One of the best parts of the sequel is it’s extensive character development.
Perseus “Percy” Jackson: Percy’s development centers a lot around if he’s all the hype people are making about him. On one hand, he’s the awesome Son of Poseidon, who has amazing powers over water, sailing ships, and horses, and not to mention the Great Prophecy on his shoulders. On the other, he’s the son of the guy who made some of the creepiest monsters ever, and who’s true self is supposedly a guinea pig. He’s very insecure in his place as a hero, and by the end of the book, he seems to understand the role of a hero much better. This is especially true when he gives up the fleece to Clarisse to save the Camp.
Annabeth Chase: There is so much more to Annabeth in this book. Where in The Lightning Thief she was more of a Greekipedia for Percy, she has a lot more drama revealed. The Sirens scene reveals so much: her hubris, her wish to reunite her parents, her wish to save Luke. The conflict with Tyson reveals a lot more about her past too, giving good explanations for her fears and her heartbreak over Luke’s betrayal. Her vulnerability makes her a more relatable character, while still being her monster slaying demigod self.
Clarisse La Rue: Oh my goodness so much is learned about Clarisse. For one thing, she really wants to prove herself, but she’s also insecure. We learn that she fears her father, and she likes to show off with brute force and a big mouth. But we also learn that she’s half-human too…worried about the camp, her friends, and even Percy and his friends.
Tyson: The adorable baby cyclops brother of Percy and aspiring forger, Tyson is the spark of Percy’s insecurity. And despite the oddness of his species, his relationship to Percy is identifiable to anyone with that little kid brother, sister, or friend that holds onto your shirt sleeve. He’s proof that not all monsters are evil, and teaches Percy that their father works abstractly to show his care and concern. He’s an adorable addition to the cast, with his own unique personality that is both annoying and sweet.
Grover Underwood: Grover’s character sort of flatlines in this book. He becomes that goofy friend in the ridiculous situation that needs to be rescued. Sure, he’s got the
silliness ingenuity to disguise himself as a lady cyclops, but still…he’s in a wedding gown.
Luke Castellan: Luke kind of flatlines in this book as well. There are some bursts where he shows his true personality; for instance, when he argues with Annabeth about Thalia. But most of the time, he’s the stereotypical betrayal character, going so far as to challenging Percy to a duel. It’s almost like he’s cosplaying as a bag guy from Rush Hour or something, they way he talks to them on the Princess Andromeda. Hopefully, he picks up in the next book.
Figures of Mythology
Hermes: Hermes, so far, is the only god who really shows his vulnerability. He’s really concerned about Luke, and yet I’m a little pissed he doesn’t have the balls to talk to him, instead sending Percy in his place. It makes him seem kind of weak–in the bad way. i find it especially hard since in mythology he was very confident in himself, stealing cows and making boldfaced lies the day after he was born. However, he is the only god (so far) to really express his understanding of the dysfunctional family they’re all in. I have also developed a soft spot for George and Martha though.
Circe: Circe was a cut and paste cross over from mythology. Very persuasive in her arguments, but still misandrist. Her main importance was highlighting the insecurity in Percy, and in that way, she plays her role well.
Polyphemus: Polyphemus is, in my opinion, foil to Tyson. Where Tyson is the least-monster-like-monster, Polyphemus is the epitome of monstrousness. He’s cruel, he’s selfish…he’s kind of stupid and susceptible to trickery. He was a good villain in this book, with no other motivation than being a monster.
The Centaurs: I liked this modernization so much. The centaurs in traditional myth were supposed to be wild and uncivilized. With a new title of “Party Ponies” I don’t think you can get more wild and uncivilized. Especially with soft drink hats, paintball guns, and senseless head-butting. They’re kind of the mythological red-neck-hippie, huh?
Tantalus: It’s interesting to pull someone out of their punishment in Tartarus and see how they despise it so much (even though that should be a give in). It explains his bitterness towards the campers (who can, y’know, eat), but it doesn’t really explain why he’s Chiron’s replacement. I understand that you want someone who’s kind of terrible to replace him so the campers really miss Chiron, but couldn’t they have got someone a little less so-evil-he-just-came-from-tartarus-just-like-Kronos?
Until next post!
“’Don’t you ever feel that way? Like you could do a better job if you ran the world?’
‘Um… no. Me running the world would be kind of a nightmare.”
― Rick Riordan, The Sea of Monsters