Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Re-Read 2015: The Sea of Monsters (audiobook) by Rick Riordan and read by Jesse Bernstein

Summary (from Goodreads):
After a summer spent trying to prevent a catastrophic war among the Greek gods, Percy Jackson finds his seventh-grade school year unnervingly quiet. His biggest problem is dealing with his new friend, Tyson—a six-foot-three, mentally-challenged homeless kid who follows Percy everywhere, making it hard for Percy to have any "normal" friends.

But things don't stay quiet for long. Percy soon discovers there is trouble at Camp Half-Blood: the magical borders which protect Half-Blood Hill have been poisoned by a mysterious enemy, and the only safe haven for demigods is on the verge of being overrun by mythological monsters. To save the camp, Percy needs the help of his best friend, Grover, who has been taken prisoner by the Cyclops Polyphemus on an island somewhere in the Sea of Monsters, the dangerous waters Greek heroes have sailed for millennia—only today, the Sea of Monsters goes by a new name the Bermuda Triangle.

Now Percy and his friends—Grover, Annabeth, and Tyson—must retrieve the Golden Fleece from the Island of the Cyclopes by the end of the summer or Camp Half-Blood will be destroyed. But first, Percy will learn 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.
I’m just buzzing through these audio books.  It’s the first time I’ve re-read this particular book. I remember it being my least favorite in the series. I believe it took me the longest to read, back in the day. It took me a while to like Tyson. And I think I remember telling myself I might not read the rest of the series if book 3 didn’t catch me. Thank goodness, book 3 was my favorite…Now, here I am (maybe 10 years later) re-reading them all. And I actually think I enjoyed this second installment better on audio.
I think part of my initial problem with Tyson was his dialect. It was such a pain to read his dumbed down Cyclops English. On the other hand, listening to his language was no problem at all! I was never taken out of the story I was reading to put it all together. Also, when I was younger I think I found Tyson too one-dimensional and cheesy. And now, I kind of love him. There were moments in my car where I’d go, “Awww,” out loud after hearing about something he did. I also kind of love what he stands for in regards to families, friends, and realizing that different can be good.
There’s still all the action and over-the-top humor of book one. Also, there’s some insane Greek mythology mixed in with the modern day retelling again too. Seriously, if you like Greek mythology at all, I can’t see you not liking these books. They are a little far-fetched in their believability, but really, they are just so much fun to read and revisit again.
I still think book 2 is my least favorite. But, this is only because the real juice of the story isn’t really introduced until the last few pages. The big, major theme of the rest of the books is introduced for books 3-5. And I guess I can kind of see books 1-2 as the sort of fun, fluffier stories made to setup the darker stuff to come.
All in all, I still loved the adventure and the humor. And I guess a little fluffy isn’t bad. Everything from arranged marriages, to giant Cyclops’, to murderous monster sheep, to best friend dream connections, to rescue missions, to epic battles come into play in this book, and there never really was a good place to stop reading/listening.
I’m already on the second disc of book 3 (my favorite), and I’m remembering why it was my favorite. Any way, all of these books are fun and action-packed. I highly recommend them to Greek mythology fans. And I highly recommend the audio to those who want a re-read. I give book two an 8/10.

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