(Seriously, If I don’t do these more often, I’m not going to finish in time.)
After the summer of The Lightning Thief, Percy is close to finishing a full school year at his latest school. Not saying that school is any better than usual, minus the monsters, he’s still the school loser when he befriends the homeless student, Tyson.
On the last day of school, monsters show up…and so does Annabeth. After a fight in the gym, Annabeth, Percy and Tyson go to Camp Half Blood, where they find out three important things: (1) Thalia’s tree is poisoned, (2) Chiron is fired and replaced with Tantalus, and (3) Tyson is a Cyclops, which means he’s Percy’s half brother.
Tanatalus reintroducing the chariot races, and while Percy and Annabeth prepare, they get into a fight over Tyson, because Annabeth doesn’t like him. During the race, the Camp is attacked, leading to the issue of a quest to find the golden fleece which has the power to heal Thalia’s tree…which is given to Clarisse.
However, Percy wants to go, because Grover, on his mission to find Pan, has been captured by the cyclops Polyphemus, who has the fleece. Grover is only alive because he is masquerading as a female cyclops willing to marry Polyphemus. Because the two friends are have an empathy link, Percy, Annabeth and Tyson sneak out of Camp with the help of Hermes.
The trio finds the Princess Andromeda, a cruise ship that is Luke’s headquarters. Luke wants the fleece to help restore Kronos. They escape, and run into Clarisse. Together, they enter the Sea of Monsters, where Polyphemus’s island is located…along with many other monsters.
Plot Points That Worked
The Morals of the Gods. Granted that all the campers are technically illegitimate children, this book really explores the difference between what is acceptable to the gods and what is acceptable to humans. Granted, (again) that gods are immortal, so they are bound to get bored. I mean, Beckendorf’s existence prove that even Hephaestus cheated in his marriage. (Which is a little hypocritical since he made a big deal when Aphrodite cheated on him…) Percy trying to figure out if being a son of Poseidon is really a good thing is an excellent choice for the second book.
Clarisse is half-human too. More on this when I talk about the characters in my next post, but I really appreciated the expansion on Clarisse’s character.
The Sirens. Literally my favourite scene in the book. Most readers are like, “PERCABETH OMFG!!!!!1!!1!”, and yes, I am too, but what I really love about this scene is the amount of understanding. Percy understands Annabeth better and the reader understands Annabeth better. It was also an excellent way to introduce a very important plot point: fatal flaws.
Keeping to the overall arc. This book never steers away from the main plot. All plot points were important to the over arcing story: Thalia’s tree is poisoned. Why? Because Kronos wants to weaken the camp borders so he can attack. So they need the Fleece to heal it. Why does Luke want it too? So he can heal Kronos. Why was he going to let them use it afterwards to save Thalia’s tree? So Kronos has an early chance to invoke the Great Prophecy.
Note how many times Kronos was in the answers. That’s right: all the answers.
Plot Points That Failed
Too much like the Odyssey? My only big problem with the plot of this book was that, unlike The Lightning Thief, the story is very much copy, modernize, paste. Throw in Calypso’s island and we’re pretty much spot on. (Unless that’s where Tyson went…)
I mean, yes, most of the information we as humans get about the Sea of Monsters is from The Odyssey. But I enjoyed the hodgepodge mismatch of The Lightning Thief more since it seemed more fresh and original.
That’s my take on the plot! Next post: Characters
“Families are messy. Immortal families are eternally messy. Sometimes the best we can do is to remind each other that we’re related for better or for worse…and try to keep the maiming and killing to a minimum.”
― Rick Riordan, The Sea of Monsters