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Monday, June 9, 2014

REVIEW: "The Son of Neptune" by Rick Riordan

The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus, #2)
The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan
For Ages 10+ (Violence)
Middle Grade -- Fantasy

Hyperion -- Published in 2011
Ebook, 513 pages
Read in May 2014
Borrowed from Library

THEMES
Mythology, Multiple Points of View

SUMMARY
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 told 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 any 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 her mother and commanded Hazel to use her "gift" for an 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 Prophecy of Seven.



FIRST LINE
"The snake-haired ladies were starting to annoy Percy."

MY THOUGHTS
Warning!  This review contains minor spoilers for The Lost Hero, book one of the Heroes of Olympus series.

The Son of Neptune is the second in Rick Riordan's Heroes of Olympus series which is a spin-off to the popular Percy Jackson and the Olympians books.  I thoroughly enjoyed the first book and it was a pleasure to jump back into this action-packed and creative world again.  While it was not perfect, I had such a blast reading this and am anxious to read more of the series soon.

What I Liked
1. Percy Jackson
While I liked Jason, Leo, and Piper in The Lost Hero, I really missed Percy's narration so I was super excited to see him return in The Son of Neptune.  His snarky, deprecating voice is easy to understand and always has me smiling even when he is dealing with dangerous situations.  It was also interesting to watch him deal with his memory loss and try to adapt to life at Camp Jupiter.

2. Frank and Hazel
Like the first book, this story has three narrators whose points of view alternate in an entertaining and surprisingly easy to read format.  Clumsy Frank and mysterious Hazel are Percy's companions on his latest adventure and I found them to be almost as entertaining as Mr. Jackson.  Each of them has something to learn about themselves which starts them on a journey to become one of the Seven.

3. Camp Jupiter
Readers had learned a little bit about Camp Jupiter (home of the Roman demi-gods) in The Lost Hero, but this book allowed them to really become immersed in that world.  I loved how different the camp was from Camp Half-Blood in terms of organization, leadership, and training, but that they still had the same type of mission.  One of my favorite scenes involved the Roman War Games and Hannibal the elephant.

4. The Journey of Percy, Frank, and Hazel
The Son of Neptune follows a similar pattern to the Percy Jackson series with the characters going on a long and harrowing journey where they encounter a variety of creatures and people along the way.  For this book, the journey was centered around getting to Alaska and finding a way to free Thanatos (God of Death) from the giants.  I loved how Riordan is slowly revealing Gaea's ultimate plan and how important the Seven will be to defeating her.  Some of my favorite cameos from this book are Ella the Harpy, who is obsessed with books, and Terminus, Roman god of boundaries, who is guards the borders of camp Jupiter.

What I Didn't Like
1. The Middle Half
The only real issue I had with this book was that I thought the middle section was a bit on the slow side.  I'm not sure if it was the pacing or my own personal taste, but I just felt like the characters were going around in circles for a time.  Thankfully, things picked up again when the trio met up with Frank's grandmother, but it did take some effort, on my part, to get there.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Son of Neptune and am definitely looking forward to reading The Mark of Athena.  This series is just as entertaining as the Percy Jackson books and it is great to see the combination of new and old characters.


4 STARS

FAVORITE QUOTES
They all ordered massive plates of eggs, pancakes, and reindeer sausage, though Frank looked a little worried about the reindeer, 'You think it's okay that we're eating Rudolph?'
'Dude,' Percy said, 'I could eat Prancer and Blitzen, too. I'm hungry.'

BOOKS IN THE SERIES
1. The Lost Hero
2. The Son of Neptune
3. The Mark of Athena
4. The House of Hades
5. The Blood of Olympus (Coming October 2014)

CHALLENGES READ FOR
 

4 comments:

  1. Yay, I'm so glad you read this! I really liked Son of Neptune, but The Mark of Athena and The House of Hades are even better!!!!!

    I love Percy's voice, too. He's one of my favorite characters.

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    1. So excited that Mark of Athena and House of Hades seem to be even better...hard to imagine! Percy is definitely a top ten character of all time for me.

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  2. I love Percy's voice. The snark, the wry humor, the matter-of-fact approach, the hints of vulnerability... It's one of the reasons I'm a little reluctant to try the Heroes of Olympus books -- but I promised my daughter I'd read them, and I'm more than half-way through re-reading the first series, so I'll probably start them soon.

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    Replies
    1. I was hesitant to start this series for the same reason! But, thankfully, Percy does return in Son of Neptune and he plays a huge role in the overall storyline. I think you will enjoy the other characters as well.

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