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Beth And Chrissi Do Kid-Lit 2017 – MAY READ – The Sea Of Monsters (Percy Jackson And The Olympians #2) – Rick Riordan

Published June 2, 2017 by bibliobeth

What’s it all about?:

The heroic son of Poseidon makes an action-packed comeback in the second must-read installment of Rick Riordan’s amazing young readers series. Starring Percy Jackson, a “half blood” whose mother is human and whose father is the God of the Sea, Riordan’s series combines cliffhanger adventure and Greek mythology lessons that results in true page-turners that get better with each installment. In this episode, The Sea of Monsters, Percy sets out to retrieve the Golden Fleece before his summer camp is destroyed, surpassing the first book’s drama and setting the stage for more thrills to come.

What did I think?:

Chrissi and I read the first Percy Jackson book, The Lightning Thief last year on our Kid Lit challenge and we enjoyed it so much that we were determined to continue the series this year. The brilliance of Rick Riordan’s story-telling abilities combines everything I love in a good children’s book perfectly and he is a master at moulding action-packed sequences with essential character development without slowing down the pace or changing the atmosphere of the narrative.

So if you don’t know who Percy Jackson is yet, let me enlighten you and then strongly suggest you hunt down the first book in the series! Percy is a teenage boy who has recently found out he is a half-blood – a very special creature indeed. His mother is mortal but his father just happens to be a god. Not just any god either – Poseidon, famed ruler of the oceans. In the first novel, Percy was accepted at Camp Half-Blood, a training camp for young teenagers to make friends and hone their powers. There is however, much danger and rivalry between certain fractions of the immortals (and half-bloods) and this has led to Percy finding out a lot about what both he and other, perhaps less trustworthy individuals are capable of.

In The Sea Of Monsters, a special, one of a kind tree at Camp Half-Blood has been poisoned and the camp is in dire straits,its safety severely compromised and the threat of other-worldly monsters attacking the camp looming larger than ever. The only hope for its recovery is if someone travels through the perilous Sea Of Monsters to retrieve Jason’s Golden Fleece which will revive the tree and give the camp some much needed protection once again. Of course, our young hero gets involved as he also has a dear friend captive on the same island being terrorised by a Cyclops that he is determined to rescue. It is guaranteed that both the journey and the quest will be terribly dangerous however and Percy must draw on all of his strength and the loyalty of his friends and fellow travellers if he is to succeed.

Once again, Rick Riordan’s imagination and sheer talent for creating such a fantastical world just blew me away. I’m an avid reader of anything to do with Greek mythology after studying it for a brief period at school and some parts of the narrative were so nostalgic for me as it brought back happy memories of learning the myths for the first time. The author has written some wonderful characters, notably Percy of course but I also loved his best friend, Annabeth and a new friend/half brother called Tyson who is part Cyclops but incredibly sweet and vulnerable. There’s an undercurrent of humour running throughout the story which I always appreciate and it’s just an amazing fictional world to inhabit for the short time that you’re reading it. Really looking forward to the next book in the series now – will we be able to wait until next year?!

For Chrissi’s fabulous review, please see her blog HERE.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

four-stars_0

NEXT TIME ON BETH AND CHRISSI DO KID-LIT 2017: The Prime Minister’s Brain by Gillian Cross.

 

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Beth And Chrissi Do Kid-Lit 2015 – DECEMBER READ – The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1)

Published December 31, 2015 by bibliobeth

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What’s it all about?:

Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse-Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends — one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena — Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

What did I think?:

This is the final book in our Kid-Lit series for this year, the beginning of the hugely popular Percy Jackson series and my very first read from Rick Riordan. Well, we’ve certainly ended this year with a bang as this was a real cracker of a book and I can now understand why it is so loved by children (and probably adults) the world over. Our hero is Percy Jackson, a twelve year old boy whom when we first meet him seems just like an ordinary kid, apart from the fact that he changes boarding schools every year due to his behaviour which could be described as disruptive. Professionals have tried to explain his sometimes unruly character as a mixture of things ranging from dyslexia to ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) but we soon find out that Percy Jackson is probably the furthest away from being a normal kid as you can get. For Percy is a demi-god or half-blood, sired by a rather famous Greek God and a mortal woman.

Of course he does not know this in the beginning but he begins to get an inkling that he might be a bit special after a strange incident occurs on his class trip one day. Well, meeting and destroying one of Hades leathery-winged, fang-baring Furies isn’t one of your everyday occurrences, especially as he was so certain she was a normal, run of the mill school teacher! However, it turns out Percy is incredibly different from your average demi-god being the son of one of The Big Three: Zeus, Poseidon or Hades which gives him some amazing powers but also leads to him being a jucier target for monsters in the mortal world. Desperate to keep him safe Percy’s mother sends him to Camp Half-Blood, a place for the children of Gods to train, harness their powers and go on exciting quests.

It is not long before Percy finds himself in possession of a great and dangerous quest – to find and return Zeus’s beloved lightning bolt which was stolen from him and is now believed to be in the Underworld, a place usually reserved for the dead and which very few return from alive. As if this wasn’t bad enough, Percy himself is being accused of the theft and if the bolt is not returned by the end of the summer solstice Zeus has vowed to wreak an almighty war on the world. Percy and his new friends, Annabeth (daughter of Athena) and Grover, a very sensitive and loyal satyr must find their way to Hades dominion and bring the lightning bolt back to Olympus before all hell breaks loose. Quite literally. That is, if the three friends don’t manage to get themselves killed by monsters in the process.

Wow. This book ticked so many boxes for me it was unreal. I’m a huge fan of Greek mythology and was lucky enough to study it at school at one point so it was truly delightful to remember this colourful host of characters and their back stories. I think the author managed to mix the world of Mount Olympus with a contemporary setting beautifully and there were some rib-ticklingly funny moments when the two words collided. For example, who knew that Ares, god of war was a biker? Or that Charon, boatman of the River Styx in the Underworld felt that he deserved a decent pay rise after all his years of service? I loved the characters, felt they all brought something different and fresh to the story and would definitely appeal to children of varying ages. The adventures are truly gripping and action packed and it was such a page turner that I almost missed my stop on the tube, so lost was I in Percy’s little world! It looks like this is going to be an amazing series to follow and already I’m wondering when I can fit the next book, Percy Jackson and the Sea Monsters into my busy schedule!

For Chrissi’s fab review, please see her blog HERE.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

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The_Lightning_Thief_cover

First edition cover of The Lightning Thief from Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lightning_Thief