05 February 2012

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 od Olympus series introduces new demigods, revives fearsome monsters, and features other remarkable creatures, all destined to play a part in the Prophesy of Seven.
This book marks the triumphant return of Percy Jackson to Rick Riordan’s books. Honestly, though, I think I’d rather have left him at the last series. While The Lost Hero had some life injected into it by the introduction of a new main character The Son of Neptune seemed to just be rehashing the same story from its previous book. I know that Percy is supposed to parallel Jason’s experiences at Camp Half Blood I think it would have made for a much better story if there was one book switching back and forth between the two perspectives rather than two books that read so alike. It is also a little disappointing that Jason’s friends parallel Percy’s: a token girl who has a fighting skill but is mostly a thinker who will provide exposition and keep Percy out of trouble, and a clumsy companion who will put Percy in trouble by bumbling into it. I really would have liked to see a more different set of companions to make the stories less obviously alike, especially since Greek and Roman mythology seem to mash together in most Westerner’s minds nowadays anyway. Putting my issues of parallelism beside, though, the book wasn’t bad. It was classic Rick Riordan book full of adventure and excitement that hides a good lesson in classical literature, history, and ancient religions. The characters develop in ways that readers can identify with them, and Riordan is good at writing a despair of loneliness into Percy. The plot once again centers on the character’s knowledge of mythology and clever problem solving as it does their brute force, and it has a fast pace that keeps things moving quickly past the expositional- and teachy-bits. In all, I think if you loved the Percy Jackson series you’re probably already reading this series, and if you were only so-so on the series you should skip over to Riordan’s Egyptology series instead of investing in this one because you will get a new and exciting world to play in.

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