One of my favorite genres and one that is the easiest for me to push aside is middle grade fiction. This year to make sure I get a little more children's and young adult fiction I thought I would designate the first Monday of every month Middle Grade Monday (though sometimes it doesn't end up working quite right) . While a lot of my picks this year are classics I am trying to branch out a little bit and read new or at least recent releases. This month's book is the 2nd in the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan. I was surprised just how much I enjoyed The Lightening Thief so I really made a point to get The Sea of Monsters in this year.
The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #2) by Rick Riordan
Blurb: The heroic son of Poseidon makes an action-packed comeback in the second must-read installment of Rick Riordan's amazing young readers series. Starring Percy Jackson, a "half blood" whose mother is human and whose father is the God of the Sea, Riordan's series combines cliffhanger adventure and Greek mythology lessons that results in true page-turners that get better with each installment.
In this episode, The Sea of Monsters, Percy sets out to retrieve the Golden Fleece before his summer camp is destroyed, surpassing the first book's drama and setting the stage for more thrills to come.
My Thoughts: Poor Percy does seem to get in quite a bit of trouble and his second year at Camp Half Blood is no exception! I liked the addition of Tyson and that Percy's feelings towards him where a bit complex. The modern twist on Greek mythology was really interesting and really well done. It made me want to refresh my memory on all the classic myths and legends and I suspect that it would have younger readers wanting to pick up some books on mythology for the first time. While the Camp and the rest of the world need to be saved just like they did in the first book I felt like Grover added a fresh element to the story. The pacing is super fast and the teamwork between Annabeth and Percy was nice They don't always get along but when the chips are down they're a great team. While there is a lot of danger and intense situations I never felt like it would frighten younger readers. As well while there are battle scenes Riordan doesn't lapse into descriptions of gore (except for the occasional quick description of goo coming from a monster) which I really appreciated. I think this is a great read for children age 9+ or so and is a fun read for adults as well.
I started reading this but switched to audio on chapter 5. While it does read quickly I feel like I really enjoyed it more in audio. Jesse Bernstein does a great job with the narration. He doesn't overdo the voices and doesn't sound to mature to voice Percy.