I definitly like this book better than the first. Maybe it was because I had seen the movie first, and while the movie and the book are way different, there were still the same elements so I kinda new what to expect while this one was fresh for me. Then why both 3 stars if I liked this one better? Well that's because even though I did like this one better than Book 1, this is still not a series I am in love with. I like it so far, it's entertaining, but it's just not one of my favorites. I think it's a great series for it's intended audience - boys ages 11-14. The writing is good, it's fast paced, loaded with action and has a memorable cast of characters. So my rating more or less comes down to preferences. I still plan to read the whole series - I already started on Book 3. One of the other things that I think helped me enjoy this Book 2, is that I stopped trying to compare it to Harry Potter. In the first book I was hung up on the similarities of the two series and kept feeling like Percy Jackson was a pale ripoff with not enough pazazz and detail to make it pop the way Harry Potter did, but then when I started reading Book 2 here, I decided I needed to let that go and try to enjoy the series for what it was and not compare it to HP because they were two seperate series. Once I managed to do that, I think I was able to just relax and enjoy it with a less critical eye.