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The Sea of Monsters: 06/23/10
The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan is a retelling of the Odyssey and continues the story arc begun in The Lightning Thief. This time Clarissa is sent on the official Camp Half Blood quest but Percy and his friends though have their own agenda, namely to save Grover.
I'm going to let you in on a secret. My favorite character isn't Percy or any of the other Camp Half Blood heroes. Nope. My favorite character who shows up in The Sea of Monsters for the first time is Tyson, the young cyclops.
Tyson brings humanity to the other side of the Gods' infidelities. Gods have children who are gods, demigods and (yes) monsters. The Gods aren't fair or just parents; they show favoritism and they ignore others. Tyson like most monsters is cast aside, growing up on the fringes of human society. He's a rare one though in that he gets a second chance, being befriended by Percy and therefore brought into favor with Poseidon.
The book begins with Percy and Tyson being friends. Percy's aware that Tyson isn't quite normal but he figures it's because he's a homeless kid and just hasn't had the same support other kids have had. Later, of course, he has to rethink the friendship when he learns that Tyson is a very young cyclops and therefore a monster and a half brother.
Two factors made me love Tyson from the get-go. The first is his eager, toddler approach to things. From how he acts he seems about the same age (or cyclops equivalent) as my daughter. So there's a motherly connection.
My second bonding point comes from Percy's sudden realization that he's a big brother. I was only child until I was seven. My brother was born three weeks before my birthday. So that birthday just felt ruined by everyone cooing over the baby. It took a long time for me to adjust to being a sister and to finally warm to and ultimately love my sibling.
The series includes: