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The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson & the Olympians: Book 2)

by Rick Riordan

Published by Miramax / Hyperion, 2006
279 pages
ISBN: 0786856866

Ages 10-15

In this sequel to The Lightning Thief (Miramax / Hyperion, 2005), Rick Riordan is at the top of his game as he creates a fresh, funny, reader-friendly fantasy. Seventh-grader Percy Jackson and the other residents of Camp Half-Blood are facing attack by an unnamed enemy. Their adversary has compromised the magical borders of this Long Island camp for the half-human offspring of Greek gods and goddesses. As in Book I of the series, Percy and a few fellow demigods undertake a dangerous quest, this time to the Sea of Monsters, a journey that mirrors that of Odysseus. Riordan integrates classic mythology and contemporary life masterfully, rendering a composite of the two that is often laugh-out-loud funny. Messenger god Hermes is always on his cell-phone (after a brief break for an in-person chat, his voice mail lists 60 calls and 1,038 e-mails), franchise stores are actually linked to a Hydra (cut off one head and two more instantly emerge), and Circe runs a spa where she turns men into guinea pigs (more convenient and better smelling than real pigs, and “there is always a classroom in need of a new guinea pig.”). Percy Jackson’s saga will inevitably invite comparison to Harry Potter’s adventures – the school/camp setting, a powerful enemy, a trio of friends, a reluctant, but gifted, young hero. Don’t let the parallels, intentional or not, detract from the unique strength of Percy’s story and its delicious offering of action-packed plot and an unorthodox exposure to classical mythology. (MVL) ©2006 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

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