I've been reading these like you eat peanuts or potato chips or whatever junk food you inhale and you look back and you can't believe you consumed all that. The thing is, you see, these are madly quick reads--as in I can read twice the number of pages in an hour than I usually can. Well, they're children's books, so certainly nothing demanding, they're in large font, and they're heavy on the action and dialogue so they zip by. And like junk food, no they're not nutritious--this isn't going to help you build muscles and it's not full of vitamins. Brain food this is not. But yes, they're fun, and this is my favorite of the books so far. Mostly because this was the first Percy Jackson book where I wasn't reminded of Harry Potter every five pages. Maybe I still would had I started here, but I'm used to it enough I guess I'm not continually shouting HP clone! This helps. A lot. It also introduced several new characters: Thalia (ok, we got a glimpse last book, but this time she was fore and center), Bianca and Nico Di Angelo, Zoe Nightshade, among others. And I liked them--even felt more than a bit for them at times. And this still is imaginative in the way it uses classical mythology in contemporary America. So, yeah, this left me definitely wanting to read the next installment.