Title: The Sea of Monsters
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians #2
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: April 1st 2006
Rating: 4 stars
Does truth have a moral?
The second installment in the Percy Jackson series is much like the first in terms of action, characters and writing. Overall, this is a good thing (I did rate The Lightning Thief 4.5 stars). I found The Sea of Monsters to be a little less enjoyable, but that could be my reading slump speaking.
A thing I've learned: the Percy Jackson series is never boring. Something is always happening and the characters (and you) never have time to catch their breath. This makes the books fast reads and you'll never be bored! It was really enjoyable how Riordan weaved several myths into the books... like Medusa, Circe, etc. They're all a slightly more modern version of themselves, but if you pay attention it's easy to figure out who they are (well, and if you know the myths). Riordan really gave a twist to all the gods and heroes and villainous characters you know from the myths, and being a Greek Mythology Nerd, I really appreciated that.
The characters were, like in the first book, pretty good! Annabeth is my favorite character, because that girl is kick-ass. Seriously. I loved her! The scene with the Sirens was a really nice touch and we get to know more about her character: this was a whole different side of her. Percy kicks ass too, just as badass as in The Lightning Thief. I actually really enjoyed Clarisse's character, although not everyone may agree with me. In The Sea of Monsters, she grows into an interesting character that I want to know more about, rather than just being the broody and glaring girl from the first book. My only complaint with the characters lies in their badassery: I thought they were a bit too kick-ass for thirteen-year-olds. On the other side, they are demigods, so yeah.
My only real complaint here is the writing. It's funny and light, which fits the novel perfectly most times. However, there are a few scenes where I would've liked it to be a bit more serious. Percy goes from some deep and heroic thoughts to a joke within a sentence, and it annoyed me at times. Riordan also does a really good job at ruining a plot twist. I like twists to blow me away and make me go WHOA, but with Riordan's writing it's impossible. A paragraph before the twist is revealed, the narrative goes something like:
I probably should have seen it coming, but (...)
Annabeth and I were used to traps, but (...)(These are not actual quotes but an impression of the writing)
And then I immediately know that something's going to happen, and usually what too. I really hope this won't be in the third book, as it definitely ruined my surprise.
Riordan does a really good job when it comes to humor, however. Apart from the actual jokes that are told by several characters, some situtations in the book are pretty humorous as well. It helped keep the book light and it makes you want to read further. For example, Grover's situation was both funny and dangerous. You want him to get away, but can't help but smile a little at the descriptions.
In all, this book was really enjoyable and a good sequel. The writing wasn't exactly my thing, but if you want a fast-paced, action-packed and humorous book, The Sea of Monsters is perfect for you!