Cyclopes, Wedding Dresses, and Yachts REVIEWING The Sea of Monsters

Welcome back to The Real World According to Sam! It is MAGIC MONDAY so we are back with another Disney Hyperion published book. Today we are reviewing a SEQUEL. You may have seen my review for the first Percy Jackson and the Olympians novel, The Lightning Thief, a couple weeks ago. If you haven't read that book and want to without knowing anything more, then STOP READING NOW. Click on out of here and come back after you have. You can read my review for The Lighting Thief here:   Percy Jackson & the Olympians #1: The Lightning Thief

This is a Lightning Thief SPOILER LAND, generically speaking--clearly, because it's a sequel, even though I don't really reveal anything major about the previous book. 
This review of The Sea of Monsters is completely spoiler free for this second installment. 

Disclaimer done, let's move on to why we are actually here. 

The Sea of Monsters

Author: Rick Riordan
Genre: Fantasy
Year: 2006

The Sea of Monsters


Percy Jackson's seventh-grade year has been surprisingly quiet. Not a single monster has set foot on his New York prep-school campus. But when an innocent game of dodgeball among Percy and his classmates turns into a death match against an ugly gang of cannibal giants, things get... well, ugly. And the unexpected arrival of Percy's friend Annabeth brings more bad news: the magical borders that protect Camp Half-Blood have been poisoned by a mysterious enemy, and unless a cure is found, the only safe haven for demigods will be destroyed. 

In this fresh, funny, and hugely anticipated follow-up to The Lightning Thief, Percy and his friends must journey into the Sea of Monsters to save their beloved camp. But first, Percy will discover a stunning new secret about his family -- one that makes him wonder whether being claimed as Poseidon's son is an honor, or simply a cruel joke. 


I know what you might be thinking. "Sam, you mentioned cyclopes, a wedding dress, and a yacht in the title for this post. That synopsis doesn't include ANY of that!" You're right, you're right. Read it and I promise you will find all three of those things and more within this book. If you have already read it by this point, you know I'm telling the truth without spoiling anything. All of these bases get covered. Need some proof? Fine. 

One of my favorite things about the Percy Jackson series, is the chapter titles. They are hilarious and sum up everything you need to know without giving away too much either. Chapter One is titled, "My Best Friend Shops for a Wedding Dress". There, see? Wedding dresses are included, right at the start. What about the Cyclopes then, you ask? You'll meet some...because I didn't say "a cyclops", I said "cyclopes", and that is plural. So you'll get not just one, but MORE THAN ONE. Whoohoo!  As for the yacht, well, that is a very interesting setting that is very important as the story goes on. 

In the same vein as the first book in the series, Percy is still narrating, first person style. So once more, we get more sass, more stupidity, and more danger! I hear your tone there, asking me if I'm calling Percy stupid...and the answer is....yes and no. He isn't stupid, but he does some stupid things. However, its entertaining, so we welcome it and accept it very happily. Percy managed to survive his last adventure and so did his friends! The trio is back, kind of. As you read in the synopsis, Annabeth pops up bearing bad news, and Grover is very much in trouble. Grover's troubles and Annabeth's bad news are both connected, because this time the entire camp is in danger, and Percy has to locate one of the most prized treasures in mythology: the Golden Fleece. It's woolly, it's shiny, it's going to save the day, if only Percy and his friends can figure out how to get it. Grover is largely missing from Percy's side of the action, because of the trouble he is in, so we don't get the full trio dynamic early in the book. What we do get is really amusing though, and Grover does play a big role overall. 

What do we like about this book? Well, besides the ever amusing characters, we also get...MORE AMUSING CHARACTERS! We get to see some campers that were introduced in the last book, really get into action. We see the surprise baddie from the last book, continue to be a baddie! We also hear more about Annabeth's past, which is crucial to the rest of the books in the series. We get to meet all new characters as well, like Tyson. Tyson is one of the best things about this book. He's hilarious, he's kinda clueless in an endearing way, and he's different. Definitely different. We also get to go on a CRUISE!!! Demigod destination vacation time! Just kidding. Our favorite characters are sailing, in the ocean, going in the direction of certain doom. Just another day of demigod existence. Percy finds out he has some more special skills, we meet some cool new mythological creatures, and face off with some well-known mythological foes. 

Let's do a quick run-down and make sure we have everything:
  • Great characters, both old and new? CHECK
  • Adventure? CHECK
  • Magic items? CHECK
  • Danger? CHECK
  • Backstory? CHECK
  • One wonderful time reading? OH YEAH!!
It's all here. Personally, I do prefer The Lightning Thief to this one, but I still really like this one too. Generally, I just highly recommend this entire series. Read it, share it with kids if you have them or know some, and just get ready to have a fun time.

In the end, I give The Sea of Monsters a Lone Star rating of  ✯✯✯. 

Yes, I do give this book a slightly lower rating than the original, but I really like the variety of mainland U.S. settings visited in the first book. I also just really like having the trio fully together. Being out at sea is fun and there are lots of new cool settings to see, but I LOVE The Lightning Thief, and I really like The Sea of Monsters. Both are amazing books, but I can't say that I find them equal, in my eyes. 

Thanks for tuning in to this installment from The Real World According to Sam, where I bring the books straight to your computer screen and even put in my own two cents on them. Below are links to each Percy Jackson & the Olympians review currently available on this blog, just click on the cover of the book you'd like to see!