Winter Reads: Book Four {The Son of Neptune}

Friday, February 15, 2013

Going back to review this book (particularly after already reviewing The Mark of Athena at the beginning of this year) reminds me of just how much I love this series and Rick Riordan's creative genius. It also reminds me how mad I am that the next book of the series, House of Hades, isn't coming out until OCTOBER. I really have no idea how I'm going to be able to wait that long. So, Mr. Riordan? If you're out there and need someone new to review/copy edit/whatever that book for you? Just let me know, okay?

But I digress.

Back to The Son of Neptune. This is the second installment of The Heros of Olympus series that follows the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.

Another random aside: I find it hilarious that I'm reviewing this series in reverse order. Sorry, guys! It's just how the cookie crumbles, I guess. You could wait till I get around to The Lost Hero and read them in order. But why wait?

Okay, back to this book:

In this book we're brought back to Percy along with a new group of half-bloods at another camp called Camp Jupiter, which is essentially the Roman version of Camp Half-Blood. We're also introduced to Hazel and Frank, two of the half-bloods at this new camp.

Percy wakes after a long sleep up with no memories, except for the knowledge of Annabeth, his girlfriend. The she-wolf, Lupa, told him he was a demi-god and trained him to fight. He makes his way through San Francisco to Camp Jupiter despite continuous monster attacks along the way. He keeps killing them off, but they reappear quickly and equally as strong as before each time. Constructed to look just like Ancient Rome, Camp Jupiter is the place where sons and daughters of the Roman gods gather to learn how to fight and battle daemons and monsters.  He doesn't really know who he is, but Percy is pretty sure he isn't truly Roman. However, despite being a stranger, Percy is granted admission into the Legion and eventually allowed to head out on a quest with his new friends, Hazel and Frank.

Hazel is supposed to be dead. She was killed decades before after her mother made an awful mistake and was possessed by a Voce which made Hazel use her "gift" for evil purposes. As an obedient daughter, Hazel couldn't refuse the Voice. And now, because of her actions, the fate of the world in the present day is at stake. Frank, on the other hand, is a complete klutz. He's tall and bulky and doesn't know how to handle his size or strength. He's Canadian and Chinese and his grandmother insists that he is descended from great heros. He doesn't believe in his greatness as he is constantly a failure at Camp Jupiter. His father hasn't even claimed  him yet, which he believes is a sure sign of his failure. Frank also has a secret, a huge one, that could help or harm the progress of the quest.

They don't spend a lot of time at Camp Jupiter, however. After Frank is claimed by his father, he is issued a quest to the land beyond the gods. He's allowed to bring two companions (he choses Percy and Hazel, obviously, but much to the chagrin of Octavian, who wants to become the Praetor of New Rome) and they are off to Alaska to begin saving the world.

Told in Riordan's classic tone of mythology plus quick-wit, anyone will quickly love this book and this series. This book is fast-paced, packed with adventure, and so hilarious in places you'll have to put the book down and savor your laughter. This book also foreshadows the adventures to come and makes you both nervous and excited for The Mark of Athena.

I loved this book.

I loved getting a look at the Roman camp. The mythology and everything that goes into the Roman side of the Half-Bloods is so interesting - and doesn't just feel like Riordan telling the same old story again. It's like he's looking at the same world through another lens. And it is so cool to see the collision between the two types of Half-Bloods.

I feel like with every book Riordan writes he hits his stride more and more. He becomes more comfortable with story telling and creates further depth in all of his characters. I loved being introduced to Hazel and Frank, two new and interesting (but not typical) heros and friends. This is certainly a story not to miss and one that will entertain and captivate you from page one to the end. Plus, it was great to hear from Percy again. I'd missed him in The Lost Hero.

Anyone else out there love Rick Riordan? Thoughts on this series?

Title: The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus #2)
Author: Rick Riordan
Genre: YA; Adventure; Fantasy
Medium: Hard Cover
Pages: 513
Date Read: 28 December 2012
Source: Gift from Dad
First Line: The snake-haired ladies were starting to annoy Percy.
Favorite Line: Life is only precious because it ends, kid. Take it from a god. You mortals don't know how lucky you are.
Runner-Up Favorite Line: He pulled a pure-black iPad from thin air.  Death taped the screen a few times and all Frank could think was: Please don't let there be an app for reading souls. 
Last Line: "Come on," he said. "Let me introduce you to my other family."
Recommended: Totally. I adore this series.
Recommended For: Middle School +, Rick Riordan fans; Percy Jackson fans; History/Mythology geeks; YA lovers; anyone interested in an adventure; basically, anyone. 

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