The second novel in the Percy Jackson series is in a lot of ways, more of the same. Percy and Annabeth run away from a not-as-safe-as-it-used-to-be Camp Half-Blood along with a new friend Tyson, in order to save Grover, who is in perilous danger.
I can’t really say a whole lot about this book that I didn’t say about the first. Riordan jumps from myth to myth to obscure mythological character in an action-packed way that is really fun to try and keep up with. This book went much faster for me than the first, and truly did feel like a continuation of the same book. My one criticism would be that you don’t feel very much as if Percy is developing as a character—he’s the same kid at the end of this book as he was when he started the first one.
That said, there is some sweetness to his relationship with the oft-rejected Tyson—a friend who turns out to have more of a connection with Percy than he first realizes. There is also a lot of hinting going on towards what may come in the later books, which is really fun to catch on to. Can the traitorous Luke actually be saved? Is the big mysterious prophecy about Percy—and if it is, what does that mean?
And even if the characters aren’t developing a whole lot individually, the friendships between them and the overall climate between Percy, the gods, and his fellow half-bloods. There are so many characters that are coming in and out of the story that it would be overwhelming—except that we already know almost all of them from mythology. Meanwhile, there are a lot of gray-scale characters involved that are neither all good nor all bad—and grayscale is what I live read for. So while I don’t feel as emotionally tied to Percy as I did to (sorry to draw the comparison) say, Harry Potter, and I don’t necessarily see him taking life lessons away from his experiences—I’m still really happy to be along for the ride.
Give it an A.