Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live. Through reviews, articles and discussions, we want to spark intellectual thought, spiritual growth and a desire to follow the command of Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."


Family uses Plugged In as a ‘significant compass’

"I am at a loss for words to adequately express how much it means to my husband and me to know that there is an organization like Focus that is rooting for us. Just today I was reading Psalm 37 and thinking about how your ministry provides ways to 'dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.' We have two teenagers and an 8-year-old in our household...Plugged In has become a significant compass for our family. All three of our kids are dedicated to their walk with Christ but they still encounter challenges. Thanks for all of your research and persistence in helping us navigate through stormy waters."

Plugged In helps college student stand-up for his belief

"Thanks for the great job you do in posting movie and television reviews online. I’m a college freshman and I recently had a confrontational disagreement with my English professor regarding an R-rated film. It is her favorite movie and she wanted to show it in class. I went to your Web site to research the film’s content. Although I had not seen the movie myself, I was able to make an educated argument against it based on the concerns you outlined. The prof said that she was impressed by my stand and decided to poll the whole class and give us a choice. We overwhelmingly voted to watch a G-rated movie instead! I’ve learned that I can trust your site and I will be using it a lot in the future.”

Plugged In brings ‘Sanity and Order’ to Non-believer

“Even though I don’t consider myself a Christian, I find your Plugged In Web site useful and thought-provoking. No one reviews movies like you do. Instead of being judgmental, you put entertainment ‘on trial.’ After presenting the evidence, you allow the jury of your readers to decide for themselves what they should do. In my opinion, you bring sanity and order to the wild world of modern day entertainment. Keep up the good work!”

Mom thinks Plugged In is the ‘BEST Christian media review site’

"Our family doesn't go to the movies until we go online and check out your assessment of a given film. I think this is the BEST Christian media review website that I've found, and I recommend it to my family and friends. Keep up the good work!"


Our hope is that whether you're a parent, youth leader or teen, the information and tools at Plugged In will help you and your family make appropriate media decisions. We are privileged to do the work we do, and are continually thankful for the generosity and support from you, our loyal readers, listeners and friends.

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Book Review

This book has been reviewed by Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine. It is the second book in "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" series.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Thirteen-year-old Percy Jackson's strange dreams tell him something's wrong at Half-Blood Hill, a summer camp for demigods. He also receives desperate midnight messages from his satyr friend, Grover. Annabeth, a half-human, half-god camper, similar to Percy and Grover, appears at Percy's school and confirms his fears. She saves him from a gang of monsters trying to slaughter him on the dodgeball court. Then she delivers him and his hulking new friend, Tyson, to Half-Blood Hill.

Percy, Tyson and Annabeth find the camp in chaos. Monsters are attacking, and campers desperately try to defend themselves. When Zeus' daughter Thalia turned into a tree six years earlier, her spirit protected the camp from monsters. Now, someone has poisoned Thalia's tree. Percy's mentor, a centaur named Chiron, has been blamed and fired from Half-Blood Hill. A spirit from the fields of punishment named Tantalus has assumed Chiron's position as assistant camp director.

Annabeth reveals that Tyson is a Cyclops, and Poseidon himself claims Tyson as his son (and Percy's half-brother). Percy and Annabeth ask the camp leaders for permission to seek the Golden Fleece, which they believe will heal Thalia's tree. The leaders give the quest to another camper, a belligerent daughter of Ares named Clarisse. Urged on by Hermes, the messenger god, Percy, decides to find the Fleece himself. Annabeth and Tyson join him on this unauthorized journey.

The trio lands on a cruise ship, only to find Luke, a former camper and Percy's nemesis from the first book in this series, The Lightning Thief, is its captain. He is recruiting half-bloods to help him start a new civilization with Kronos at the helm. Kronos, the Titan king and enemy to the gods, was previously cut into pieces but re-forms a little each time a half-blood joins Luke's army.

After escaping from Luke and subsequently battling a multi-headed monster, Percy, Annabeth and Tyson are saved by Clarisse. They all sail on her ghost ship full of dead Confederate soldiers toward the Sea of Monsters (i.e., the Bermuda Triangle) in search of Grover and the Fleece. As they enter the Sea, monsters attack the ship. Percy and Annabeth, thinking they're the sole survivors, sail into the lair of Circe, where Percy is temporarily transformed into a rodent by the man-hating sorceress. They escape once more and sail toward the island of the Sirens. Annabeth desperately wants to hear them. She asks Percy to tie her to something so she can listen but not be lured by their songs. Percy plugs his own ears with wax. Annabeth is so mesmerized that she cuts her way out of her ropes and swims to the island. Percy narrowly saves her.

Percy and Annabeth reach the island of the Cyclops Polyphemus, where they find both Grover and the Fleece. They also discover that Clarisse and Tyson are alive. The heroes battle and trick the Cyclops, escaping with the Fleece. In keeping with the prophesy Clarisse received from the Oracle, the group sends her back to camp via airplane with the Fleece. Luke recaptures Percy, Annabeth, Grover and Tyson. Then Percy sends a message telling the Half-Blood campers that Luke poisoned Thalia's tree. Chiron and his relatives save Percy and friends, returning them to camp where Chiron's name is cleared and he is reinstated. The Fleece heals Thalia's tree, and Thalia herself emerges from the tree as the half-blood she once was.

Christian Beliefs


Other Belief Systems

The premise of the "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" series is that the gods of mythology exist today and control world events with their magical powers. As in the ancient myths, the gods and goddesses still have affairs with humans. Their children, such as Percy, are powerful demi-gods. Though some appear fully human, others are hybrids of humans and animals. Luke's assistants, for example, are children of a woman who fell in love with a bear and produced twin sons. Percy and other half-bloods frequently pray to the gods for help or direction.

As the centers of power have moved throughout history, so have the gods, who now live in, above and below America. The monsters that pursue them are primal forces without souls so they cannot die, only re-form themselves. The Oracle of Delphi (a spirit who lives in the attic at Half-Blood Hill) provides prophesies concerning what the demi-gods will or must do. The oracle has given Chiron prophesies about Percy, indicating that he may not live to see his 16th birthday. Evenings at Half-Blood Hill include camper rituals such as giving the best part of dinner as an offering to the gods and singing songs about the gods around an enchanted campfire. Different items and creatures (such as the Fleece) radiate "nature magic."

Percy is able to sense the presence of evil in people and places. He can also control the water and ships sailing on it. He sometimes makes ancient gestures to ward off evil, and he hopes he will inherit the luck of Perseus, the Greek hero after whom he was named. Percy's headmaster won't allow him to return to school because he had an "un-groovy karma" that disrupted the school's "educational aura."

Circe, daughter to the goddess of magic, invites Annabeth to become a sorceress like her. She is angry that men get all the glory and says the only way women can achieve power is through sorcery. The Fleece's magic rids Thalia's tree of the poison and fills it with new power. Percy tells Polyphemus that the Fleece should be used to heal and that it belongs to the children of the gods.

Authority Roles

Poseidon acknowledges his sons as his own and brings the two together to help each other. He aids Percy in his quest by providing transportation and allowing him to command the sea, and he gives Tyson an internship. He rarely communicates directly with his children. Chiron cares about the campers, especially Percy. He keeps tabs on the camp even after he's fired so he can help Percy accomplish his mission. Hermes, Luke's dad, cares about family and hopes Percy can help his son make better choices. He tells Percy that sometimes gods have to act indirectly, even with their own kids, or more problems are created. Urging Percy to look for the Fleece, he suggests that sometimes even if young people disobey, they can escape punishment if they are able to accomplish something extraordinary. Percy's mother, barely seen in this book, loves her son. She's concerned for his safety from monsters and tries to help him live a normal life as much as possible.


Percy and his friends use phrases like Oh my gods, Thank the gods and Go to Tartarus (rather than go to h---). D--n and darn each appear a time or two. A few characters curse in ancient Greek, or curse each other, without profanity appearing in the text. Annabeth swears by the River Styx that she will try to keep Percy safe. Percy mentions enemies getting their booties whooped. Though many battles rage, particularly between Percy and various monsters, the scenes are rarely graphic. Monsters can't die, so they vanish rather than leaving bloody, broken bodies. Some scary or disturbing images appear, including dead, skeletal Confederate soldiers on Clarisse's ship. Annabeth threatens to stab Polyphemus' eye, and Percy later lands with both feet on the already-damaged eye. Tantalus tells a story about a mortal king with ungrateful, rebellious children. The king made the kids into a stew and served it to the gods.


None, other than a brief explanation that gods and humans have had relationships resulting in children.

Discussion Topics

Get free discussion questions for this book and others, at FocusOnTheFamily.com/discuss-books.

Additional Comments/Notes

Alcohol: The camp director is Dionysus, the god of wine. His father, Zeus, has punished him by forbidding him to have alcohol and making him work at Half-Blood Hill.

You can request a review of a title you can't find at reviewrequests@family.org.

Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book's review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range

12 to 18


Rick Riordan






Record Label



Miramax Books, a division of Hyperion Books for Children


On Video

Year Published



Mark Twain Reader's Award, 2009; BookSense Top 10 Summer Pick, 2006; VOYA Top of the Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School, 2006; and others


We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!