The Sea of Monsters
Cover of unknown later US edition with Rocco illustration (same as first ed.)
|Cover artist||John Rocco (depicted)|
|Series||Percy Jackson & the Olympians (book 2)|
|Genre||Fantasy, Greek mythology, young-adult novel|
|Published||April 1, 2006|
|Publisher||Miramax Books and Disney Hyperion|
|Media type||Print (hardcover and paperback), audiobook, e-book|
|LC Class||MLCS 2006/45756 (P)|
|Preceded by||The Lightning Thief|
|Followed by||The Titan's Curse|
The Sea of Monsters is a fantasy-adventure novel based on Greek mythology written by Rick Riordan and published in 2006. It is the second novel in the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series and the sequel to The Lightning Thief. This book chronicles the adventures of thirteen-year-old demigod Percy Jackson as he and his friends rescue his satyr friend Grover from the Cyclops Polyphemus and save the camp from a Titan's attack by bringing the Golden Fleece to cure Thalia's poisoned pine tree.
The Sea of Monsters was released on April 1, 2006, by Miramax Books, an imprint of Hyperion Books for Children and thus Disney Publishing (succeeded by the Disney Hyperion imprint). It was generally well–received and was nominated for numerous awards, including the 2006 Book Sense Top Ten Summer Pick and the 2009 Mark Twain Award. It sold over 100,000 copies in paperback with over one million copies total and was released in audiobook format on September 6, 2006. The Sea of Monsters is followed by The Titan's Curse, the third book of the five in the series.
Percy Jackson has been having nightmares about Grover Underwood running from an unseen monster and taking refuge in a wedding dress shop. At school, a group of laestrygonians attack Percy and his classmates in a fiery game of dodgeball, but he is saved by his new friend Tyson. Annabeth Chase arrives and takes Percy and Tyson to Camp Half-Blood in the taxi of the Gray Sisters, who give Percy a series of mysterious numbers they call "the location [he seeks]". Percy, Annabeth, and Tyson find the camp under attack by the Colchis bulls, which Tyson is able to defeat because he is in reality a baby cyclops, not a human. They discover that Thalia's tree has been poisoned, severely weakening the camp's magic boundaries. Chiron is suspected of poisoning it because his father is the titan Kronos, and has been fired.
Percy tells Annabeth about his dreams, and she deduces that Grover has found the Golden Fleece, which can cure Thalia's poisoned tree, and is located at the coordinates from the Gray Sisters. Tantalus (who replaced Chiron as camp counselor) sends Clarisse La Rue on a quest to find the Golden Fleece. Percy, Annabeth, and Tyson run away from camp to find Grover. They are aided in their escape by the god Hermes, who helps them reach a passing cruise ship, the Princess Andromeda. Once aboard, they discover that the ship is full of tourists in a dream-like state living alongside Greek monsters. They are captured by Luke Castellan and learn that he is trying to revive his master Kronos. They escape on a lifeboat and eventually find one of many hideouts that Luke, Thalia, and Annabeth built as children. They are attacked by a hydra but are saved by Clarisse, who is sailing on a confederate ironclad called the CSS Birmingham.
En route to the Sea of Monsters (Bermuda triangle), the Birmingham is destroyed by Charybdis and Scylla. Thinking Tyson and Clarisse dead, Percy and Annabeth sail in a lifeboat to a nearby island, where they narrowly escape the sorceress Circe, who turns men into guinea pigs. They steal the Queen Anne's Revenge from Circe's harbor and sail towards the island of Polyphemus. Along the way, they pass the island of the Sirens and Annabeth confesses her fatal flaw, hubris, to Percy. When they reach the island, they find Grover, Clarisse, Tyson, and the fleece. Tyson and Percy work together to defeat Polyphemus and return the group to the mainland. Once there, Clarisse takes a plane to Camp Half-Blood with the Fleece. The remaining questers are captured by Luke and taken to the Princess Andromeda. Percy manages to contact Camp Half-Blood through an Iris Message and tricks Luke into admitting that he poisoned Thalia's tree, proving Chiron's innocence in front of the entire camp. Mr. D then sends Tantalus back to the Fields of Punishment. Luke duels Percy, beats him, and is about to kill the group, but before he does, Chiron and the his centaur relatives appear and rescue them. Returning to the camp, Chiron is given his job back and the Golden Fleece heals Thalia's tree. However, in the final pages, the Golden Fleece also revives Thalia Grace, putting another half-blood back into play for the Great Prophecy the gods fear so much.
- Percy Jackson: The son of Poseidon; a 13-year-old demigod who travels to the island of Polyphemus in the Bermuda Triangle to find Grover and recover the Golden Fleece. He is accompanied by Annabeth and Tyson, his half-brother, on the quest. He is successful in the end; and gives Clarisse the Fleece while he is attacked by Luke on his way to the Camp. However, he and his friends are rescued by Chiron and the Party Ponies.
- Annabeth Chase: The daughter of Athena. A demigod who is 13 years old and a friend of Percy. She accompanies him to the island and helps him in his quest by rescuing Percy from Circe's island. Annabeth is injured by Polyphemus and recovers with the help of the Golden Fleece. She accompanies Percy to Camp after Chiron succeeds in rescuing them from the hands of Luke and the Titan army.
- Grover Underwood: The guard for Percy given by the gods, a satyr who has been captured by Polyphemus during his search for the wild god Pan. Due to his poor eyesight, Polyphemus mistakes Grover for a female Cyclops. He is rescued by his friends Percy and Annabeth.
- Clarisse La Rue: Daughter of Ares who was given the quest of retrieving the Golden Fleece. With the help of Percy and his friends, she is successful in her quest. Percy gives her the Fleece that she takes to Camp Half Blood. Polyphemus wishes to wed her after it is revealed to him that Grover is a male satyr.
- Luke Castellan: The main antagonist, now 20; he works for Kronos. He captures Percy and the rest before being thwarted by Chiron and his brethren, the Party Ponies.
- Tyson the Cyclops: Percy's half brother; he is initially portrayed as a homeless child before Annabeth helps Percy realize that he is a Cyclops. He accompanies Percy and Annabeth in their quest and befriends a hippocampus whom he names Rainbow. He is very big and has one brown eye. When Clarisse's ship explodes, he is presumed dead until it is learned that he survived due to his immunity to fire.
The Sea of Monsters received generally positive reviews with reviewers praising the storyline, the themes and the author's style of writing. "In a feat worthy of his heroic subjects, Riordan crafts a sequel stronger than his compelling debut," said a Publishers Weekly review. School Library Journal singled out the novel's plot and main character, stating, "Percy is an appealing kid, and the subject of a chilling prophecy may resonate with readers." Child magazine wrote, "Featuring the cliff-hangers and sassy attitude kids loved in The Lightning Thief – plus a surprising new family secret – this outstanding sequel should win over a fresh legion of fans." Children's Literature called the writing extraordinary and added, "This book, sequel to The Lightning Thief, is an amazing mixture of mythology and young adult fiction." Matt Berman, of Common Sense Media, praised the book, saying "The Percy Jackson series continues to be pure fun, with the author doing nearly everything right to produce a book that few kids will be able to resist." Norah Piehl of Kidsreads.com lauded the style of the book, and noted similarities with its prequel. It sold over 100,000 copies in hardcover by the time paperback copies were released in April 2007.
However, Kirkus Reviews was critical of the book, writing, "it's doubtful Percy wouldn't guess Tyson's otherworldly connection immediately after the dodgeball game ... some of the humor will zip over the heads of the target audience" although they added, "Percy's sardonic narration and derring-do would keep the pages turning."
- 2006 Book Sense Top Ten Summer Pick
- 2006 Child magazine Best Book
- 2006 Kirkus Reviews Best Fantasy Sequel
- 2006 Barnes & Noble Best of 2006 for Kids & Teens
- 2006 Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) Top Shelf Fiction Pick for Middle School Readers
- 2007 Cooperative Children's Book Center choice
- 2007 Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) Best Book for Young Adults
- 2009 Mark Twain Award (Riordan's The Lightning Thief won the previous year)
On September 6, 2006, a seven-hour and 54 minute audiobook version of The Sea of Monsters, read by actor Jesse Bernstein, who also narrated The Lightning Thief's audiobook, was published worldwide by Listening Library.
AudioFile magazine praised the audio book, raving, "This action-packed book (second in a series) will delight fans of Percy Jackson, the half-blood son of Poseidon, as Percy once again battles mythical monsters in modern-day settings while on his mission to save the tree that guards Camp Half-Blood." They praised Bernstein, saying "Narrator Jesse Berns helps listeners slip right into the oddly engaging world that Riordan creates, in which contemporary teen characters and those from classical mythology intermingle" and that he could successfully portray teenagers, while keeping the pace fast allowing listeners time to revel in the book's humor. Auditions have already been cast for this yet to be blockbuster. There may still be a few spaces for extras, though. The magazine Publishers Weekly raved about Bernstein's "snappy delivery and all the right funny touches" that made the "action-packed fantasy such fun."
Following the box office and DVD success of the movie, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, a film adaptation of The Sea of Monsters was first reported in early 2011. In fall 2011, it was confirmed that 20th Century Fox would release the film on March 27, 2013. Filming began in April 2012. In February 2012, Mary Birdsong, Missi Pyle and Yvette Nicole Brown were cast as the Gray Sisters. In March 2012, Nathan Fillion joined the cast as Hermes and Anthony Head, replacing Pierce Brosnan, as Chiron. In April 2012, Paloma Kwiatkowski was cast as Thalia and The Hunger Games star Leven Rambin has been cast as Clarisse La Rue. It was announced on May 8, 2012 that the film had moved up to March 15, 2013. But later it was postponed for an August 16, 2013 release. Fox decided on a final release date for August 7, 2013. Logan Lerman returned as Percy Jackson in the movie. Jake Abel also returned to the role of Luke Castellan. On January 2012 The Secret Circle star Grey Damon was cast as Chris Rodriguez. According to Alexandra Daddario, the film would be more similar to the book than the first film.
The Sea of Monsters has been published as a graphic novel.
The novel was followed by The Titan's Curse, released on May 1, 2007. In The Titan's Curse, Percy, Grover, Annabeth and Thalia go to a school to recruit two powerful demigods. Like its predecessors, this book was well received and reviewers praised its humorous style and the plot of the story.
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- "Mark Twain Readers Award". Missouri Association of School Librarians. Retrieved 2010-01-14.
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- Riordan, Rick (May 3, 2006). The Sea of Monsters. Percy Jackson & the Olympians. Miramax Books. ISBN 0-7868-5686-6. OCLC 64664383.
- Piehl, Norah. "Kidsreads.com – The Sea of Monsters". Kidsreads.com. Retrieved 2009-09-20.
- "The Sea of Monsters: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 2". School Library Journal. 1 October 2006. Retrieved 2009-09-20.
- "The Sea of Monsters review". Matt Berman. Common Sense Media. Retrieved 2009-09-20.
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- McClintock, Pamela (March 15, 2012). "Nathan Fillion to Play Hermes in 'Percy Jackson' Sequel (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter.
- McClintock, Pamela (March 20, 2012). "Anthony Head to Play Chiron in 'Percy Jackson' Sequel". The Hollywood Reporter.
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- "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters Moved up to August 7". ComingSoon.net. April 6, 2013. Retrieved August 10, 2013.
- Riordan, Rick (April 1, 2007). The Titan's Curse. Percy Jackson & the Olympians. Hyperion Books for Children. ISBN 978-1-4231-0145-1. OCLC 76863948.
- Piehl, Norah. "The Titan's Curse: Kidsreads". Kidsreads.com.
- Ruth, Sheila. "The Titan's Curse: Wands and Worlds Book Review".