Wednesday, February 10, 2010

REVIEW: The Sea of Monsters

Riordan, R.  (2006).  Percy Jackson and the Olympians:  The Sea of Monsters.  New York:  Hyperion Paperbacks for Children.


279 pages

PLOT SUMMARY:  Almost a year has passed since Percy has encountered any creatures or gods from Greek myths.  The day before summer vacation, Percy is disturbed by dreams of his friend Grover being in trouble.  He also learns that the borders which protect Camp Half-Blood are weakening, allowing monsters to attack.  It turns out, saving Grover may help lead the way to saving the camp.  But Percy is also dealing with a potential half-brother, he never knew about, a brother who is a monster.

This is the second book in the Percy Jackson series and students who enjoyed the first one will probably like this one just as much.  With lots of humor and fast action, this book lives up to its predecessor and sets up the conflicts for the rest of the series.  But instead of including a lot of well-known characters from Greek myths, The Sea of Monsters incorporates some lesser known monsters and gods.  Great for extending a knowledge base.  Less good for feeling smart when trying to guess who is being described before the characters actually names the character or beast.

I did have a slight problem with the ending.  *Puts on my vague hat to avoid giving spoilers*  A certain character rides in to rescue several characters during the climax of the story with no foreshadowing of said rescue.  A little too convenient in my opinion.  Make sense?  Any of you who have read it disagree or agree? *Throws the vague hat aside*


As with the rest of this series, readers can gain a better understanding of Greek myths.  A teacher could focus on the way that several characters are foils to one another or the hero's journey.

There are also moments of nationalistic, environmental and feminist ideas presented that a teacher could capitalize on.


"My nightmare started like this" (p. 1).

"Last day of school.  My mom was right, I should have been excited.  For the first time in my life, I'd almost made it an entire year without getting expelled.  No weird accidents.  No fights in the classroom.  No teachers turning into monsters and trying to kill me with poisoned cafeteria food or exploding homework.  Tomorrow, I'd be on my way to my favorite place in the world--Camp Half-Blood.
Only one more day to go.  Surely even I couldn't mess that up.
As usual, I didn't have a clue how wrong I was" (p. 4).

"A sliver of ice ran through my chest.  Now I understood why the camp was in danger.  The magical borders were failing because Thalia's tree was dying.
Someone had poisoned it" (p. 47).

"Percy," Annabeth said, "we have to do the quest."
"We'll get expelled, you know.  Trust me, I'm an expert at getting expelled" (p. 107).


In other news, am I the only nerdfighter excited for the movie?!  I hope not.

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