Percy Jackson And The Sea Of Monsters by Rick Riordan
Published by Disney Hyperion

RICK Riordan became a beloved writer of fiction, aimed at nine to 12-year-olds, with his series Percy Jackson And The Olympians.

It took setbacks many young people face – such as not fitting in at school – and disabilities like ADHD and dyslexia, and treated them with respect and with a twist of magic in every main character.

The lovable and witty protagonist Percy Jackson was not accepted by his peers in everyday life – not because he was unusual or problematic as some adults would suggest but because he was a demigod, a son of the ancient Greek deity of the ocean Poseidon.

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With the new, successful Disney+ series releasing its last episodes for now, young audiences may be wondering where to look next. The answer is here in this, the second book in the original series.

Part of what has drawn so many readers and watchers into the Greek mythology-inspired magical realism crafted by Riordan is something entirely more simple than the twists and turns of the quests and monster battles.

We have watched and sympathised with Percy Jackson as he came to terms with an entirely new life, which for him of course meant navigating divine politics and crushing monsters with underwater powers, but which mirrored a more everyday quest.

For Percy, these challenges are handled with a sense of whimsy and an exciting danger at every turn, battled off with a pen which transforms into a mighty sword, but for those of us who only have pens, we can learn from his reliance on friends.

Annabeth, the daughter of Athena the goddess of wisdom, who knew her fate and identity before Percy is an honest, strong-willed and stabilising force while his longer-term best friend Grover brings fun and light to every situation.

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However, in Sea Of Monsters, this heartwarming trio is split up as they discover Grover has been taken captive. With the help of Annabeth and his new friend Tyson, Percy must not only find and free him, but enlist his help to retrieve yet another magical item, which could save them and their magical summer residence of Camp Half Blood from destruction.

In order to save Grover, and the healing Golden Fleece from Polyphemus’s Island, they must of course get there first. This journey is even more exciting than the last, as they must cross the Sea Of Monsters – a place as threatening as it sounds – and which to humans goes by the name of the Bermuda Triangle. The beasts they encounter along the way range from violent to quietly intelligent and full of tricks.

Sea Of Monsters is the perfect Rick Riordan adventure for those who have just finished the TV series, but also for fans of classic pirate adventures. The tale is filled to the brim with betrayal, switching of ships and tense battles to keep readers on the edge of their seats.

However, most importantly – as in every moment of this iconic writer’s work – the importance of connection and friendship shine through and lead the way.