Sea of Monsters, by Rick Riordan, is the second book in the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series. It’s every bit as funny and exciting as the first book, The Lightning Thief. Percy Jackson’s new school is a progressive school, and except for the bullies, it’s not too bad. At least it seems to be monster-free. But trouble finds Percy when strange things start happening at the school. When a dodge ball game turns into a battle, Percy decides it’s time to get out of there with his new friend Tyson, a rather large homeless kid who seems to have some unusual abilities. Accompanied by Annabeth, who showed up just in the nick of time, they return to Camp Half-Blood.
But all is not well at Camp Half-Blood. Thalia’s tree is dying, and the magical borders protecting the camp are failing. The camp is under attack by monsters. To make matters worse, Chiron has been fired, and the new activities director is cruel and sadistic. Life is at camp is not pleasant, but soon Percy, Annabeth, and Tyson are off on adventure to find the Golden Fleece and rescue Grover. Along the way they must contend with monsters, a sorceress, pirates, Luke, Clarisse, cyclopes, and the usual assortment of gods.
Sea of Monsters is jam packed with the same kind of hilarious adventures as the first book, and it’s a real joy to read. Anyone who has read any Greek mythology will have a blast with Riordan’s imagining of the Greek gods and myths updated to the modern world. We get to meet Hermes in this book, and I just adore the way Riordan portrays him. If you haven’t read this series yet, I highly recommend it.