy Jackson stuff.

The kids at his alternative school are basically like DODGE BALL TIME, Tyson says they smell funny, suddenly they're monsters trying to murder everything.

Again, normal Percy Jackson stuff.

So Percy manages to escape through shenanigans with the help of Annabeth (who was the one stalking him), they hook up with a taxi driven by the gray sisters who spew off some numbers at them, and Tyson has hopped along for the ride. They arrive at camp half-blood only to find that it's under attack. They go around and punch the mechanical bulls that were attacking them, and turns out Tyson is a cyclops. Then they find out that Thalia's tree (that protects the camp) has been poisoned, everyone is all OH NOES, WHAT WILL WE DOOOO ARGGHHHH (cue stupid noises) and a quest is declared. Some more camp stuff happens in there, but we're glossing over it because long run, not important. The important detail is that Chiron is suspected of having poisoned the tree and is banned from camp until they can figure out who actually did it, or how to cure tree, or whatever.

Tyson is claimed by Poseidon while he's at camp, so Percy is half-brother to a cyclops (which he is stupidly angsty about, no, I don't REALLY want to talk about it except that Percy sucked for a little bit, jerk) and the other campers are relentless with their teasing. The temporary stand in for Chiron declares that chariot races are back on, but the first day of the races, everyone gets attacked by some awful pigeons  After Annabeth and Percy drive them off, campers get more freaked out and later that night Percy and Annabeth propose a quest.

WAIT WAIT. SPOILER LAND. Technically that is a little over a third of the way through the book. So if you don't want spoilers, stop reading here!


Super side-note, Percy has been having cracked out dreams about Grover who informs him Grover's in danger, and that Grover has established a mental link with him that if one of them dies, the other will likely become a vegetable. Totally fine right?

The night after Clarisse gets the quest, Percy is visited by Hermes who gives him gifts for the quest (although he's totally going on it against the wishes of the camp and Clarisse) where he's joined by Tyson and Annabeth before heading off to a cruise ship to find the golden fleece and fix the poisoned Thalia tree.

They run into Luke on the cruise, find out he's recruiting half-bloods who are also angsty at their parents, find that he's helping Kronos reform, and he's also got a number of monsters on his side. Luke is one serious bad dude. The three manage to escape.

Percy, Annabeth, and Tyson manage to have a misadventure of running into a Hydra, but Clarisse shows up and explodes it with a cannonball. Turns out she was granted a vessel from her father for the quest and is heading to get the golden fleece.

I'm glossing over some details because they touch on some myths like the one that spawned 'stuck between a rock and a hard place' as well as Circe. Both of these I find a little irrelevant and thrown in there simply to meet the greek myth quota for the book.

They make it to the island of the Golden Fleece and manage to rescue Grover and Clarisse, have a big fight with a giant cyclops (name escapes me, irrelevant) that keeps carnivorous sheep as security detail, and has the golden fleece. They get the golden fleece, Percy sends it with Clarisse so she can have the glory of completing the quest.

Then as Percy, Annabeth, and Grover have almost literally had enough time to go, " do we get back to camp?" Luke shows up with his cruise ship, takes them hostage, threatens to kill them, and the trio is saved by Chiron and his hooligan party animal centaur brethren. They take them all back to camp where everything is cleared up about Chiron and the tree. Chiron is reinstated, all the yay, and the golden fleece is placed on the tree.

Poseidon calls Tyson to come to his underwater palace with him to study how to make better weapons in the cyclops forges and only tells Percy to 'Brace himself'. Percy gets all WTF and then Thalia appears from the magic tree as the golden fleece seems to have healed her right out of the tree.

Also, there's a prophecy hinted at that a child of the big three gods (Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades) will make a choice when their sixteen that will ultimately decide the fate of all the gods. Um, what? Yeah, don't worry, later books.

This book essentially ends with Thalia waking up.

So with this installment, I noticed a lot more details that set up for later books and there was more humor woven throughout the story but not overdone. Sometimes I thought the characters accepted everything too easily but then I remembered their half-bloods, so...whatever.

I think this is one of my more liked books in the series because we get to see Percy stepping into his powers a little better as well as more snippets of his life in general.

I liked it. Clearly.

On a side note, I think it took me just under two hours to read this ACTION FILLED BOOK. Pretty sure that's a good thing. :)

Did I miss talking about something that you want to see? Leave a comment!



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