The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan is the second installment of the Percy Jackson and The Olympians series. This review will not have spoilers for The Sea of Monsters, but it will have small spoilers for the first book in the series, The Lightning Thief.
Percy Jackson’s seventh-grade year has passed without anything strange happening and he couldn’t be more excited. But on the last day of school that changes. The monsters return. Right in the middle of a game of dodgeball.
When Percy’s friend Annabeth shows up to save him, he learns that the year was not as monster free as he thought. Camp Half-Blood is under attack and their borders are failing. Plus, Percy’s new friend Tyson is the reason no monster has attacked him. But why would the monsters be afraid of Tyson? Now it is up to Percy, Annabeth, and Tyson to save Camp Half-Blood. Will they be able to complete another quest or will Annabeth’s prejudices get in the way?
The Sea of Monsters was nothing like I expected it to be. I had watched the movie for this one before reading it as well and I was shocked by how different the storylines were. I have to admit that I preferred the book without a doubt. There was so much more to the story and it flowed so much better than the movie did. The entire second half of the story was different.
I loved Percy just as much in this book as I did in the first one. I think the challenges he faced with his father and the secrets that came out were realistic. He handled the emotions exactly the way a thirteen-year-old would be expected to handle something like that.
Annabeth and Grover both return for this book, but they are joined by another side character named Tyson. I love all three of them, but I think Tyson might be my favorite. He was so willing to sacrifice himself and all he wanted was Percy’s approval. I wanted more from Annabeth in this book though. I didn’t feel like she grew. I guess she did in some ways, but I wanted there to be more depth to her.
They really know how to get themselves into trouble. It seems like Percy and his friends always take the hardest path to their destination. While this makes for a fun read, I wanted to shout at them to stop being so stupid and to stop getting distracted by the rest of the world and focus.
I think my biggest complaint is that I’m not sure what the “climax” of the story was. There is so much going on with Luke and Camp and the Cyclops, but none of it worked together. So I felt like I had hit the climax and everything was resolved but then the action kept going.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was significantly better than I thought it was going to be. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to anyone looking for a fun, lower level read.