Thursday, January 12, 2012

Review: Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

After a summer spent trying to prevent a catastrophic war among the Greek gods, Percy Jackson is finding 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 that 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 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. 

Together with his friends, Percy must retrieve the Golden Fleece from the Island of the Cyclopes or Camp Half-Blood will be destroyed. But first, Percy will learn a stunning new secret about his family, one that makes him question whether being claimed as Poseidon's son is an honor or simply a cruel joke.

Status: Owned copy

What's it about?
Thalia's tree is dying and Camp Half-Blood has been under attack for most of the summer by various creatures. In order for the assault to end, Percy, Annabeth and Tyson have to retrieve the Golden Fleece from the Polyphemus and who has captured Grover and where is the Golden Fleece? Where else somewhere in the Sea of Monsters in modern day setting, the Bermuda Triangle.

What made me go for it? The  movie.

What are my thoughts after reading it? I felt I wasn't too lost in the narration when I started with the second installment. I thought that was good because I wasn't forced to grab the first book in fact, it was left upon the reader whether to go and buy a book in the series. Well, for me, I bought book one and book three (which I can't wait to read).  Since I was very much aware of reading the series in non-sequential order, it didn't quite detract me unlike other book series, where if you haven't started with the first book, you're totally lost and sank in the quagmire of questions thus, destroying any connection with book characters.

I thought Riordan made a good decision in not peppering too much filler (such as the character's mental quandaries) that most of a time bog down the story.  I enjoyed numerous discoveries Percy made about his abilities. It was like we see that part of him through his own eyes. All the characters were relatable. Annabeth remains assertive without getting too annoying and I like that we saw a glimpse of vulnerability under her armor.

The chapter titles were a hoot to read because it seemed to translate Percy's situations very well. I also couldn't help but compare Harry Potter books and Percy Jackson books, tempting but I'm not going to. Each series have their own merits and I will have leanings to the Greek myths, even if the Greek names can make a tongue go twisted. I also enjoyed my research on the Net about Polyphemus, Charybdis etc to jog my memory.  The huge cliffie was a perfect jaw-drop all right. Next Titan's Curse....

I would recommend to those who like adventure with a splash of Greek Mythology, who had watched the movie first (but haven't picked up the book) yet curious enough to learn more about Percy and the gang and still have a healthy doze to let  the books tell the story (and those still feeling young at heart). Great fun read! 5/5 stars


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