Previous book here.
Again, let's delight in the gloriousness of these chapter titles!
- My Best Friend Shops for a Wedding Dress
- I Play Dodgeball with Cannibals
- We Hail the Taxi of Eternal Torment
- Demon Pigeons Attack
- I Have the Worst Family Reunion Ever
- We Hitch a Ride with Dead Confederates
- Clarisse Blows Up Everything
- We Meet the Sheep of Doom
- The Party Ponies Invade
Approximately a year later, Percy's attending a total hippie school with no grades or desks, and the final exam on Lord of the Flies is the teachers sending them into the break yard to spend an hour with no supervision to see what would happen. Naturally, a massive wedgie contest breaks out.
As we saw in the first book with Percy choosing to befriend the apparently-handicapped (or um, satyr in disguise) Grover, he tends to befriend anyone who gets picked on. This year Grover's off looking for Pan, so Percy has befriended Tyson, a large, funny-looking homeless kid who's been adopted as some kind of community service project. Percy is his only friend and vice versa. When the two of them get attacked at school by monsters again, well...another year, another expellation, because Percy gets expelled due to explosions about as often as Stephanie Plum has one of her cars blow up. The two of them have to run for it to camp, and the whole experience makes it obvious to the reader (if not quite Percy yet, since he's seeing things through Mist-covered eyes) that Tyson probably isn't full on human. You know, stuff like surviving being set on fire. Surprise! Percy and Tyson are closer than either one of them would have figured, I'll put it that way. Percy's a bit weirded out to find out they're related....yup, Tyson is a Cyclops half-brother--but gets used to the idea. Plus Tyson's a total sweetie.
This year at camp, there's a problem: Chiron got fired and replaced with Tantalus (the sight gags of how he can't consume anything are amusing), and the guard tree was poisoned and thus the protections on Camp Half-Blood are dying. Camp will be overrun with monsters unless someone can get a hold of the Golden Fleece. That quest gets awarded to Tantalus's current favorite, Clarisse, but Percy of course has to go along anyway--with some assistance from Hermes and his pet snakes, George and Martha.
In other news, Grover is in trouble and sending Percy whopping SOS's in his dreams about how he's been captured by a Cyclops who has both the Golden Fleece and vision bad enough to not be able to tell that Grover is food instead of another Cyclops...and Grover's pulling a Penelope in stalling on finishing his wedding dress. There's a reason why all the other professional seekers have been disappearing, apparently! It's time to sail the Sea of Monsters (of course it's the Bermuda Triangle) and rescue him! On the way there, the quest gang discovers that Kronos's sarcophagus is on board the world's creepiest cruise ship, along with his allies.
This book also mentions some deeper stuff--namely that there's a prophecy that the next half blood child of the Big Three who lives to the (physical, apparently) age of sixteen will decide the fate of Olympus and either save or destroy it. You'd think that the prophecy would mean Percy....but in this book, it may NOT, which is an interesting development for the future. Ahem. There's been some good foreshadowing on this issue, which I liked. It also amused me that regarding this issue, Poseidon takes the time to send Percy a letter that says nothing but "Brace Yourself."
Overall, I thought this book was well done and a fun read and has depth, so...four stars!
Fun moments in this book:
- Tyson falling in mutual love with Rainbow the hippocampi.
- After Percy, Tyson, and Annabeth wash up around Virginia Beach, Percy sends Tyson to go look for "a wilderness convenience store or something" to look for "powdered donuts or something." I think he's just trying to get alone time with Annabeth in that moment. Tyson is all, “I will look for powdered donuts in the wilderness.” He headed outside and started calling, “Here, donuts!” THEN HE FREAKING FINDS SOME. Because there's a Monster Donut shop that just showed up because franchise are linked to monster life forces! Oh, you Greeks.
- When Percy cuts off another Hydra head, Annabeth is all, “Percy! You just opened another Monster Donut shop somewhere!”
- At one point, Chiron is off at a family reunion and then all the centaurs charge in, wearing shirts that say “PARTY PONIES: SOUTH FLORIDA CHAPTER.” Chiron’s relatives sound insanely awesome/probably super gay/Village Centaurs.
- “We did all the standard camp numbers: “Down by the Aegean,” “I Am My Own Great-Greta-Great-Great-Grandpa,” “This Land is Minos’s Land.”
- “Young people don’t always do what they’re told, but if they can pull it off and do something wonderful, sometimes they escape punishment.” –Hermes on the moral of the story.
- “My dear young cousin, if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the eons, it’s that you can’t give up on your family, no matter how tempting they make it. It doesn’t matter if they hate you, or embarrass you, or simply don’t appreciate your genius for inventing the Internet—“ –Hermes.
- “Humans don’t exist on the same level as the immortals. They can’t even be hurt by our weapons. But you, Percy—you are part god, part human. You live in both worlds. You can be harmed by both, and you can affect both. That’s what makes heroes so special. You carry the hope of humanity into the realm of the eternal. Monsters never die. They are reborn from the chaos and barbarism that is always bubbling underneath civilization, the very stuff that makes Kronos stronger. They must be defeated again and again, kept at bay. Heroes embody that struggle. You fight the battles humanity must win, every generation, in order to stay human.” –Chiron
- “Percy, the hardest part about being a god is that you must often act indirectly, especially when it comes to your own children. If we were to intervene every time our children had a problem…well, that would only create more problems and more resentment. But I believe if you give it some thought, you will see that Poseidon has been paying attention to you. He has answered your prayers. I can only hope that some day Luke may realize the same about me.” -Hermes.
- “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 worse…and try to keep the maiming and killing to a minimum.” –Hermes.
- “I mean, he goes to the trouble of writing a letter, and he writes two words?” -Percy on the one letter he gets from his father.