- This article is about the book. For other uses, see The Sea of Monsters (disambiguation).
The Sea of Monsters is the second book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series written by Rick Riordan and published on May 3rd, 2006. The film adaptation of the book was released on August 7th, 2013 . A graphic novel adaptation was released on July 2nd, 2013.
In this story, the camp's magical borders are failing, and a quest must be undergone to save the camp before the demigods lose the only safe haven they have ever known.
Meriwether College Prep
In Percy's dream, Grover is running from the Cyclops Polyphemus and enters a wedding shop. The shop then blows up and Percy hears Polyphemus' voice. When he wakes up, he sees a dark object in the window which he describes as a shadow belonging to no one and nothing. The same day at Meriwether College Prep, Percy is stuck playing dodgeball with Tyson, his friend who is bullied, against large seventh graders who turn out to be Laistrygonian Giants. They summon explosive dodge-balls in an attempt to kill Percy, but he is protected by Tyson who is unaffected physically or mentally by the monsters' cannonballs. Annabeth saves Percy by killing the last Laistrygonian, Joe Bob, by stabbing it from behind and takes Percy and Tyson back to Camp Half-Blood by calling the Gray Sisters and their taxi.
Returning to Camp
Upon returning, they find the camp under attack by two bronze Colchis Bulls made by Hephaestus. Thalia's tree, which protects the camp, had also been poisoned by an unknown intruder. Tyson manages to subdue one bull and Clarisse takes care of the other one. Chiron is fired because he is suspected of poisoning the tree since he is a son of Kronos. He is replaced by Tantalus, a man who has been summoned from the Fields of Punishment.
Percy finds out that Tyson is a Cyclops and thus also a son of Poseidon. The campers begin to mock Percy's relationship to Tyson, causing him to be greatly embarrassed for having the latter as a brother. Meanwhile, Tantalus revives an ancient tradition in the form of a chariot race. Percy and Annabeth have a fall-out, partly because of their quarrel about Tyson joining their team, and partly because of her strong dislike for all Cyclopes in general. During the first competition, the campers are attacked by Stymphalian Birds. Although Percy, Annabeth, and Tyson help stop the attack, Tantalus accuses them of disturbing the birds with their "terrible driving."
The Quest Begins
Clarisse manages to win the race, partly because the other competitors were stunned by the sudden appearance of the birds. She immediately becomes Tantalus's favorite camper, and orders a feast to be prepared in her triumph. However, he sentences Percy, Annabeth, and Tyson to kitchen patrol because he blames them for the reason the Stymphalian Birds attacked due to their terrible chariot racing. While they wash the dishes instead of the harpies, Percy and Annabeth call a truce after he explains to her his dream via his empathy link with Grover that he is in trouble and cannot escape from the Sea of Monsters. At the campfire, Annabeth and Percy ask Tantalus to send somebody on a quest after Percy tells the rest of the campers that it is possible to save the camp via the Golden Fleece. He also reveals the list of numbers that the Gray Sisters had given them, which, he realizes, are actually longitude and latitude. The campers pressure Tantalus to give in, and he finally complies. The quest to go find and bring back the fleece is given to Clarisse, who visits the mummified Oracle.
Later, Percy feels the need to walk by the beach to clear his head. He meets Hermes, who convinces him to go on the quest, explaining that though a wrong is committed, if the doer makes the best out of it, everything may end well. He gives Percy three yellow duffel bags filled with necessities (ambrosia, drachmas, mortal money, clothes), vitamins and a thermos filled with wind. He also summons Annabeth and Tyson. He disappears as soon as they come, and Percy briefly explains his encounter with the god before the harpies arrive. Percy receives help from his father in the form of Hippocampi. The trio travel to a passing cruise ship, the Princess Andromeda, and climb aboard. They investigate for a while but the whole ship seems to be empty. Soon, they each find an empty room, and they decide to stay for the night.
The Princess Andromeda is revealed to be owned by Luke Castellan and the maligned Titan Army. The three are captured and learn that Luke is trying to help Kronos overthrow Olympus. They manage to escape the ship using Hermes' Thermos of Winds. Upon reaching land, Percy sends Tyson away to find some doughnuts as an excuse to talk to Annabeth about her past in private, particularly about her aversion to Cyclopes. However, Percy is surprised to find out that Tyson actually found some doughnuts at a suspicious Monster Doughnut shop nearby. They then find out that the shop is connected to the life force of a Hydra which almost kills them. They are saved by Clarisse, who has a ship of her own, the CSS Birmingham, a confederate battleship manned by dead Confederates given to her by her father, Ares.
The Sea of Monsters
The CSS Birmingham enters the Sea of Monsters — known to mortals as the Bermuda Triangle — but is severely damaged when it teeters between Scylla and Charybdis. The engine's temperature spikes to an almost unbearable heat, and Tyson volunteers to fix it. Scylla snatches Percy, and at that moment, the engine explodes. Unfortunately, Tyson is still inside. Percy loses consciousness, and when he comes to, he finds himself on a small raft with Annabeth. She managed to save the multivitamins and explains that she used up the winds from the thermos in order to man the raft. Neither Tyson or Clarisse are seen by Percy or Annabeth after the explosion.
C.C.'s Spa and Resort
Percy and Annabeth are washed up at C.C.'s Spa and Resort — which they will later discover is Circe's Island. In reality, it is a prison for male demigods. Circe's helper takes Annabeth to give her a makeover, while Circe turns Percy into a guinea pig. Using Hermes' multivitamins, which Annabeth pours inside the cage, Percy as well as the rest of the guinea pigs — Blackbeard and his crew — are able to turn into humans again. Percy and Annabeth escape using Blackbeard's ship while the pirates pillage and loot the island resort.
Annabeth expresses a desire to hear the song of the Sirens. She claims that upon hearing the song, the listener will realize their deepest desires. However, their song is so enchanting that the listener will seek to reach them at all costs. Percy is reluctant to give in, but he agrees to tie her to the mast in order to stop her from attempting to reach the Sirens. He also agrees to stuff wax into his ears in order to keep a level head.
As soon as they pass by the island, Annabeth begs Percy to free her, but Percy ignores her pleas and turns his back to her. However, once he checks on her, he sees that she has freed herself with her knife as he had forgotten to disarm her. Percy swims after her and reaches her. As soon as he touches her, he sees the vision that she must be seeing; a Manhattan redesigned by herself, her her mother and father reunited, and a reformed Luke. Percy manages to shake her out of the illusion, and they make it back to the ship. When the Sirens' Island is but a distant haze, Annabeth tells Percy her fatal flaw — hubris, or deadly pride. They pass by an island with one of Hephaestus's forges, and Annabeth finally tells Percy why she dislikes Cyclopes so much that relates to her adventures with Thalia, Luke and Grover as they travel to Camp Half-Blood. Soon, they reach the island of Polyphemus.
Percy and Annabeth discover that Polyphemus kidnapped Grover because he thinks Grover is a female Cyclops and wants to marry him. Percy and Annabeth reach the island of Polyphemus. They reach his cave by riding the underside of his sheep as the animals enter the cave. They manage to save Grover with the help of Tyson and Clarisse — who have apparently survived the explosion — recovering the Golden Fleece and winning a skirmish against Polyphemus in the process, although their ship sinks. They make their way from Polyphemus' island and the Sea of Monsters to Miami, Florida, via hippocampi, and Percy sends Clarisse, with the fleece, back to camp.
Later, Tyson tells Percy that Polyphemus is fat and spoiled and that baby Cyclopes are left on the street to learn how to survive, learn to make things from scraps and to appreciate blessings instead of taking attention from the gods for granted.
Percy, Annabeth, Grover, and Tyson are captured yet again by Luke who tries to invite them to his hospitality aboard the Princess Andromeda. Percy, however, manages to contact the camp with an Iris message, tricking Luke into admitting he poisoned Thalia's tree. In a duel with Luke, Percy is nearly killed and gets his leg injured. He is saved by Chiron and his relatives, the Party Ponies. Chiron is rehired after being proven innocent, and the Golden Fleece cures Thalia's tree of Luke's elder snake poison, a substance taken from Tartarus in the Underworld. Suddenly, Thalia, the daughter of Zeus himself, is spewed out of the tree for the reason that the Golden Fleece does its work too well, bringing her back to life, and giving Kronos yet another chance to control the prophecy.
This book's prophecy is given to Clarisse La Rue.
"You shall sail the iron ship with warriors of bone,
You shall find what you seek and make it your own,
But despair for your life entombed within stone,
And fail without friends, to fly home alone!"
- Clarisse sails in a Confederate Civil War ironclad which has skeleton warriors.
- She finds the Golden Fleece and it is given to her by Percy so she can return it.
- Polyphemus traps Grover and Clarisse in a cave with a boulder.
- She needed Percy, Annabeth, Tyson, and Grover's help to get the fleece from Polyphemus, and to board a flight to Camp Half Blood. She flies home alone in a plane with the Fleece, as they had enough cash for only one flight.
- Percy Jackson
- Annabeth Chase
- Luke Castellan
- Grover Underwood
- Clarisse La Rue
- Tantalus — a centuries-old demigod king from the Fields of Punishment in the Underworld and Percy's least favorite camp director. He enjoys taunting both Percy and Tyson.
- Charles Beckendorf
- Silena Beauregard
- Thalia Grace
- The Gray Sisters
- Chiron and his siblings, the Party Ponies.
- My Best Friend Shops for a Wedding Dress
- I Play Dodgeball with Cannibals
- We Hail the Taxi of Eternal Torment
- Tyson Plays with Fire
- I Get a New Cabin Mate
- Demon Pigeons Attack
- I Accept Gifts from a Stranger
- We Board the Princess Andromeda
- I Have the Worst Family Reunion Ever
- We Hitch a Ride with Dead Confederates
- Clarisse Blows Up Everything
- We Check In to C.C.'s Spa & Resort
- Annabeth Tries to Swim Home
- We Meet the Sheep of Doom
- Nobody Gets the Fleece
- I Go Down with the Ship
- We Get a Surprise on Miami Beach
- The Party Ponies Invade
- The Chariot Race Ends with a Bang
- The Fleece Works Its Magic Too Well
- The Sea of Monsters is the shortest book in the Percy Jackson series, and as of now, in the whole Camp Half-Blood series.
- In The Sea of Monsters, Percy rode the underside of a sheep from Polyphemus' flock in order to get inside the Cyclopes cave. This also happened to Odysseus but instead he rode under the ram in order to escape from Polyphemus after Odysseus stabbed him in the eye.
- Blackjack was incorrectly referred to as a female pegasus.
- When Annabeth is explaining the myth pertaining to the origins of the Golden Fleece, she incorrectly calls the two twins Cadmus and Europa, when in actuality it was Phryxus and Helle. Cadmus and Europa are two characters in a completely different myth.
- Grover stalls for time by unthreading a wedding dress, when engaged to marry Polyphemus. In The Odyssey, Penelope used the same tactic.
- Annabeth asks Percy to tie her to a pole, so that she could hear the song of the Sirens. Odysseus asked his men to do the same thing for the same reason.
- While at C.C.'s Spa and Resort, Percy and Annabeth represent two different characters from The Odyssey: Odysseus (Annabeth) and his men (Percy). Like Odysseus's men, Percy was cursed by Circe. Like Odysseus, Annabeth took a drug from the god Hermes that made her impervious to Circe's magic, and rescued the sorceress's victims.
- In the novel, the Graeae mention transporting the original Jason, but they are not mentioned in the myth of the Argonauts. It is possible that the Gray Sisters let slip the name of a Roman hero -- Jason Grace. If that were true, it is unclear why they would only use his first name or why they would mention it in front of two Greek heroes.
- This is the first novel to feature a Roman demigod -- Hylla, daughter of Bellona. The future Queen of the Amazons would later play a major role in The Son of Neptune.
- The Graeae, the Stymphalian Birds, the Colchis Bulls, and the Hydra are the only monsters they face in this book that were not also confronted by Odysseus, These four were confronted by: Perseus (Graeae), Hercules (Stymphalians and Hydra), and Jason (Colchis Bulls).
- The scene with Circe is mirrored in The Lost Hero with the confrontation with Medea.