A humorous and fast-paced adventure with some questionable content.
When Percy Jackson, son of the Greek god Poseidon, receives an urgent call from his satyr friend Grover, he and his friends Annabeth and Thalia rush to help--after Percy's mom drops them off, of course.
Grover has made a shocking discovery: two powerful new half-bloods. But before Percy and his friends can get the children safely away, they are attacked. Soon Percy is off on another quest, this time to find the missing goddess Artemis and save the life of a friend. But with an unknown monster of great power to face, what are the chances any of them will survive?
In general the good characters behave morally, with a few exceptions.
When Percy decides to leave camp without permission, he asks a fellow camper to "tell Chiron..." but can't think of what he should tell him. The other camper responds with, "I'll make something up...I'm good at that." Apparently, this isn't an entirely truthful young man.
Percy deceives his brother Tyson to keep him from worrying about a mutual friend. One character drives a car despite being underage, and we are told that Percy's mom took him to drive on empty beach roads though he is not yet old enough for a learner's permit.
At one point and his friends, stuck in the middle of nowhere, borrow a truck that seems to be abandoned but has a full tank of gas. Later Percy balks at the idea of stealing a vehicle, even though they're desperate for transportation. Happily, the heroes choose a different approach.
Percy tries to consult the Oracle of Delphi again, and the Oracle gives a prophecy concerning the upcoming quest. There is a prophecy overarching the series about the future of one of the half-bloods, and Percy often has prophetic or otherwise supernatural dreams. He also shares a semi-telepathic link with his friend Grover.
Percy and Chiron use a gesture for warding off evil. The expression "thank the gods" appears at least once.
Grover the satyr performs a ritual that allows him to foresee certain things based on the way a pattern of acorns fall. It is somewhat reminiscent of someone reading tea leaves.
The half-blood children pray to their Greek god parents; one of them offers a sacrifice to his father, something valuable to him.
There is mention of a possible animal sacrifice which will give the performer great power.
Percy and his friends fight a number of monsters and other beings throughout the story, so violence is a given, but most of it is not particularly graphic.
A villain pours a dark red liquid that Percy bets isn't "Hawaiian Punch" into some earth in order to grow zombie warriors. There is discussion of offering the entrails of an animal as a sacrifice. At least one major character dies. At the end of this book it is unclear whether another is dead as well.
Drug and Alcohol Content
We are told that one character's mother drank heavily, and died in a car accident as a result. Dionysis, the camp director, attempts to serve wine to the campers, until Chiron reminds him they are underage. He proceeds to peruse a wine magazine during the ensuing discussion, commenting on it once or twice. Percy's mother has a visitor over and he offers her more wine.
One female character makes the comment that "Apollo is hot." He later mentions that he's her half-brother.
The camp director, Dionysus, reveals that he is married, and Percy says "But I thought you got in trouble for chasing a wood nymph." As usual, fidelity is not big on the Greek gods' list of virtues. Again, the basic premise if this series is that the Greek gods have human offspring from various extramarital relationship.
One of a pair of bronze statues begins to tell the kids what apparently would be an inappropriate story about meeting up with some female statues, but his twin cuts him off.
Percy and Annabeth dance, as do Grover and Thalia.
Crude or Profane Language or Content
A group of boulders are said to look like animal dropping, and someone suggests giving them a slightly rude name.
While visiting Hoover Dam, one of the characters innocently says "Let us find the dam snack bar." This leads to several subsequent puns on the swear word. "Oh my g*d!" is used at intervals.
I was slightly disappointed in Riordan's transition from the end of the second book into the opening of this one. Apparently enough time has passed that Percy has had a chance to become friendly with Thalia, who appeared at the end of the last book, but this isn't well explained. We're simply thrown into an adventure where the players seem to know each other and work well together, but we're not quite sure why. As an adult reader, I found this confusing, but the series is aimed at young readers, which makes it worse.
Despite this, the book proceeds with the usual fast-paced action and heavy dose of humor that readers have come to expect from the Percy Jackson series. Another entertaining read from Rick Riordan, though the individual reader will have to determine whether they want to get past some of the unpleasant content in order to read it.