Marshmallow reviews Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters (Book 2 of the Percy Jackson Series) by Rick Riordan

Marshmallow already reviewed the first book of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series: The Lightning Thief. Today she reviews the second book: The Sea of Monsters. It might be helpful to have read that first book (or at least Marshmallow’s review of it) to understand the following.

Marshmallow reviews Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters (Book 2 of the Percy Jackson Series) by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow reviews Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters (Book 2 of the Percy Jackson Series) by Rick Riordan.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like books about mythology and the Greek gods, and especially if you liked reading the first book (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief) of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): Percy’s second summer at Camp Half-Blood is not going to be fun and games. But to understand the reason why, we need to go back in time to when Annabeth, a friend of Percy’s, first came to camp. During this time, Thalia, a half-blood daughter of Zeus, sacrificed herself in order to save her three friends, Annabeth, Luke, and Grover. She fought the approaching monsters. As she was dying, her father Zeus turned her into a pine tree with a powerful enchantment. Thalia’s tree put a magical barrier around the gates of Camp Half-Blood that protects the rest of the half-bloods that are trying to enter the camp.

Back in the present, when someone poisons Thalia’s tree, the camp’s magical borders are broken, and all of the half-bloods are in danger. They have no borders to protect them, and monsters are all attracted to the half-bloods, and when they find them, they usually kill them. So, the only way to protect the only safe haven for half-bloods is to find the Golden Fleece. (According to Wikipedia, the story of the Golden Fleece involves many other powers and interpretations. In this story, it is said to have the power to cure anything.)

Unfortunately, a Cyclops who does not want to give it away guards the golden fleece. This Cyclops lives in the Sea of Monsters (which just happens to be the Bermuda Triangle), where Percy’s father does not have much power. (We learn in the first book that Percy’s father is Poseidon, the god of the sea. We also learn there that all half-bloods have one human parent, and the other is an Olympian god or goddess.) So the camp sends out Clarisse, a daughter of Ares who Percy has many disagreements with, to find the Golden Fleece. Percy thinks that Clarisse will not be able to find it, so he decides that he and his friends will do it.

Marshmallow is reading Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters, by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow is reading Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters, by Rick Riordan.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a very good book for people who like to read Rick Riordan books or like mythology. You do have to have read the first book or watched the first movie (though the movie does introduce many new events and skips out on some others from the book) to know the backstory of the main characters. The main plot is intriguing and I did not suspect the reason why Thalia’s tree was poisoned.

The Sea of Monsters is a very good book for all ages. Caramel and Sprinkles also enjoyed the second book.

After reading this second book of the series, the book bunnies household watched the second movie. Here is a trailer:

We thought this movie was much better. Annabeth became blonder (like in the book), and Clarisse, who is my favorite character, finally appeared. It did include a lot of events that do not happen in the books at all. Still it was a fun movie to watch.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters (Book 2 of the Percy Jackson Series) by Rick Riordan 100%.
Marshmallow rates Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters (Book 2 of the Percy Jackson Series) by Rick Riordan 100%.

Marshmallow reviews Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (Book 1 of the Percy Jackson Series) by Rick Riordan

Caramel’s class was reading the first of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series before schools closed down. So of course the book bunnies decided to read it themselves at home. Today Marshmallow who already finished the whole series is reviewing the first book here: The Lightning Thief.

Marshmallow reviews Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (Book 1 of the Percy Jackson Series) by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow reviews Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (Book 1 of the Percy Jackson Series) by Rick Riordan.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like Greek mythology, then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): Percy Jackson has been expelled from every single school he has been in. At every school Percy has been stalked by strange people. One time, Percy could have sworn that the man following him only had one eye. Percy hopes that the new school that he is attending will be different.

In his new school, Percy’s only friend is a boy named Grover. One day, his math teacher Mrs. Dodds, who is not his favorite teacher because she hates him, tells him to come talk to her privately. He is in big trouble because she transforms into a monster. (Later he finds out that she is a Fury.) She attacks him and tries to kill him. His Latin teacher tosses him a pen that when uncapped turns into a sword named Riptide. He defeats her and she turns into dust. Afterwards, the day continues as if nothing happened and everyone seems to have forgotten about Mrs. Dodds, as if she never existed.

When Percy and Grover are boarding a bus, they see three creepy and elderly women holding a yarn. One of them takes out a pair of shears and cuts the rope. Grover seems very uneasy as he watches the women. Percy thinks that they look like the Fates, which we learn later that they are. They are cutting someone’s life thread, and that spooks Percy (like it would spook anyone else).

Later, Percy’s mom tries to get him to a mysterious camp that she calls “Camp Half-Blood”. On the way, they are attacked by a minotaur. His mother turns into golden light as she is attacked. Percy and Grover eventually make it to Camp Half-Blood without Percy’s mother.

Later, Grover reveals that he is a satyr. Percy’s whole world turns upside down. The counselors explain that every camper at Camp Half-Blood had been stalked by monsters for their whole lives because they are all demigods. He is astonished to learn that this is the only safe place for half-bloods–that’s what they are called: they are half god and half human. Percy is “undecided”, meaning that his god parent is still unknown. But eventually he is claimed by the god of oceans and seas, Poseidon. 

This is not good news because a prophecy says that a child of the Big Three (Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades) will either destroy Olympus or save it. But then we learn that someone has stolen Zeus’s lightning bolt and Percy is the prime suspect. It is up to him to clear his name before he is destroyed by Zeus, god of the sky. 

Marshmallow is reading Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (Book 1 of the Percy Jackson Series) by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow is reading Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (Book 1 of the Percy Jackson Series) by Rick Riordan.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a very good book, and a great way to learn about Greek mythology. It is funny and it is well-written. Rick Riordan has written a very interesting book that can be enjoyed by all ages. (I know for a fact that Sprinkles agrees.) It is a great initial book to begin the Percy Jackson books that will teach readers to learn about Greek mythology. 

There are some interesting characters (my favorite is Clarisse, a daughter of Ares, though she is quite mean sometimes–she does get much better in the later books), and some are really scary (the Oracle for example). The plot is interesting too and a mystery that the readers need to solve. There are hints that can help you figure things out before the end, but even if you do, you will want to finish the book.

There are movies of the first two books in the series, but apparently the author did not enjoy them.

Marshmallow’s rating: 95%.

Marshmallow rates Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (Book 1 of the Percy Jackson Series) by Rick Riordan 95%.
Marshmallow rates Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (Book 1 of the Percy Jackson Series) by Rick Riordan 95%.

Marshmallow reviews Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee

This week Marshmallow reviews a recent book by Yoon Ha Lee: Dragon Pearl.

Marshmallow reviews Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee.
Marshmallow reviews Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee.

Marshmallow’s Overview: If you like books about mythology and space, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): 13-year-old Min learns that her brother, Jun, is accused of deserting the Space Force in search of the Dragon Pearl. Min knows that her brother would never leave the Space Force, the organization that he always wanted to be a part of ever since he was a little boy. Even if he knew where the Dragon Pearl was. (The Dragon Pearl is a legendary object that can transform a whole planet in a day. In this story world, dragons exist and they have “Terraforming powers”, but they take year to terraform a planet.) So Min decides that something must have gone wrong. To prove that her brother did not desert the Space Force she leaves her home planet, Jinju, and goes in search of her brother.

Min is eventually able to find the ship that her brother was on when he “deserted”. She also finds her brother, but it is not how she wanted or expected to find him.

Marshmallow is reading Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee.
Marshmallow is reading Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a good book that is a mix of Korean mythology, science fiction, and fantasy. There are fox spirits, dragons, and interesting theories about how machines run in the story universe. (Apparently, they run on an energy that is called “gi” that is like the blood of their machines and ships.) 

In the first page, we learn that Min is a “fox spirit”. In Korean mythology, a fox spirit is a magical being that has the ability to transform into anything they want to transform into. They are also able to “Charm” others which is to make others trust them or feel angry, sad, or happy and other feelings. So, basically they can “Charm” others to feel certain feelings. 

The School Library Journal praised the book with the following words, which summarize the book well:

Lee skillfully weaves Korean folklore into this space opera narrative, creating dynamics and relatable characters. VERDICT: With ghosts, pirates, and a rollicking space adventure, there’s a little something for everyone here.

The School Library Journal, https://www.slj.com/?reviewDetail=dragon-pearl

Reading Dragon Pearl may encourage you to learn more about Korean Mythology because we read about many interesting creatures. Min’s friends who are helping her find the Dragon Pearl so it does not fall into the wrong hands are, like her, magical creatures. (Hanuel is a dragon who can transform into a human but she is in human form most of the time. Sujin is a goblin.)

This book might be better for readers that are 10 and older because there are gamblers and guns. There are also ghosts in the story, which might scare some readers, too. It also might be a little confusing for younger readers but overall this is a very interesting and entertaining book.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 90%.

Marshmallow rates Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee 90%.
Marshmallow rates Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee 90%.