Ah the fan service, at least it goes both ways in this. Lucy has been kidnapped to be taken back to her wealthy father and the evil dudes are out to utterly destroy Fairy Tail Guild. Grey, Natsu and Erza all have their own battles to fight, especially the latter two. Literally that’s all this volume is. I mean, if you’ve gotten this far you’re probably going to read on. And if you’re new to it, don’t start here. There is some character development, most of it Natsu’s and some of it surprising (I thought Erza was a bit older than she is). My biggest complaint is Lucy is borderline worthless. She is always getting into trouble and waiting for the guys to bail her out. Yes, she does finally rescue Natsu at the end but I wish she were more like Erza. I’m so tired for the helpless female trope. I don’t expect them all to kick ass but I’d settle for not getting kidnapped and standing around shaking every other chapter. If you ignore Lucy though, this was a pretty good volume.
The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
This is the second in the Percy Jackson series and the bad new starts a lot faster this time naturally since we don’t have to establish the whole world’s foundation. Percy has one buddy at his new school, Tyson, a big, ugly, rather dumb kid everyone picks on. Tyson is a ward of the school being a homeless boy. By the end of the first couple of chapters, Percy’s school is in flames, he’s on the run with Annabeth and Tyson to Camp Half- Blood.
They get there to learn Thalia’s tree has been poisoned and Chiron has been let go. Tantalus is now camp activity director and he pretty much hates Percy. Tyson turns out to be a cyclops and since only one god fathers those, Percy realizes he has a monster half brother. In the mean time Grover is a prisoner by the keeper of the Golden Fleece. Percy, Annabeth and Tyson go to rescue Grover and get the Fleece against orders. Clarisse, Ares’s daughter is the one who is supposed to get it. Doesn’t take long for Percy to run up against Luke again and find out more of his big scheme.
I don’t care that this series is designed for young readers. I think people of all ages can enjoy it. It’s great. It weaves in Percy and Annabeth’s hero stories with Greek myth and all the action you could want.