I've fallen behind in blogging Percy Jackson books - we finished the second book, The Sea of Monsters, a few weeks ago (and dove right into the third one, and now the fourth one!)
The Story: Percy has been having nightmares about his best friend, the satyr Grover, in trouble, stuck in a cave by a cyclops... he is stunned when he finds out that his dreams are in fact caused by an empathy link to Grover. He and his friend Annabeth and his newly discovered half brother, a young cyclops named Tyson, set out to try to save Grover, and to do so, they have to travel through The Sea of Monsters, which is (currently) located in the Bermuda Triangle - like all mythological places, it travels around with the center of Western Civilization. Along the way, they have to battle Luke, the half-blood who abandoned Camp Half-Blood the previous summer to serve and try to ressurect the titan lord, Kronos. Meanwhile, at Camp, the tree that protects the camp from magical attacks, and is the embodiment of Zeus' daughter, Thalia, has been poisoned. When it is discovered that the cyclops who is holding Grover prisoner also holds the mythological Golden Fleece, which holds powers that could heal the tree and save camp, the quest becomes even more dire. Can they save camp, stop Luke, and rescue Grover in the end?
The Good: As in the first book, the characters in this are compelling and you really root for Percy to save Grover. The mythology is great - Evalina has been reading her Greek Mythology reference book right along with it, and she is now calling herself a "Greek Mythology Geek." I love it. Tyson is sweet and a wonderful friend, even though Percy was initially put off by his cyclops nature. We couldn't read it fast enough! What a great story.
The Bad: Nothing much I can think of.. sometimes it was scary, but she's doing well with the scary parts. Much like Voldemort in Harry Potter (which I have not read with Evalina yet), Kronos is an evil not to be trifled with. That can be difficult to take, but she's mostly good with it. Harder was the fact that Luke has turned so completely to the side of evil... but again, this was nothing to turn us off!
The Verdict: Another winner! I adore how Evalina is delving into the mythology and the history. Again, I think it might be a bit much for her to read on her own, but she loves having me read it aloud! Another great thing about reading aloud is that I can help her understand the context of some things when needed. We are adoring this series! (I'll blog #3 soon!)