08 December 2011

The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

Seven half-bloods shall answer the call,
To storm or fire the world must fall.
An oath to keep with a final breath,
And foes bear arms to the Doors of Death.

Percy is confused. When he awoke from his long sleep, he didn't know much more than his name. His brain fuzz is lingering, even after the wolf Lupa tol him he is a demigod and trained him to fight with the pen/sword in his pocket. Somehow Percy manages to make it to a camp for half-bloods, despite the fact that he has to keep killing monsters along the way. But the camp doesn't ring and bells with him. The only thing he can recall from his past is another name: Annabeth.

Hazel is supposed to be dead. When she lived before, she didn't do a very good job of it. Sure, she was an obedient daughter, even when her mother was possessed by greed. But that was the problem - when the Voice took over he mother and commanded Hazel to use her "gift" for and evil purpose, Hazel couldn't say no. Now because of her mistake, the future of the world is at risk. Hazel wished she could ride away from it all on the stallion that appears in her dreams.

Frank is a klutz. His grandmother says he is descended from heroes and can be anything he wants to be, but he doesn't see it. He doesn't even know who his father is. He keeps hoping Apollo will claim him, because the only thing he is good at is archery - although not good enough to win camp war games. His bulky physique makes him feel like an ox, especially infront of Hazel, his closest friend at camp. He trusts her completely - enough to share the secret he holds close to his heart.
Beginning at the "other" camp for half-bloods and extending as far as the land beyond the gods, this breathtaking second installment of the Heroes of Olympus series introduces new demigods, revives fearsome monsters, and features other remarkable creatures, all destined to play a part in the Prophesy of Seven.  I always enjoy a good Rick Riordan book.  You gotta admit, the dude has talent for telling a good story.  True, this book is for “kids” but we all love a good, heart-racing adventure.  Even though this story is a spinoff from the Percy Jackson series, the characters come off more mature than in Titan’s Curse, Battle of the Labyrinth, or The Last Olympian.  The story, however, is just as exciting and funny as the books we already know and love.

The increased level of maturity was very subtle, but Percy seemed different than in The Last Olymian though he’s probably the same age as he is in The Son of Neptune.  His responses are more varied and give him a deeper, more three-dimensional look than before.  Frank, also sixteen, has his own issues that are perhaps a bit darker than anything Riordan has presented before.  Hazel was the only character who didn’t stick out in that aspect, but I still liked the girl’s spunk.

A friend and I talked about the Rick Riordan books and I remember him saying how they were becoming too “kiddy” for him, which is understandable because this book is technically a “middle grade” novel.  Still, I’m seventeen-years-old and I freaking love these books.  I couldn’t wait to get into this one.  I can’t wait for the next one, The Mark of Athena.  Nothing has taught me more about Greek mythology, and nothing gives me such an “unstructured” read than a Riordan book.  Almost all the young adult mythology tales are so poorly done, I just can't bring myself to read them.  But Riordan makes it fun, entertaining, and gets me emotionally invested in the story to where I absolutely love every minute.

This was a great installment in the Heroes of Olympus series.  It had its share of cliché moments (the good kind) and sometimes the dialogue was a bit “meh”.  But the characters were awesome, the story was fantastic, and totally leaves me wanting more.

Book Info:
  • pages - hardcover, 513
  • published - October 2011
  • publisher - Hyperion
  • genre - middle grade / fantasy
  • received via - Amazon :)
  • rating - 5/5
  • series - Heroes of Olympus
    • The Lost Hero
    • The Son of Neptune
    • The Mark of Athena