Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Mark of Athena

Last spring, I did reviews of The Lost Hero and  The Son of Neptune, the first two books in the Percy Jackson spin-off series, The Heroes of Olympus. I loved The Son of Neptune- Riordan's writing seemed to be better, the story was more interesting than some of the others, and the individual characters were better developed and more likable. After that, my expectations for The Mark of Athena, the third book in the series, were high. 

I was disappointed, though not overly so. The writing definitely wasn't as good as in The Son of Neptune; it seems Rick Riordan has gone back to his old standards. Perhaps he was trying to balance too many characters. (Though I can't exactly point fingers. My own books all have far too many main characters for a reader to keep track of.)

The seven demigods who are now part of this new prophecy (well, maybe not so new... it was introduced at the end of the original Percy Jackson series) are aboard the Argo II. Six of the seven are couples- Jason and Piper, Percy and Annabeth, Frank and Hazel, which leaves the seventh demigod, Leo, slightly left out. This isn't a matter that is skipped over in the book. It comes up multiple times. 

The book takes the demigods to bizarre places like Fort Sumter, an aquarium holding mythological sea monsters, and of course, Rome. Most of the time, the demigods are not fighting whatever enemy happens to be at their door all together, but instead go out in groups of two or three demigods to defeat various monsters and evil gods. Which is why it's very helpful that it is narrated by four of the seven; Annabeth, Percy, Piper, and Leo. 

The book ends rather suddenly and without much of a resolution. A clever way to sell millions of copies of The House of Hades next fall. 

I did enjoy this book once the plot started to move, but, as I said, the plot didn't exactly stop on the last page so it wasn't an altogether satisfying book. 

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