The Sea of Monsters, by Rick Riordan, is the second book in the original Percy Jackson series, but unlike the spin offs, this book actually includes Percy Jackson. Percy’s break from fighting monsters after retrieving Zeus’ lightning bolt in the first book is short lived. Not only does he get into a firefight with giants at the end of an otherwise normal school year where he finds out he has a cyclops for a half-brother, but the magical tree that protects the borders of Camp Half Blood has been poisoned. However, Percy isn’t the one sent on the quest to save the camp this time. No, apparently Claresse, the violent and possibly unstable daughter of Ares, is sent to find the golden fleece, the only thing that can heal the tree. Not ones to sit around, Percy, Annabeth, Grover and his cyclops brother Tyson sneak away to ‘steal Claresse’s glory’ and find the fleece. The fleece however, is in the Bermuda triangle, an area completely infested with monsters (and not the lame kind like the Minotaur).
The Percy Jackson series isn’t so successful for no reason. The book itself, although no classic like the Lord of the Rings, is pretty good in its own right. It has that characteristic sense of humor and direct dialogue with the reader that allows you to really connect with what’s going on in the book. It flows well, and is simple yet descriptive at the same time, which creates a very immersive world. Out of the series, the Sea of Monsters is one of my personal favorites since, like most goods sequels, it sticks to the overarching theme and style of the original book, but still manages to be new and exciting. Overall, the Sea of Monsters is great for casual reading, especially if you plan on reading the entire series.