I recently reviewed The Lightning Thief and alluded to the fact that I wasn’t extremely impressed with its follow-up, The Sea of Monsters. Having now finished the second book’s audio, I can’t say that my impressions have changed much. Percy Jackson’s sophomore adventures were a much weaker story than The Lightning Thief! Feel free to disagree and I’d love to hear your thoughts, but I’m not sure I’m going to be falling in love with Percy and his friends any time soon.
So what happened in the sequel that was so offensive? Honestly, I’m not sure. I thought the Harry Potter similarities were a bit distracting what with Kronos mirroring Voldemort far too obviously. The introduction of Tyson was also less than appealing. I wanted to like him – I know we were supposed to like him – but his characterization felt cumbersome and Jesse Bernstein’s voice acting for Tyson was grating. I suppose middle grade readers would probably enjoy the audio version much more than I did. Just a bit too over the top. The plot was also less than stellar. Grover being in trouble and needing Percy’s help was fine, but having the Cyclopes giant believe Grover was his bride-to-be just lost me entirely. Too silly.
I think what Riordan’s series lacks for me is the very intricately detailed and plotted moral struggles and internal conflict that Rowling was able to capture and write so well. And while it’s not necessarily fair to compare Percy to Harry, I’m not sure how you can avoid the comparison either. Percy’s story does move much more quickly, but that swift pace also demands far less development and layered characterization. I just don’t feel attached to Percy or anyone else in the novel. I don’t care about them because I still don’t feel like I know them.
I’m going to give the third book a go in written format and skip the audio. Hopefully, this change will help grow my enjoyment of the novel. A shame really, I had such high hopes.
In other news, congrats to Nora-Adrienne for winning a copy of The Expats! Check your email and please respond within 48 hours.