My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Let’s just pretend #2 (The Sea of Monsters) didn’t happen…
– An adventure as exciting as The Lightning Thief
– Great characters (both old and new)
– Took some time to get going but the build-up was worthwhile so this is just a minor point
– The badass female character in leather (avoiding spoilers here!) was a let-down and took away from the story
After being sorely disappointed with The Sea of Monsters, I was bracing myself for further disappointment with book #3. Joyfully, I was wrong!
Percy was back this time with a better yet far darker adventure. The monsters are scarier and the heroes are mightier making this a far more worthy follow up to The Lightning Thief than the second installment in the series, The Sea of Monsters.
This book marks the transition to what all great YA fiction series do: a light introduction into a fantasy world with gradually darkening plots, villains and consequences as the series progresses. It does so perfectly with the balance of humour seen in the first book that makes it such a charming series.
Another notable change in this book is the characters – they’re now far more realistic and complex. This is a huge leap away from the Harry Potter-esque similarities that weighed The Sea of Monsters down so heavily and made the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series much more interesting. Whereas previously, I barely cared for the characters due to the ‘tell don’t show’ style of writing and their quite narrow descriptions, in this book we were able to dig a little deeper into their motivations, quirks and fears. This was particularly well done with the Gods and their relationships with their kids as they’re kept mysterious while at the same time allowing us glimpses of much deeper things to come in the two books remaining in the series.
In the previous two books I’ve felt the endings to be the weakest part of the entire book and a giant anti-climax due to their predictability and general cosiness. Once again, this book went above and beyond to improve itself. The ending was full of suspense and vivid imagery that left me so agape at the whole thing that, despite it being 2am, I immediately started The Labyrinth (book #4).
Something that rarely happens to me now when reading is being hooked for the entirety of a book and unable to stop my thoughts wandering back to it once I’ve put it down. Perhaps its a part in parcel of growing older or a sorry side-effect of reading more non-fiction books but it’s a feeling I’ve dearly missed. For the first time in a while, the Percy Jackson series gave me that back and it felt brilliant.
I’ve met many children who have said coolly that they find reading boring and most of the YA fiction books I know that’d be suitable for the younger end of the spectrum and are a light, introductory read, are now films that most kids have seen five times already. The Percy Jackson series is the perfect remedy for that.*
*I’m aware The Lightning Thief is already a film but this book was so great!
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