Thursday, November 1, 2012

Review: The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan - 5 Stars!

Hi all!

I finally got my hands on the latest Heroes of Olympus book, now it's another year to go till the next one comes out :(

Author: Rick Riordan
Series: The Heroes of Olympus #3
Release date: 2nd of October 2012
Published by: Disney Book Group
Imprint: Hyperion Books
Reading level: FICTION – CHILDRENS: Contemporary, Fantasy
Pages: 608 in Hardback
Source: Bought from the Bookdepository

Annabeth is terrified. Just when she’s about to be reunited with Percy—after six months of being apart, thanks to Hera—it looks like Camp Jupiter is preparing for war. As Annabeth and her friends Jason, Piper, and Leo fly in on the Argo II, she can’t blame the Roman demigods for thinking the ship is a Greek weapon. With its steaming bronze dragon masthead, Leo’s fantastical creation doesn’t appear friendly. Annabeth hopes that the sight of their praetor Jason on deck will reassure the Romans that the visitors from Camp Half-Blood are coming in peace.

And that’s only one of her worries. In her pocket Annabeth carries a gift from her mother that came with an unnerving demand: Follow the Mark of Athena. Avenge me. Annabeth already feels weighed down by the prophecy that will send seven demigods on a quest to find—and close— the Doors of Death. What more does Athena want from her?

Annabeth’s biggest fear, though, is that Percy might have changed. What if he’s now attached to Roman ways? Does he still need his old friends? As the daughter of the goddess of war and wisdom, Annabeth knows she was born to be a leader, but never again does she want to be without Seaweed Brain by her side.

Narrated by four different demigods, The Mark of Athena is an unforgettable journey across land and sea to Rome, where important discoveries, surprising sacrifices, and unspeakable horrors await. Climb aboard the Argo II, if you dare. . . .

In The Son of Neptune, Percy, Hazel, and Frank met in Camp Jupiter, the Roman equivalent of Camp Halfblood, and traveled to the land beyond the gods to complete a dangerous quest. The third book in the Heroes of Olympus series will unite them with Jason, Piper, and Leo. But they number only six--who will complete the Prophecy of Seven?

The Greek and Roman demigods will have to cooperate in order to defeat the giants released by the Earth Mother, Gaea. Then they will have to sail together to the ancient land to find the Doors of Death. What exactly are the Doors of Death? Much of the prophesy remains a mystery. . . . With old friends and new friends joining forces, a marvelous ship, fearsome foes, and an exotic setting, The Mark of Athena promises to be another unforgettable adventure by master storyteller Rick Riordan.
I basically worshipped the Percy Jackson books and the Heroes of Olympus series is no different. The only significant change being that now I have 7 awesome main characters to root for instead of 3 and loads more action, adventure, mystery, storylines and just plain excitement to boot.
There are countless aspects to enjoy and like in the third addition to the series. The good guys are humorous, kickass and intriguing, the bad guys are mean, nasty and quite colorful, the twist and turns keep you guessing, the plot thickens, the tasks get more difficult and decisive, the jokes are getting funnier (oh Leo you “hot stuff“), etc, and while of course the plot elements and plot lines fundamentally follows the same pattern as in the pervious books, its still a success and everything just works. There are always these standard diverse hindrances in the path of our heroes with facing the biggest bad in the end, but IT’S ALL SO GOOD!
I love how well thought out all the details are. Every quest and situation seems endlessly hopeless at the beginning but while in progress all details fall into place and everything has a solution. In addition, reading this series is like receiving a history lesson in Greek and Roman myths and legends, the way they are interwoven into the storyline is exciting and clever.
If I did have a small quibble with this book or even with the whole series in general then it would be that at times I feel that there is too much going on at once and the quantity of information is quite high. BUT...who cares! The books rock!
This installment had four narrators: Percy, Annabeth, Piper and Leo. Other characters like Jason, Frank, Hazel, Nico, etc all had their fair share of the spotlight as well and I can’t wait to find out who the narrators for the next book are.
Percy was my hero in the original series but Leo is inching closer and closer to the awesomeness that is Seaweed Brain. Leo is just such a nerd with a smart mouth, a knack for not keeping his big mouth shut – which is one of the reason I love him of course - , a great sense of sarcastic humor and all around warm fuzzy and loyal guy, despite him at times carrying the role of the third wheel within the demigod team of seven. There were some interesting revelations regarding him. Plus, his antics always had me laughing out loud.
Percy was still everything I like about him. Brave, easygoing, friendly, funny, loyal – he’s a great hero. He’s really grown into his powers and it’s entertaining to see him put them to perfect use. Also, what I appreciated heaps was the fact that the conflict I thought coming in this book regarding him didn’t really manifest itself in the extent I feared. Otherwise, Percy is in a blissful relationship with Annabeth. I get all nostalgic when I imagine how they stared out and the journey behind them.
Annabeth was under huge pressure with her own personal quest in this book. She was focused on figuring out the Mark of Athena and next to this, worrying about Percy, the quest in general and just about everything she seemed to place on her shoulders. She is her usual smart, multitalented and efficient self and I really liked how the topic came up that the children of Athena don’t really have any skills except their intelligence, despite this, Annabeth is more than self sufficient and can hold her own even against powerful monsters and demigods.
Piper didn’t really strike me and when I start to think what part she played in this book, then it’s somehow difficult for me to remember or place her. Nevertheless, when reading, I found her appealing and cute – silent, sweet and subtle, the exact opposite of what one would expect from a daughter of Aphrodite. She is always present, supports, lets others shine, tries to give her best, has doubts, etc  – she is very sympathetic and I appreciated her for some reason more than Annabeth in this book even though the latter is for the most part like super girl.
I love this series and if you haven’t tries it out yet, I strongly encourage you to, even if you are not the immediate target group. A beyond awesome series for all ages!

5 stars!


1 comment:

  1. This book is awesome! It is definitely worth the price. It has a great plot and an ending that will keep you hanging on for the next book.

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