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August 23rd, 2013

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

Starring: Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, Douglas Smith, Leven Rambin, Brandon T Jackson, Jake Abel, Anthony Head, Stanley Tucci, Nathan Fillion, Connor Dunn, Paloma Kwiatkowski, and more.

Directed by: Thor Freudenthal Screenplay by: Marc Guggenheim Based on the Novel by: Rick Riordan Cinematography by: Shelly Johnson Original Music by: Andrew Lockington

Premise: An attack on the demigod haven brings Percy face to face with the Lightning Thief, Luke son of Hermes. Luke asks Percy to join him and rebel against the gods, the very ones who'd probably yet to tell him of  the prophecy. A prophecy which claims that Percy will be either the savior or destroyer of those around him. With these ominous words the race begins to see who will find the Golden Fleece and either use it to save the haven's keeper, Thalia, or release the elder god Cronos back into the world to have his revenge. (Rated PG)


1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: Logan Lerman reprises his role as Poseidon's son, Percy Jackson. Logan did a great job conveying Percy's insecurities as the success of his first adventure starts feeling more like a fluke rather than an achievement. Leven Rambin was fun as the haughty and competitive Clarisse. Nathan Fillion was a riot as the god Hermes.

2) Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up: "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters" is filled with some incredible visuals. The mechanical bull early in the film was fantastic. Hephaestus would have been proud. The giant mouth of the sea monster in the Bermuda Triangle was simple and at the same time incredibly impressive. The visuals from inside the monster were even better.

An unexpected treat was a Confederate ironclad steam warship and its crew of zombies. The ship looked great. We even got to see her in action. And wait until you see what they do with Cronos - great stuff!

3) Plot/Story - Thumbs Up: Just like Jason and the Argonauts, Percy has many obstacles placed in his path in his attempts to reach the Golden Fleece. A lot of details in Percy's journey tie back to the original stories of Jason and his quests, which made for some nice parallels. Added to this are Percy's swinging emotions on his self worth, his seeming abandonment by his father, and more shockingly still, the discovery that he has a brother. So plenty there to keep the hero busy inside and out.

Several other themes also underscore the plot giving it more flavor - Annabeth's feelings with regards to cyclops, Tyson's outsider status with both humans and those of his race, and a couple of others.

4) Stunts - Total Thumbs Up: While the creatures were CGI, most of those being attacked by them weren't, which meant we got to see a lot of stunt action. The lines between reality and CGI become more blurred every year and well executed stunts just add that extra bit of realism to the illusion. Great job.

5) Locations/Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: From the gorgeous forests in British Columbia to Six Flags in New Orleans, the locations department picked wonderful and unusual spots for their scenes. The great choices were made even more powerful by the excellent sweeping cinematography.

Conclusion: "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters" is a fun quest story with some added elements. Great CGI makes this world of demigods and ancient Greek lore come to life.

Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)

Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic



(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!

"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."


(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!

The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."


(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.

(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”


“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.

(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”


Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”

(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”


Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.

(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”


Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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