The Sea of Monsters

The Sea of Monsters is an American fantasy-adventure novel based on Greek mythology written by Rick Riordan and published in 2006. It is the second novel in the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series and the sequel to The Lightning Thief. This book chronicles the adventures of thirteen-year-old demigod, Percy Jackson as he and his friends rescue his satyr friend Grover from the Cyclops Polyphemus and save the camp from a Titan's attack by bringing the Golden Fleece to cure Thalia's poisoned pine tree.

The Sea of Monsters
Cover of unknown later US edition with Rocco illustration (same as first ed.)
AuthorRick Riordan
Cover artistJohn Rocco (depicted)
CountryUnited States
SeriesPercy Jackson & the Olympians (book 2)
GenreFantasy, Greek mythology, young-adult novel
PublishedApril 1, 2006
PublisherMiramax Books and Disney Hyperion[1]
Media typePrint (hardcover and paperback), audiobook, e-book
LC ClassMLCS 2006/45756 (P)[1]
Preceded byThe Lightning Thief 
Followed byThe Titan's Curse 

The Sea of Monsters was released on April 1, 2006,[2] by Miramax Books, an imprint of Hyperion Books for Children[1][2] and thus Disney Publishing (succeeded by the Disney Hyperion imprint). It was generally well–received and was nominated for numerous awards, including the 2006 Book Sense Top Ten Summer Pick[3] and the 2009 Mark Twain Award.[4] It sold over 100,000 copies in paperback[5] with over one million copies total[6] and was released in audiobook format on September 6, 2006. The Sea of Monsters is followed by The Titan's Curse, the third book of the five in the series.

A film adaptation of the book, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, was released on August 7, 2013.[7]


The novel opens with Percy dreaming about Grover hunted by a monster. He wakes at the last day of his 7th grade year, a peaceful year at Meriwether College Prep. There he has become friends with Tyson, a homeless child that the school has taken on as a form of charity. In gym class, during a game of dodgeball, Percy is attacked by a gang of Laestrygonians but is saved by Tyson and Annabeth, who was on her way back to Camp Half-Blood after having dreams that told her the Camp was in danger. They take a magical taxi driven by the Graeae to Long Island. Upon reaching the camp, they see a group of campers lead by Clarisse LaRue battling off a pair of Colchis bulls. Tyson is granted permission to move past the camp's boundary in order to save Percy once again. It is revealed that he is a baby Cyclops and a half brother of Percy, being a son of Poseidon. An unknown enemy has weakened the protective walls of Camp Half-Blood by poisoning the tree of the demi-goddess Thalia leaving the campers vulnerable to future monster attacks. Chiron is then accused of poisoning the tree and fired. The only evidence against him is the fact that his father is Kronos. Before leaving, Chiron notices that only the Golden Fleece could save the camp.

Due to his charm and skill with a sword, Tantalus becomes the new camp counsellor, replacing Chiron. As a reward for winning the chariot race, Tantalus sends Clarisse LaRue to find the Golden Fleece while forbidding anyone else from leaving camp without his permission. After having a talk with the god Hermes about the fate of his son Luke, Percy strikes out to find Grover with Annabeth and Tyson. With the help of three hippocampi which Tyson makes a bond with, the trio reach the Princess Andromeda, a cruise ship filled with monsters and demigods that have allied with the titan Kronos. On the ship, they are captured by Luke Castellan, and they learn that he is working to revive Kronos. The trio narrowly escapes on an emergency lifeboat, and take shelter in a hideout that Annabeth, Thalia, and Luke built as children. There a hydra finds and attacks them, but they get saved by Clarisse LaRue on her ship CSS Birmingham.

Annabeth, Percy, and Tyson join the quest to the Bermuda Triangle (aka Sea of Monsters). In order to enter the Sea of Monsters, the group is forced to pass between Charybdis and Scylla, who attack and destroy the ship. It appears that Tyson and Clarisse are killed in action, so Percy and Annabeth board another life raft and head toward the nearest island. Like Odysseus, after travelling through the narrow strait that Charybdis and Scylla guarded, the two land on the island of the queen-witch Circe. After realizing she is not to be trusted and seeing that she has turned dozens of men into guinea pigs, they rush to leave the island. They escape on the famous Queen Anne’s Revenge, a former pirate ship. Percy and Annabeth pass the Sirens, and Annabeth confesses her insecurities to Percy. They reach the island of Percy's half brother, the cyclops Polyphemus. Before journeying to the centre of the island, Percy and Annabeth meet Grover pretending to be a female cyclops to trick Polyphemus into not eating him. They also learn that Clarisse and Tyson are alive, finding the Golden Fleece and narrowly escaping to the mainland fighting Polyphemus in a bloody battle. Percy gives the Golden Fleece to Clarisse as a token of friendship as it was her quest. She takes a plane to Camp Half-Blood, but the others are soon captured by Luke Castellan. Percy manages to send a message to Camp Half-Blood in which Luke admits to poisoning the tree of Thalia; the elders see their mistake and reinstate Chiron as the camp counsellor. When Luke finds out, he challenges Percy to a duel. As Luke was the best sword-player in camp before he left, he wins easily against Percy. As Luke is about to go on a rampage and finish Percy and the rest of the group off, a group of centaurs called the Party Ponies, led by Chiron, appear and whisk the group away to safety. Back at Camp Half-Blood, Chiron’s position as camp counsellor is officially restored. The Golden Fleece is applied to the tree of Thalia, and the poison is reversed curing the tree; however, the Fleece's magic goes too far and resurrects Thalia, providing another possible demigod for the Big Prophecy.

Major characters

Percy Jackson
The son of Poseidon; a 13-year-old [demigod] who goes to the island of Polyphemus in the Bermuda Triangle to find Grover and recover the Golden Fleece. He is accompanied by Annabeth and Tyson, his half-brother, on the quest. He is successful in the end; and gives Clarisse the Fleece while he is attacked by Luke on his way to the Camp. However, he and his friends are rescued by Chiron and the Party Ponies.
Annabeth Chase
The daughter of Athena. A demigod who is 13 years old and a friend of Percy. She accompanies him to the island and helps him in his quest by rescuing Percy from Circe's island. Annabeth is injured by Polyphemus and recovers with the help of the Golden Fleece. She accompanies Percy to Camp after Chiron succeeds in rescuing them from the hands of Luke and the Titan army.
Grover Underwood
The guard for Percy given by the gods, a satyr who has been captured by Polyphemus during his search for the wild god Pan. Due to his poor eyesight, Polyphemus mistakes Grover for a female Cyclops. He is rescued by his friends Percy and Annabeth.
Clarisse La Rue
Daughter of Ares who was given the quest of retrieving the Golden Fleece. With the help of Percy and his friends, she is successful in her quest. Percy gives her the Fleece that she takes to Camp Half Blood. Polyphemus wishes to wed her after it is revealed to him that Grover is a male satyr.
Luke Castellan
The main antagonist, now 20; he works for Kronos. He captures Percy and the rest before being thwarted by Chiron and his brethren, the Party Ponies.
Tyson the Cyclops
Percy's half brother; he is initially portrayed as a homeless child before Annabeth helps Percy realize that he is a Cyclops. He accompanies Percy and Annabeth in their quest and befriends a hippocampus whom he names Rainbow. He is very big and has one brown eye. When Clarisse's ship explodes, he is presumed dead until it is learned that he survived due to his immunity to fire.

Critical reception

The Sea of Monsters generally positive reviews with reviewers praising the storyline, the themes and the author's style of writing.[8][9][10] "In a feat worthy of his heroic subjects, Riordan crafts a sequel stronger than his compelling debut," said a Publishers Weekly review.[11] School Library Journal singled out the novel's plot and main character, stating, "Percy is an appealing kid, and the subject of a chilling prophecy may resonate with readers."[9] Child magazine wrote, "Featuring the cliff-hangers and sassy attitude kids loved in The Lightning Thief – plus a surprising new family secret – this outstanding sequel should win over a fresh legion of fans."[12] Children's Literature called the writing extraordinary[12] and added, "This book, sequel to The Lightning Thief, is an amazing mixture of mythology and young adult fiction."[12] Matt Berman, of Common Sense Media, praised the book, saying "The Percy Jackson series continues to be pure fun, with the author doing nearly everything right to produce a book that few kids will be able to resist."[10] Norah Piehl of lauded the style of the book, and noted similarities with its prequel.[8] It sold over 100,000 copies in hardcover by the time paperback copies were released in April 2007.[5]

However, Kirkus Reviews was critical of the book, writing, "it's doubtful Percy wouldn't guess Tyson's otherworldly connection immediately after the dodgeball game ... some of the humor will zip over the heads of the target audience" although they added, "Percy's sardonic narration and derring-do would keep the pages turning."[2]




On September 6, 2006, a seven-hour and 54 minute audiobook version of The Sea of Monsters, read by actor Jesse Bernstein, who also narrated The Lightning Thief's audiobook,[17] was published worldwide by Listening Library.[18][19]

AudioFile magazine praised the audio book, raving, "This action-packed book (second in a series) will delight fans of Percy Jackson, the half-blood son of Poseidon, as Percy once again battles mythical monsters in modern-day settings while on his mission to save the tree that guards Camp Half-Blood."[19] They praised Bernstein, saying "Narrator Jesse Berns helps listeners slip right into the oddly engaging world that Riordan creates, in which contemporary teen characters and those from classical mythology intermingle"[19] and that he could successfully portray teenagers, while keeping the pace fast allowing listeners time to revel in the book's humor. Auditions have already been cast for this yet to be blockbuster. There may still be a few spaces for extras, though.[19] The magazine Publishers Weekly raved about Bernstein's "snappy delivery and all the right funny touches" that made the "action-packed fantasy such fun."[17]

Film adaptation

Following the box office and DVD success of the movie, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, a film adaptation of The Sea of Monsters was first reported in early 2011.[20] In fall 2011, it was confirmed that 20th Century Fox would release the film on March 27, 2013.[21][22] Filming began in April 2012. In February 2012, Mary Birdsong, Missi Pyle and Yvette Nicole Brown were cast as the Gray Sisters.[23] In March 2012, Nathan Fillion joined the cast as Hermes and Anthony Head, replacing Pierce Brosnan, as Chiron.[24][25] In April 2012, Paloma Kwiatkowski was cast as Thalia and The Hunger Games star Leven Rambin has been cast as Clarisse La Rue.[26] It was announced on May 8, 2012 that the film had moved up to March 15, 2013. But later it was postponed for an August 16, 2013 release.[7] Fox decided on a final release date for August 7, 2013.[27] Logan Lerman returned as Percy Jackson in the movie. Jake Abel also returned to the role of Luke Castellan. On January 2012 The Secret Circle star Grey Damon was cast as Chris Rodriguez. According to Alexandra Daddario, the film would be more similar to the book than the first film.

Graphic novel

The Sea of Monsters has been published as a graphic novel.


The novel was followed by The Titan's Curse, released on May 1, 2007. In The Titan's Curse, Percy, Grover, Annabeth and Thalia go to a school to recruit two powerful demigods.[28] Like its predecessors, this book was well received and reviewers praised its humorous style and the plot of the story.[29][30]


  1. "The sea of monsters" (first edition). LC Online Catalog. Library of Congress ( Retrieved 2015-11-05.
  2. "The Sea of Monsters review". Kirkus Reviews. April 1, 2006. Retrieved January 16, 2011.
  3. "Book awards: BookSense Top Ten Summer Pick". Retrieved April 12, 2009.
  4. "Mark Twain Readers Award". Missouri Association of School Librarians. Retrieved January 14, 2010.
  5. Nawotka, Edward. "Son of Poseidon Gaining Strength". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved September 1, 2009.
  6. Sarah, Weinman. "Will 'Percy Jackson' Author Rick Riordan Ever Reach J.K. Rowling Territory?". DailyFinance. DailyFinance.
  7. "'X-Men: First Class' & 'Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes' Sequels Set For Summer 2014; 'Independence Day 3D' Hits July 3, 2013". May 31, 2012. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  8. Piehl, Norah. " – The Sea of Monsters". Retrieved September 20, 2009.
  9. "The Sea of Monsters: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 2". School Library Journal. October 1, 2006. Retrieved September 20, 2009.
  10. "The Sea of Monsters review". Matt Berman. Common Sense Media. Retrieved September 20, 2009.
  11. "The Sea of Monsters". Publishers Weekly. April 24, 2006. Retrieved July 23, 2010.
  12. "The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series #2)". Retrieved April 10, 2009.
  13. "Rick Riordan : Percy Jackson". Archived from the original on May 8, 2008. Retrieved April 12, 2009.
  14. "Barnes &". September 26, 2007. Archived from the original on October 23, 2012. Retrieved July 22, 2010.
  15. "Top Shelf Fiction Pick for Middle School Readers, 2006" (PDF). Voice of Youth Advocates. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 10, 2008. Retrieved March 7, 2010.
  16. "Mark Twain Award 2007–08 Winners". Missouri Association of School Librarians. Archived from the original on September 21, 2008. Retrieved May 27, 2009.
  17. "Sequels for summer". Publishers Weekly. July 24, 2006. Retrieved July 23, 2010.
  18. Bernstein, Jesse. "Jesse Bernstein". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved June 30, 2009.
  19. Bernstien, Jesse (2006). "The Sea of Monsters". AudioFile. Retrieved September 20, 2009.
  20. 'Percy Jackson and the Olympians' Sequel Could Be Coming Soon?
  21. "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 30, 2012.
  22. McClintock, Pamela (October 12, 2011). "Fox Moves Ahead With New 'Die Hard' and 'Percy Jackson' Films". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 30, 2012.
  23. McClintock, Pamela (February 29, 2012). "Missi Pyle, Yvette Nicole Brown, Mary Birdsong Join 'Percy Jackson' Sequel". The Hollywood Reporter.
  24. McClintock, Pamela (March 15, 2012). "Nathan Fillion to Play Hermes in 'Percy Jackson' Sequel (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter.
  25. McClintock, Pamela (March 20, 2012). "Anthony Head to Play Chiron in 'Percy Jackson' Sequel". The Hollywood Reporter.
  26. Fleming, Mike (April 3, 2012). "Vancouver High Schooler Gets Dream Role In 'Percy Jackson' Sequel". Deadline Hollywood.
  27. "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters Moved up to August 7". April 6, 2013. Retrieved August 10, 2013.
  28. Riordan, Rick (April 1, 2007). The Titan's Curse. Percy Jackson & the Olympians. Hyperion Books for Children. ISBN 978-1-4231-0145-1. OCLC 76863948.
  29. Piehl, Norah. "The Titan's Curse: Kidsreads".
  30. Ruth, Sheila. "The Titan's Curse: Wands and Worlds Book Review". Archived from the original on October 23, 2008.

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