The Sea of Monsters

Percy Jackson and the Olympians # 2: The Sea of MonstersThe Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
Percy Jackson and the Olympians # 2
Miramax, 279 pages

Percy Jackson’s seventh-grade year has been surprisingly quiet. Not a single monster has set foot on his New York prep-school campus. But when an innocent game of dodgeball among Percy and his classmates turns into a death match against an ugly gang of cannibal giants, things get . . . well, ugly. And the unexpected arrival of Percy’s friend Annabeth brings more bad news: the magical borders that protect Camp Half-Blood have been poisoned by a mysterious enemy, and unless a cure is found, the only safe haven for demigods will be destroyed.

In this fresh, funny, and hugely anticipated follow up to The Lightning Thief, Percy and his friends must journey into the Sea of Monsters to save their beloved camp. But first, Percy will discover a stunning new secret about his family — one that makes him question whether being claimed as Poseidon’s son is an honor or simply a cruel joke.

It’s been ages since I read the first Percy Jackson book. I should have picked the next one up immediately, but I guess I was waiting until I acquired all the books before I do. Unfortunately, though, I only got to buy up to the third book, and then books 2 and 3 sat pretty on my shelf, wondering if I would ever get around to reading them.

And so I finally did. I was kind of wary because I couldn’t remember much of what was in The Lightning Thief, but I had no time to reread it. I figured Wikipedia should be enough, right? Well, Wikipedia did help me a lot, but I don’t think it was that hard for me to get into the second book since I still had memories (albeit vague) of the important details in the first book.

In The Sea of Monsters, we find Percy almost done with the school year in a new prep school. It was the first time he’s gotten through a year without expulsion, and he was very much looking forward to spending another summer in the only place where he truly felt home, Camp Half Blood. But of course things don’t go the way he planned — an innocent game of dodge ball becomes a game of life and death against fierce cannibalistic giants which ended up with his friend Annabeth’s unexpected arrival. Together with Percy’s seemingly slow friend Tyson, they travel to Camp Half Blood and realize that things are not so fine and dandy: someone has poisoned the magical borders that protect the camp, and the safety of the campers are at stake. As if that wasn’t enough, Percy keeps getting dreams of Grover being in trouble, and he knows he has to find a way to save him, too.

I absolutely forgot how much fun I had reading the first book in the series. Which was just as well, because the second book was also so much fun as — maybe even more than — the first one. As the first one, the Greek mythology elements were woven cleverly into the plot. There was still the feeling of impending doom, of course, but it was lightened up with the wittiness of the dialogues. I loved the idea of the Sea of Monsters, too, and their journey to get there. Some of my favorite scenes include the sirens and Annabeth’s encounter with them, as well as the entire saving Grover scene. Somehow, it reminded me of a scene from that Nickelodeon show, ChalkZone. Anybody familiar?

The new revelations to the overall story arc was also very interesting, and it definitely opened another bunch of possibilities for the next book. It wasn’t exactly surprising because I somehow had an inkling that their quest is not what it seems. Still, it was interesting enough, and I’m curious to know what would happen in the next book. Which probably means I should get to it sooner than later.

Oh, and you know what who I really loved in this book? Tyson! He’s such a loyal and darling “friend” (and I use quotation marks because there’s a revelation for his character in this book, too) to Percy, and he just made me go “awww” several times. :) I sure hope there’s more of him in the future books?

I really enjoyed reading The Sea of Monsters. It’s fun and witty and magical and I think it’s a good follow up in the Percy Jackson series.

Rating:

2011 Challenge Status:
Required Reading – September

My copy: paperback from Fully Booked

Cover and blurb: Goodreads

Other reviews:
Blogcritics
Literature Young Adult Fiction

Required Reading: September

(I promise to write that book-related trip post soon; I just have to prepare the photos :D)

So, I was kind of doubtful that I would reach my August Required Reading goal, given that I was traipsing all over Europe at the second half of the month. But I guess I shouldn’t underestimate myself and long plane/train rides because surprises! I actually finished reading all the books I set to read in August. :) Unfortunately, no reviews up for them yet because I’m terribly behind. Eeep!

  1. Before Ever After by Samantha Sotto – I actually finished this weeks before I left. I wasn’t exactly a big fan of The Time Traveler’s Wife, so I was kind of wary of the story for this one. I liked the European setting a lot, though, even if I didn’t really get to visit any of them. :P
  2. Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly – Oh, this book. I was intimidated by its 8o+ chapters, but it turned out to be a very quick read. Plus it made Paris come alive to me, and I couldn’t help but squeal a bit every time I see familiar places I read about in the book while we were touring the city. Bastille! Palais-Royal! Eee. :D
  3. No and Me by Delphine de Vigan – This was cute, but also not so much in a totally unexpected way. I think I understand what made people like this book so much, with its charm despite its sort of broken ending.

Like I said, never underestimate 11-13 hour plane and train rides. It gives you good reading time when you’re not sleeping. :D

Required Reading: SeptemberNow here we are on September. I’m back on night shift, but I don’t really know if that is helpful with my reading (July was awesome, though, so maybe?). I was thinking of a theme for this month yesterday and I honestly couldn’t come up with anything. I was just trying to remember the reading buddy things I’ve promised to do when I return, and that’s when a theme hit me. Kill [n] birds with one stone, right? Or something like that.

So September’s Required Reading theme: sequels/spin-offs!

I’m not a big fan of sequels, because they’re really a hit or miss, but I love spin-offs, especially for other characters in a book. :) The thing with me and sequels/second books/spin-offs is, I don’t really pick it up immediately after reading the first book because…well, I’m not sure, except maybe I didn’t want the story to end just yet. Haha. I figured it’s time to get myself reading those books I’ve put off long enough now, right?

So the list!

  • The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness (Chaos Walking # 2, the second book after The Knife of Never Letting Go)
  • The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta (spin-off to Saving Francesca)
  • The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan (second book of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series — took me long enough to finally decide to read this)

Just three books for now. I kind of need to take it easy since I’m still reeling from my trip. :) Thank goodness my job isn’t as demanding as some Network Engineer Jobs out there.

Joining this month’s challenge? Leave a link to your entry so I can list you here! There’s no need to follow my theme, just pick books from your shelf that you need to read or get out of your TBR and try to finish them within the month. :)

Happy September, everyone!

In My Mailbox (1)

I don’t know how often I’ll be able to do this, but I thought I’d try whenever I do have a stash to blog about. In My Mailbox is a weekly book meme hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren, where bloggers post about what books received that week, be it via  mailbox, library or store.

Here’s what I got this week:

Table for Two by Marla MinianoTable for Two by Marla Miniano

A corner table at a cozy coffee shop witnesses many things:

A long-time couple about to break up after college graduation. A young teacher accepting a dare from her teenage brother to quit dating for two months. A wedding photographer trying to convince his best friend not to get married. A boy meeting up with the girl he never quite got over. And a girl sitting alone, reading romance novels, wondering if today is the day she will stop being lonely.

Do their lives intersect and intertwine — spiraling them through an obstacle course of love and loss and hope and heartbreak? And can they each find the happy ending they so desperately want?

I’ve already finished reading this book and I thought it was positively charming, and it has a lot — and I mean a lot — of quotable quotes. I’ll be posting a review of this book soon.

Amazing Grace by Tara FT Sering

Pre-school teacher, Grace Lim, thinks that she has finally found her man at age 27. Mr-Blind-Date-No.-7, Mike, has turned out to be everything that she s ever wanted, dreamt about, and more!

With a marriage proposal in hand, Grace thinks that she s set for life. Trouble begins to stir in paradise when Mike informs Grace that he is re-locating from Manila to sunny Singapore because of work.

But the conveniences of modern technology aren t enough to bridge the distance between Mike and Grace, and what of Mike s colleague Kaela who appears in every photo that Mike s uploaded online?

So Grace decides to give Mike a surprise visit in Singapore but is she ready for what she will find?

This is one of the new Asian chick lit published here by Anvil. I’ve seen this about a month ago but only got around today to buying myself a copy. A friend said it’s a good read, and I like that it’s thicker than the other local chick lit which makes the Php 150 (around $3-4) feel more worth it. The story is told in second person, though, and I’m really curious about how that works out.

The Red Pyramid (Kane Chronicles #1) by Rick Riordan

Since their mother’s death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.

One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a “research experiment” at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.

Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them–Set–has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe–a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family, and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.

I saw this last week and I didn’t mean to buy it today (I meant to buy Ever by Gail Carson Levine), but I realized I should get this one because this would be a more relevant book to review since it’s just out. Egypt and such adventures — should be fun. Funny because I haven’t even finished reading all Percy Jackson books yet, and here’s another Riordan. Funny, though, I’m trying to remember if I read any of his books before Percy, and I remembered: 39 Clues #1.

That’s it for my mailbox this week. I’m still kind of wary about buying actual books because I have no storage space yet. And impulse buys — eeep. Maybe when my room gets fixed, I’ll be more into impulse again? That won’t be too soon, though. :)

Don’t forget, Philippine residents, I’m giving away a copy of Feed by Mira Grant — you can enter until June 30! Have a great Sunday, everyone!

The 24th Birthday Book Wish List

Today is the 1st of March, which means one thing (among many things): I turn 24 in 15 days. 14, if I don’t count this day.

Of course, as with every birthday that has passed since I started blogging, I’ve always created a wish list to help my family — especially my brother, who would usually ask for nba shirts — decide what gift to get me. It might be strange for other people, but we always do this for our family, even during Christmas. :)

I already posted my whole wish list on my main blog, but because this is my book blog, I thought I’d post my 24th birthday book wish list here, just for kicks. :D So it’s basically the first part of my blog there, but with book summaries and some comments on why I want the book. Here we go (in no particular order)!

Percy Jackson # 4: Battle of the LabyrinthPercy Jackson and the Olympians # 4: The Battle of the Labyrinth
by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson isn’t expecting freshman orientation to be any fun.  But when a mysterious mortal acquaintance appears on campus, followed by demon cheerleaders, things quickly move from bad to diabolical.

In this latest installment of the blockbuster series, time is running out as war between the Olympians and the evil Titan lord Kronos draws near. Even the safe haven of Camp Half-Blood grows more vulnerable by the minute as Kronos’s army prepares to invade its once impenetrable borders. To stop them, Percy and his demigod friends must set out on a quest through the Labyrinth – a sprawling underground world with stunning surprises at every turn. Full of humor and heart-pounding action, this fourth book promises to be their most thrilling adventure yet.

Why do I want this? I already have books #1-3, and although I can buy Book #4, I’m not really in a hurry because I haven’t even opened Books #2 and 3. But then it wouldn’t hurt to have a copy of this now so I won’t be running to a bookstore when I read Books 2 and 3, right? :P

Continue Reading →

Percy and Harry

ALTERNATE TITLE: How I tried to separate Percy Jackson from Harry Potter ;)

PThe Lightning Thiefercy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school…again. And that’s the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy’s Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he’s angered a few of them. Zeus’s master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.

Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus’s stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

One of my favorite topics in Science when I was a kid were the planets. I love naming all the planets and describing each of them and their properties. If you think that’s geeky, wait until you hear this: I was so enamored by them that I cracked the encyclopedias open to read about Greek and Roman mythology.

See, geeky. :-B

I didn’t really pick up the Percy Jackson series immediately as soon as they came out. I had no idea they were out, anyway, until a friend told me about it. I wasn’t interested in it until I saw the trailer of the movie. Children of gods and goddesses? Okay, I’m in!

The only problem? I couldn’t find a copy of the first book anywhere. There’s always book # 2, 3, 4 and 5, but never book # 1. Oh dear. Where to find Percy now?

Well, I already wrote the story of how I found the book, so now let’s go to the actual review.

So let me get it out now: Percy Jackson reminded me a lot of Harry Potter.

Let me count the ways:

  • Protagonist are both males
  • Both have dark hair and green eyes
  • Both found out that they were “special” and had to go through some weird stuff before they arrive at a place they can be safe
  • Both had to go through some kind of quest or else things will fall apart and there will be chaos all over
  • Both had two friends — a smart girl and a sort of bumbling guy — to support him and help him during his adventure
  • The story of the first book both had to deal with three-headed dogs.

I think I may have forgotten some similarities, but yes, they are quite similar. I’m not saying that Percy copied Harry all the way, but there’s just the similarities in the main character and in the story. Of course, anyone who hasn’t read Harry Potter will not think of that, so maybe it is just me.

But don’t get me wrong — the first book of Percy Jackson was a very good read. :) The story was written in first person, so it was fun being inside Percy’s head. I personally think Annabeth is more feisty and stronger than Hermione, and Grover is not exactly human. It was fun reading through the story and trying to figure out whose son or daughter was who, and getting to know the gods and goddesses as they were portrayed in the book.

I like the Harry Potter series a lot, but I was able to absorb Percy Jackson far easier than the latter, most probably because of my interest in mythology. :) I can’t wait to read the rest of the series (so I hope the fifth book’s paperback version would be released soon!).

Rating:
→ Pretty fun and interesting take on Greek mythology. Has a bit of similarities to HP, but not so much that it’s a rip-off. Can’t wait to read the rest of the series. :)

2010 Challenge Status:
* Book # 5 out of 100 for 2010
* Book # 3 out of 20 Fantasy books for 2010

→ Get The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1) by Rick Riordan on Amazon.com
→ Percy Jackson and the Olympians website
→ Rick Riordan’s website