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After devouring the first installment in the series and most importantly, after obtaining the approbation and adulation of two little girls (a 11-year-old niece and a 12-year-old who also happens to be the daughter of one of my best friends) who set me off on my Percy Jackson journey, I had no difficulty in lapping up book 2. If book 1 had piqued my interest, then suffice it to say that book 2 raised my anticipation to heights hitherto unimagined.
After managing to successfully retrieve Zeus’ Lightning Bolt and grudgingly receiving his approval, Percy returns to Camp Half Blood an absolute hero. Exemplarily acquitting himself on his quest, Percy, Annabeth and Glover are accorded a hero’s welcome. Just when Percy decides to let his hair and guard down a wee bit, trouble, as its mischievous wont, besets Percy.
His best friend Grover is in dire need of assistance. After embarking on an endeavour of his own, Grover finds himself in a terrible mess. Meanwhile Camp Half Blood is bathed in its own overflowing barrel of woes as the tree that is Thalia has been inexplicably poisoned and is slowly losing vitality and life. Chiron is implicated on false charges of bringing grief to Thalia and is summarily dismissed. His place is taken by an obnoxious, orange coloured prison wear clad, Tantalus. Tantalus is more an inveterate sadist than a camp director.
If Thalia has to be revived then, a Golden Fleece that has the power of revival needs to be obtained. However, it is the daughter of the War of God, Ares who is bequeathed the responsibility of embarking on a quest to get the Golden Fleece. But as is the inevitable habit and inveterate fate of Percy, he cannot be shackled to one place for long. With overt assistance by Hermes and the covert help of Poseidon, Percy and Annabeth once again find themselves in the eye of a raging storm.
Talking about eyes, if Percy and Annabeth are to succeed in their quest, they must among others, outwit a monstrous Cyclops who has one eye literally on his forehead and the same eye on marriage. Yes, marriage! Ghost ships, cannibals, Gods about to go berserk, Gods going berserk, and Gods gone berserk, goats in bridal wear all contrive to create a dizzying concoction that is a tribute to a riotous and fertile imagination.
Ok. It’s time for me to get onto a video call to articulate my understanding of the book to an intrepid duo. Till such time….