HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: The Sea of Monsters, Book #2 of “Percy Jackson and the Olympians”
Author: Rick Riordan
Publisher: Hyperion/Miramax Kid, reprinted in 2007
Language level: 3 (as close to taking the Lord’s name in vain as one could possibly come without actually doing it, and one instance of the “d” word)
Reading level: Intended for ages 9-12, but I would suggest ages 16 and over
Rating: 3 stars (FAIR)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Riordan, Rick. The Sea of Monsters, book #2 of the "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" series (published in 2006 by Hyperion Books for Children, 114 Fifth Ave., New York City, NY 10011). What I said about the first book of this series, The Lightning Thief, applies here as well. Percy, now a seventh-grader, his friend Annabeth, and his new friend Tyson (who turns out to be a Cyclops), must join their not-so-friendly campmate Clarisse on a quest. The pine tree, which had been Zeus’s daughter Thalia and has been protecting the camp, has been poisoned and the camp is in danger. They have to find the Golden Fleece to save the tree, and they are also looking for Rick, the son of Hermes who is trying to help Kronos to revive and take over the world, and their satyr friend Grover who is being held by Polyphemus.
The Sea of Monsters is well written, exciting, and fun to read. However, I am still troubled by the cavalier way that the "gods" are pictured as cohabiting with mortals and producing "half-blood" children. that may be all right for older teens, but I am not sure it is really good for the younger target age audience of the books. There is one reference to drinking wine. The language includes some euphemisms (blast, darn) and a childish word for having a bowel movement. Worse than that, the phrase "my gods" (which, of course, sounds so much like "My God") occurs several times, and there are copious references to "cursing," though no actual curse words are used except once when Clarisse uses the "d" word. That is a disappointment. I always enjoyed reading the ancient Greek myths, and I wish that I could recommend these books more highly than I feel comfortable doing.