Rick Riordan

The Sea Of Monsters

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The Sea Of Monsters Summary

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American author Rick Riordan’s novel, The Sea of Monsters, was published in 2006. Blending adventure, Greek mythology, and fantasy, it is the sequel to the best-selling The Lighting Thief (2005), which was the first of the five books in the Percy Jackson & The Olympians series. The first two books were made into major motion pictures. Riordan first came up with the story while inventing bedtime stories for his daughter. Themes in The Sea of Monsters include the power of friendship, deceit, and family secrets.

In the first book, Percy Jackson is a 12-year-old boy who doesn’t yet know that he’s the son of Poseidon, and thus a demi-god. In The Sea of Monsters, Percy becomes aware of his half-immortal status and his super-powers, and confronts Luke Castellan (son of Hermes), who stole a lightning bolt that would have allowed the evil Titans to break out of their prison. The novel opens on a peaceful year at Camp Half-Blood, the prep school for demigods where Percy is in the 7th grade. The world seems stable enough, and Percy’s only real challenge is Tyson, his very tall, mentally limited half-brother, who considers Percy to be his best friend. Because Percy is kind, he doesn’t tell Tyson to leave him alone, even though Tyson’s constant presence makes finding friends a little difficult. However, Tyson, who’s actually a baby cyclops, is a useful friend to have around. He saves Percy’s life twice: once from a gang of laestrygonians (giants that feed on humans), and once from a horde of Colchis Bulls (massive, fire-breathing creatures made by the god Hephaestus). His friend from the first novel, 13-year-old Annabeth brings some bad news. An unknown enemy has weakened the protective walls of Camp Half-Blood by poisoning the tree of the demi-goddess Thalia. Time is of the essence: unless the young people can find a way to stop the walls from crumbling, there will be no protective space in the entire world for demi-gods like Annabeth, Percy, and Tyson. Chiron, a wise centaur, is accused of poisoning the tree. The only evidence of his guilt is that his father is Kronos. Percy has a dream that suggests that the Golden Fleece, a powerful object in Greek mythology, can cure the poisoned tree of Thalia. It doesn’t take long for Annabeth to realize that Grover, a satyr who was sent by the Gods to guard Percy, has the fleece.

Due to his charm and skill with a sword, Luke Castellan becomes the new camp counselor, replacing Chiron. Luke sends Clarisse La Rue to find the Golden Fleece, while Percy, Annabeth, and Tyson strike out on their own to find Grover.They distrust Luke and don’t tell him their real intentions. The god Hermes helps them reach the ship Princess Andromeda, which takes them closer to the Gray Sisters, where they believe the Golden Fleece to be. But once on the ship, they notice that all of the tourists are zombie-like and live among monsters without any objection. Luke Castellan captures them, and they learn that he is working to revive Kronos, the original God, who was cruel to most living beings and is considered the enemy of his son, the ruling god, Zeus. The trio escapes on an emergency lifeboat, and take shelter in hideouts that Annabeth and Thalia built as children. Later, while sailing through the sea, a hydra finds and attacks them, but fortunately, Clarisse La Rue is nearby and defends them from her ship, the CSS Birmingham.

Annabeth, Percy, and Tyson journey on the CSS Birmingham to the Bermuda triangle (aka the Sea of Monsters). Unfortunately, the mythic figures from the Homeric tales, Charybdis (a terrible whirlpool) and Scylla (a female monster who resembled a massive hawk) attack and destroy the ship. It appears that Tyson and Clarisse are killed in action, so Percy and Annabeth board another life raft and head toward the nearest island. Like Odysseus, after travelling through the narrow strait that Charybdis and Scylla guarded, the two land on the island of the queen-witch Circe. Realizing she is not to be trusted, and seeing that she has turned dozens of men into guinea pigs, they rush to leave the island. They escape on the famous Queen Anne’s Revenge, a former pirate ship. Percy and Annabeth pass the Sirens, and Annabeth confesses her insecurities to Percy. They reach the island of Polyphemus, which is ruled by the notorious cyclops, Polyphemus, who happens to be Poseidon’s son and Percy’s half-brother. Before journeying to the center of the island, Percy and Annabeth meet Grover and learn that Clarisse and Tyson are alive. They also have the fleece! The group returns to the mainland, vanquishing Polyphemus along the way in a bloody battle. Clarisse, in possession of the Golden Fleece, take a plane to Camp Half-Blood, but the others are soon captured by Luke Castellan. However, Percy manages to send a message to Camp Half-Blood in which Luke admits to poisoning the three of Thalia; the elders see their mistake and reinstate Chiron as the camp counselor. When Luke finds out, he challenges Percy to a duel. As Luke is one of the best sword masters in the world, he wins easily. He’s about to go on a rampage and murder the rest of the group, but the centaurs, led by Chiron, appear and whisk the group away. Back at Camp Half-Blood, Chiron’s position as camp counselor is officially restored. The Golden Fleece is applied to the tree of Thalia, and the poison is reversed. Camp Half-Blood is safe. (At least, until the next book, The Titan’s Curse, published in 2007).