Check out our episode here! (featuring The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters and The Titan's Curse) The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
Percy is having another dream. In this one, Grover is running from the Cyclops, Polyphemus, and goes into a wedding shop. The shop blows up and as Percy wakes, he hears Polyphemus's voice. As he opens his eyes, Percy sees a dark object at the window. It looks like a shadow belonging to nobody and nothing.
It’s the last day of school at Meriwether College Prep, and soon, Percy will head to Camp Half-Blood for the summer. Percy is stuck playing dodgeball with Tyson, his homeless friend who gets bullied by the other kids. They’re playing against seventh graders, and they are huge. These aren’t normal seventh graders, they are in fact Laistrygonian Giants who summon explosive dodge-balls in an attempt to kill Percy. Tyson, who is not affected at all by the Giants' cannonballs of flaming explosive death, protects Percy. Strange. Annabeth suddenly appears and slays the last Giant by stabbing it from behind. Annabeth and Percy flee to Camp Half-Blood and take Tyson with them. Annabeth reluctantly takes Tyson, she does not like him for some reason and isn’t very nice to him, but Tyson seems oblivious to her attitude. They travel by calling the Gray Sisters taxi, and when the three drivers share one eye, the journey, as you might expect, is not smooth.
When they reach the camp border, the Gray Sisters give Percy a piece of paper with numbers on it, but they don’t make sense, so Percy pockets the note. As they head toward the camp, they find it under attack by two bronze Colchis Bulls made by Hephaestus. Thalia's pine tree, which protects the camp, has been poisoned by an unknown intruder, allowing monsters to cross the border. Tyson is able to restrain one bull and Clarisse, daughter of Ares and camp resident, takes care of the other one. When Percy, Annabeth and Tyson enter the camp they find Chiron has been fired because he is suspected of poisoning the tree since he is a son of Kronos. Chiron has been replaced by Tantalus, a man summoned from the Fields of Punishment who was cursed by Zeus to forever go thirsty and hungry (he did attempt to serve his own son at a feast with the gods, so…).
It is only now that Percy finds out that Tyson is actually a Cyclops and also a son of Poseidon, which explains his resistance to the flaming cannonballs of death. Percy has never looked Tyson in the face to notice his single eye, which was hidden from the mortals by The Mist. The other campers are horrible to Tyson and mock Percy for having a Cyclops as a half-brother and Percy starts to feel embarrassed. Tyson seems, if not oblivious to the derision, to at least not be bothered by it, and is overall delighted by the camp and having family in Percy. Tantalus, as the new activities director, revives an ancient tradition, chariot racing. This causes Percy and Annabeth to have an argument, Percy wants Tyson on their team but Annabeth has a universal dislike for all Cyclopes, eventually though Annabeth relents. Stymphalian Birds attack during the competition and Percy, Annabeth, and Tyson help stop the attack, but Tantalus accuses them of disturbing the birds with their terrible driving.
The race was won by Clarisse, the appearance of the Stymphalian Birds might have given her an advantage as her competitors were stunned or fighting back. Regardless of these extenuating circumstances, this immediately makes her Tantalus's favorite camper and he orders a feast in her honor and punishes Percy, Annabeth, and Tyson with kitchen duties. While washing the dishes, Percy and Annabeth call a truce. He explains to her about his dream of Grover and that he shares an empathy link with him. He knows that Grover is in trouble and cannot escape from the Sea of Monsters. Later that night at the campfire, Percy tells the rest of the campers that it is possible to save the camp with the Golden Fleece. Annabeth encourages Percy to ask Tantalus to send somebody on a quest to get it. Percy also shows them the piece of paper the Gray Sisters gave them, and Percy realizes the numbers are longitude and latitude, a location somewhere in the sea. Tantalus relents to the pressure and allows a quest to retrieve the Golden Fleece but gives it to Clarisse, who is then permitted to visit the mummified Oracle before she leaves for information about the quest.
Later, when Percy takes a walk by the beach to clear his head, he meets Hermes who wants him to go on the quest, too. Hermes, as is his godly disposition, is cryptic and advises that though a wrong is committed, if the doer makes the best out of it, everything may end well. Hermes then gives Percy three yellow duffel bags filled with essentials such as multivitamins, ambrosia, clothes, money (both golden drachmas and mortal cash) and a thermos filled with wind. To expedite matters, Hermes also summons Annabeth and Tyson then disappears, leaving Percy to explain the quest before the truancy harpies arrive. Percy also receives help from his father Poseidon in the form of hippocampi, water horses, who carry them away from camp and to a passing cruise ship, the Princess Andromeda, which will hopefully get them close to the coordinates given to him by the Gray sisters. The entire ship seems to be empty, so they decide to stay the night.
They find out that the Princess Andromeda cruise ship is owned by Luke, son of Hermes and Percy’s attempted murderer, and the Titan Army. Of course Percy, Annabeth and Tyson are captured and this is when they all learn that Luke has been trying to help Kronos overthrow Olympus. Yikes. With the aid of the Thermos of Winds given to them by Hermes, they are able to escape the cruise ship. When they reach land they are in the middle of nowhere but Percy sends Tyson away to find some doughnuts as an excuse to talk to Annabeth in private. He needs to know about Luke and why she detests Cyclopes. Surprisingly, Tyson actually finds doughnuts! Score! Oh wait… he got them from the nearby Monster Donut Shop. In the middle of nowhere. The Monster Donut Shop is connected to the life force of a Hydra which comes to kill them. Clarisse arrives to save them with a ship of her own gifted to her by her father Ares, the CSS Birmingham, a civil war iron battleship manned by dead confederates.
The CSS Birmingham enters the Sea of Monsters, commonly known as the Bermuda Triangle. It is damaged as it traverses the narrow strait between Scylla the sea-monster and Charybdis the whirlpool. The engine starts to heat up dangerously and Tyson volunteers to fix it since he can withstand the unbearable heat being generated. As the engine explodes with Tyson inside, Percy is snatched by Scylla. When Percy comes to, he finds himself on a raft with Annabeth, who used the last of the Thermos of Winds to help them escape, but who has not seen Tyson or Clarisse. They wash up at C.C.'s Spa and Resort, which they later find out is Circe's Island, a prison for male demigods. While Annabeth gets a makeover, Percy is turned into a guinea pig. Annabeth uses Hermes' multivitamins to turn Percy and the rest of the guinea pigs in the cage back to humans. Turns out, Circe has been keeping Blackbeard and his crew as pets. They all escape on Blackbeard’s ship, controlled by Percy's demigod sea powers, with the pirates doing some looting and pillaging on their way off the island.
As they continue their journey, they need to go past the island of the Sirens. Annabeth wants to hear their song as apparently hearing it will reveal the listeners' deepest desires. Percy is reluctant, but agrees to tie Annabeth to the ship mast while he stuffs wax into his ears to stop himself from hearing their enchanting song. As soon as they pass the island of the Sirens, Annabeth begs Percy to free her, but Percy refuses. Annabeth escapes using her knife and dives overboard. Percy goes after her, and when he reaches her, he sees her vision from the siren song. It’s of Manhattan, she is with her mother and father reunited, and Luke. Managing to shake her out of the Sirens' spell, Percy helps Annabeth back to the ship. Annabeth reveals to Percy her fatal flaw, hubris. Eventually they travel past an island with one of Hephaestus's forges, which spurs Annabeth to finally tell Percy why she doesn’t like Cyclopes. When she was on her way to Camp Half-Blood with Thalia, Luke and Grover, they got lost. They were almost at Camp Half-Blood when they were attacked by a Cyclops. It was at this confrontation where Thalia sacrificed herself so Annabeth, Luke and Grover could safely make it inside the camp borders. Soon, they reach the island of Polyphemus.
Polyphemus kidnapped Grover because he thinks Grover is a female Cyclops and wants to marry him. Polyphemus has really bad eyesight, but does this really explain what's going on? Grover has been putting off the big day by taking his time making his bridal train. Sometimes this requires unpicking and starting again as perfection can’t be rushed. Percy and Annabeth sneak inside Polyphemus’ cave by riding the underside of his giant sheep as they're herded inside. In the cave, they find that Clarisse is also imprisoned. While Annabeth taunts and distracts Polyphemus with her magical cap of invisibility and using the name "Nobody," Percy manages to free Grover and Clarisse, but just after he does, he hears Annabeth scream.
Polyphemus caught her, so Percy draws his attention in order to save her. Percy, Clarisse, Grover, and an injured Annabeth escape the cave and cross a bridge, trying to destroy it before Polyphemus makes it across, but he does. Polyphemus swats Grover and Clarisse aside but is knocked down by an enraged Percy. While he is urged by his friends to kill Polyphemus, he can’t. Polyphemus is also a son of Poseidon and he reminds him of Tyson. Percy does threaten to kill him if he stands up and starts to back away, but Polyphemus instead swats at Percy. Just as he is about to kill and eat Percy, a rock is thrown into his mouth and the Cyclops falls into a chasm. It's Tyson! He survived the explosion on the CSS Birmingham due to his immunity to fire and was pulled to the surface by a hippocampus named Rainbow that he befriended earlier.
Tyson entertains the carnivorous sheep while the others steal the Golden Fleece and run down into the water and begin swimming for Blackbeard's ship. Polyphemus, however, somehow survived the fall and chases after them. Annabeth, who is wrapped up and being healed by Golden Fleece, Grover, and Clarisse are able to board the ship, while Percy and Tyson stay and fight Polyphemus who tries to get Tyson to stay with him and learn how to be a "real Cyclops." Tyson tells him, "You are not my kind," and continues helping Percy. They are able to overcome Polyphemus but Percy still cannot kill him. Instead, they leave him and keep swimming for the ship. Clarisse, from the deck of the Queen Anne’s Revenge, starts to taunt Polyphemus, who throws a rock into the ship and sinks it. Percy and Tyson call Rainbow and his hippocampus friends and ask them to take them away from the island. As they are leaving, Polyphemus can be heard gloating about finally getting “Nobody.” Shh, don’t tell him! Rainbow and his friends take Percy and company to Miami, Florida, where Percy sends Clarisse back to Camp Half-Blood with the Golden Fleece rescued from Polyphemus's island.
For the millionth time this book, Percy, Annabeth, Grover, and Tyson are captured, this time by Luke who invites them to enjoy the hospitality aboard the Princess Andromeda. They decline, but Percy is able to contact Camp Half-Blood by Iris Message and trick Luke into admitting he poisoned Thalia's tree for everyone to hear. Luke and Percy duel and Percy is injured. Before Luke can strike the killing blow, Percy is saved by Chiron and his relatives, the Party Ponies. Chiron is then rehired as Camp Activities Director after his innocence is proven. They put the Golden Fleece on Thalia's tree, curing it from the elder snake poison that Luke took from Tartarus in the Underworld. But uh oh, the Golden Fleece heals the tree a little too well. Thalia, the daughter of Zeus, is ejected from the tree. Yay! But, oh no. Since Thalia is not yet sixteen, this means Kronos has two chances to control the prophecy that Chiron has always feared… the one that says a child of Zeus, Poseidon or Hades will help Kronos conquer Olympus.