Wednesday, April 13, 2022

The Sea of Monsters

The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #2)The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In the second installment of author Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, the namesake protagonist and first-person narrator has a bad dream involving Florida that leads him to think that his satyr friend Grover is in trouble. Afterward, he goes to his last day of his current grade at Meriwether College Prep, where he has a new friend named Tyson, although certain events lead to the school’s incineration and Annabeth spiriting him away, with help from a magical taxicab, to Camp Half-Blood, which is under attack, and where startling revelations about Tyson come to fruition.

Someone also poisons Thalia’s tree at camp, and as the centaur Chiron receives blame for the incidents, the enigmatic Tantalus becomes administrator and reinstitutes chariot races, with Percy’s experience consequentially becoming tortuous, and he continues to have nightmares of Grover being imperiled. After the first of the chariot races, Percy and his friends receive punishment, afterward learning that the Bermuda Triangle and the titular Sea of Monsters are one and the same, with the Golden Fleece there having the power to heal the tree, but camper Clarisse receives the quest to find the gilded MacGuffin.

Regardless, Percy, Annabeth, and Tyson set out to the Sea of Monsters, encountering many obstacles in their way and numerous nods to Homer’s Odyssey. The homage to the blind Greek poet’s work is definitely the first Percy Jackson sequel’s strongest suit, with plenty of nice twists along the way and old adversaries appearing as well. Granted, things certainly aren’t perfect, given instances early on of the R-word, which somewhat offended this autistic reviewer given the general lack of condemnation for such a slur, but Riordan for the most part did a nice job weaving modern times with Greek mythology in an overall satisfying story.

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