Do you ever get a song stuck in your head that you just can’t seem to get rid of unless you jump overboard, swim through a minefield, and drown yourself? Then you’ll be able to relate to the events in the next chapter of Michael Reads Percy Jackson: The Sea of Monsters…
Annabeth Tries to Swim Home
This chapter felt a bit stretched to me, but that may be due to my having to stop midway through in order to take care of some other things. Overall, I liked it, though. It gave me a little more detail about what happened with Thalia, allowed Percy a chance to be clever with his powers, and even tossed in another dream-vision with a hallucination on the side!
First, Thalia: A cyclops tricked them? Hearing Annabeth say that was a bit of a stunner, given how we’ve yet to see a cyclops behave in any way that could be considered “clever” in that regard. The amount of time for which Grover has managed to stall with Polyphemus puts that guy at Elmer Fudd levels at best. And as for Tyson, well, he’s heroic, he’s brave when it counts, and he’s a whiz with a forge. But he’s not someone I’d let plan my castle onslaught any day.
But hey, I’m being monsterist, aren’t I? I’ve only seen two cyclops in these books so far. I shouldn’t judge.
It was Percy’s dream about the sarcophagus that interested me the most. I loves me a good prophetic vision. In the dream was someone Percy at first thought was Annabeth, who carried the Aegis shield. Even though didn’t make that connection, I can’t help but think this can’t be anyone but Athena. But what does it mean? A vision of the future? A warning from Athena to show him what not to do? (Though a goddess teaching the wrong thing to do by showing herself doing something wrong implies a willingness to humble herself that I wouldn’t normally expect from a Greek deity.) Or was Athena meant to represent Annabeth?
I’m not sure one way or the other, really. It later occurred to me that the girl in the dream doesn’t look like the vision of Athena in Annabeth’s Siren-vision. This is not to say a goddess can’t change her look, of course. Or did Athena loan out the Aegis to someone else?
And then come the Sirens, perhaps one of the most well-known creatures of Greek myth. Like Odysseus, Annabeth wants to hear the Sirens. I can’t blame her. I’d be really curious myself, but I’d be nervous about letting myself hear something that would only torture me, wisdom or not. (And what if the only wisdom I get is, “You shouldn’t put yourself into this sort of situation, dumbass!”?) Annabeth is braver than I. Then again, she could also kick my ass if so inclined.
Of course, it goes poorly. Percy just barely manages to rescue her with a bit of quick aqua-thinking, and thus is the ancient Greek concept of hubris is introduced to the reader. Did you know that hubris is the number one killer of mortals in Greek myth? Well, okay, so I kind of made that up—I didn’t actually do a tally. But it happens a lot. Get too hubristic and before you know it you’re turned into a spider, flying to close to the sun, or burning up at the reins of a sun-chariot. Fortunately, as a daughter of the goddess of wisdom, knowing that she has a tendency toward hubris may help Annabeth keep hers in check.
Shameless side note: One of the stories in Mythed Connections is titled “Playing With Hubris.” 😀
- Who do you suppose laid the mines in the water around the Sirens’ island? Someone trying to quarantine the place? Or did they hire a contractor to do that themselves?
- Percy manages a clever idea with the air-bubble submarine. Nice job, kid!
As for my favorite line from this chapter, none really jumped out at me. Therefore I’m picking this, the last line, because it’s a good way to end a chapter:
“We had reached the home of the Cyclops.”
The journey is over, and the story is about to take a new turn.