Percy Jackson, demi-god son of the Greek god Poseidon, gets his life threatened (yet again) during a game of Capture the Flag in this slim volume of short stories in the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series. While this episode has a pretty cool-sounding bronze dragon, it is actually the least successful story in this book. There's adventure in it but it was not as fun or as clever as I have come to expect from this series.
I liked the other stories much more. The first story in the book involves Percy and his "arch-enemy" at Camp Half-Blood, Clarisse. I liked the action in this one, especially since there was some more character development in Clarisse, who up to now had been pretty one-note. The last story takes place in the Underworld with good action. Both these stories were also more interesting because they introduced more mythical creatures and immortals. Half the fun of this series for me is how the author weaves classic Greek mythology into the story and I like reading about new creatures and gods that I'd never heard of yet.
Also included in the book were some other features including "interviews" and a couple puzzles. The coolest pages (besides the actual stories) are some glossy, full color illustrations of the major players. The pictures of the gods and Grover pretty much matched my ideas of them, but the picture of Percy was too young, I thought.
If you are a Percy Jackson fan, I would definitely recommend this short volume. An opening "letter" implies that these stories happened sometime during Percy's entire history at Camp Half-Blood, but the stories feel firmly placed between books 4 and 5 of the regular series. I suggest reading this book before reading Book 5, The Last Olympian.