This review does not contain spoilers.
You can’t tell by looking at me that my dad is Poseidon, God of the Sea.
It’s not easy being a half-blood these days. Even a simple game of dodgeball becomes a death match against an ugly gang of cannibal giants—and that was only the beginning.
Now Camp Half-Blood is under attack and, unless I can get my hands on the Golden Fleece, the whole camp will be invaded by monsters. Big ones …
Grover and Camp Half-Blood are in danger and Percy is the only one with the tools to rescue both. He sets off on a mission to find and retrieve the Golden Fleece, travelling through the Sea of Monsters, battling enemies old and new, all while struggling to accept his new half-brother.
The similarities between Percy Jackson and Harry Potter continue when Percy discovers a prophecy linked to his birth that has the potential to change the fate of the magical world. Honestly, I’m not bothered by it. Some of these basic similarities could be traced across a range of novels. While Percy Jackson and the Olympians is a great read, Rick Riordan has yet to reveal the same complex interwoven plot as JK Rowling. These books may be for the same target audiences but they offer readers something completely different.
I did sometimes feel as though the overarching plot was being sidelined in order to foreground cool activities at Camp Half-Blood. There was also a Series of Unfortunate Events vibe going on where the responsible adults were wilfully ignoring danger in order to provide an avenue for child heroes to go off on their own.
One of the things I like about this series is the way everything is explained. Percy has vague memories of a lot of the stories in Greek mythology but, being dyslexic, finds it hard to read up on a lot of things and needs some explanation. It’s an easy way for readers to become acquainted with the often complicated Greek mythology.
As Percy becomes more accustomed to these things, Rick Riordan finds new ways to keep his readers interested. Percy’s friendships are evolving and expanding as he ages and, even as it builds on the plot of The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters is bursting with fresh characters and complications.
Overall, The Sea of Monsters is a solid second novel in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. It very much maintains the tone of The Lightning Thief, even when it could warrant something darker. I’m hoping that, as the series progresses and Percy gets older, the overarching plot will begin to invoke some of the darker themes of Greek mythology and tap into more of that potential.