12:16 pm EDT, October 9, 2011

Review: ‘The Son of Neptune’ by Rick Riordan

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Rick Riordan’s The Son of Neptune, the second book in The Heroes of Olympus series, dropped on October 4. Have you read it yet? If you’re too lazy to read my review to decide if you want to take a chance on it, here’s two words to sum it up: highly recommended!

(Please note this review contains mild spoilers.)

While The Lost Hero followed Jason, Piper, and Leo on their quest to free Hera, SoN follows Percy, Hazel, and Frank on their journey to defeat several giants. Percy ends up in Camp Jupiter, the Roman equivalent of Camp Half-Blood, with no memory except for knowing who Annabeth is. He is accepted into their ranks and quickly befriends the 5th cohort (a bunch of misfits) and Hazel and Frank (probably the biggest misfits of all). We learn that Hazel is the daughter of Pluto with quite and expensive curse, and soon find out that Frank is the son of Mars. (For all your Greeks out there, that’s Hades and Ares to you.)

They are given a quest that takes them all the way to Alaska, where Hazel must confront her past and Frank must learn about his family history and what that means for him. Percy slowly regains his memory and realizes that Camp Jupiter and Camp Half-Blood will have to work together if they’re going to defeat Gaea. The Prophecy of Seven, as the Romans call it, is definitely coming true. It’s so refreshing to be back in Percy’s head because he is someone we are so familiar with. But I love Hazel and Frank too, and the mystery that surrounds both of them is half the reason why I couldn’t put this book down.

We meet some other interesting characters, some of which we may have seen before. Reyna is a daughter of Bellona, and leader of Camp Jupiter. Octavian is a son of Apollo and he reads the future in the stuffing of teddy bears (and other innocent inanimate animals). He’s definitely one to watch – while Reyna has all the command of a leader in battle, Octavian is an influential orator. We see Hylla, queen of the Amazons, and we also revisit Tyson, Mrs. O’Leary, Annabeth, Grover, and Leo. We also get to see the softer (kind of) side of Ares (which is Mars).

Overall, this book was definitely worth the wait. I loved reading from Percy’s point of view again because he’s got a comedic side that we only really saw in Leo’s character in the last book. This installation was definitely more mature and the stakes felt higher than ever. Riordan’s use of suspense kept me turning the pages and never wanting to put it down. Even the ending leaves us on the edge of a good cliffhanger, and I can’t wait until Mark of Athena comes out in 2012. Riordan hints at several sacrifices that the group is going to have to make, and that alone is keeping me on the edge of my seat.

The only complaint I have, and I’ve had this since Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, is that the books can sometimes be a bit silly and overdone. I like the direction that HoO is going in, but it still has hints of that juvenile writing that we saw in the Percy Jackson series. Then again, I have to keep in mind that this is a Young Adult novel and I’m soon to be going on 23. But I can understand – Riordan has so many characters in his books that we need those outlandish traits to remember them all by.

Favorite Line: Percy frowned. “You have a feast for tuna?”

Rating: 9/10

So, what did you guys think of the book? Did you like it more or less than the first one? What are your favorite lines? (And just out of curiosity, how old is everyone who is reading these books?)

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