(Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book Two)
by Rick Riordan
'After a summer spent trying to prevent a catastrophic war among the Greek gods, Percy Jackson finds his seventh-grade school year unnervingly quiet. His biggest problem is dealing with his new friend, Tyson-a six-foot-three, mentally challenged homeless kid who follows Percy everywhere, making it hard for Percy to have any "normal" friends.
But things don't stay quiet for long. Percy soon discovers there is trouble at Camp Half-Blood: the magical borders which protect Half-Blood Hill have been poisoned by a mysterious enemy, and the only safe haven for demigods is on the verge of being overrun by mythological monsters. To save the camp, Percy needs the help of his best friend, Grover, who has been taken prisoner by the Cyclops Polyphemus on an island somewhere in the Sea of Monsters, the dangerous waters Greek heroes have sailed for millennia-only today, the Sea of Monsters goes by a new name the Bermuda Triangle.
Now Percy and his friends-Grover, Annabeth, and Tyson-must retrieve the Golden Fleece from the Island of the Cyclopes by the end of the summer or Camp Half-Blood will be destroyed. But first, Percy will learn a stunning new secret about his family-one that makes him question whether being claimed as Poseidon's son is an honor or simply a cruel joke.'
I'm quite enjoying this Percy Jackson series, and am kicking myself for not reading it back in the day. On the other hand, it's nice to be able to go from one book right into the next and not have to wait and wonder for a year for that next book to come out. I should wait and read all series that way!
It was easy to slip into the Percy Jackson world in this second book. I didn't have the slight resistance to high fantasy or the Harry Potter comparisons that I'd had in the beginning of the first book. I just found it much easier to accept everything in this one as the fun it's meant to be. That's another thing I like about the middle grade books. They're just easier to accept for some reason.
Once again, the story starts with Percy having troubles at school and having to be whisked away to Camp Half-Blood. This time there are changes at the camp. Some strange things are happening, and some new staff members are causing quite a shakeup. Percy's enemy Clarisse is awarded a quest this time. Although Percy and his friends are floored by this choice, and are sure she won't succeed, what can they do? But then a mysterious visitor convinces Percy he needs to set out on this quest too. So Percy, Annabeth, and strange new tag-along Tyson set out to save Grover, who has gotten himself into a bit of a jam.
Some new monsters and some old enemies are encountered along the way. Percy learns a bit more about Annabeth's past, the sad story that brought her to Camp Half-Blood. There is another big showdown near the end, with this book following the formula of the first one almost exactly. Once again though, the whole Kronos part of the story kinda caught me off guard. Am I just not seeing all the clues? Or is it really that subtle and middle grade kids aren't catching it either? But still, I did enjoy this book and have already dived right into the next book. And I'm looking forward to watching this second movie now, which is waiting on my DVR.
What did you think of this second book in the Olympians series?