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 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 in front of Hazel, his closest friend at camp. He trusts her completely – enough to share the secret he holds close to his heart.
I know, I know – four book reviews in around a week. I’m sorry. I try to keep my blog’s content varied, but I also really wanted to catch up on my book reviews. So after this, you’ll get a reprieve.
For a few days.
Anyway, I’ve been catching on up on Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus series and recently finished the second book, The Son of Neptune. Noticing the copyright date – two thousand and eleven – made me feel weird because I remember when the book was brand-new and people were super-excited for it. Surely I can’t have been out of the fandom that long?
OK, I know three years isn’t that long, and I’m talking about it like that was the Dark Ages. But A) to me it is long because three years makes up over one-sixth of my lifetime and B) I thought I was still interested in Riordan’s books in two thousand and eleven. Evidently not.
I mean, the last Percy Jackson book came out in two thousand and nine. What. How was I only twelve when the final book came out? Why do I keep growing up? I want to stay a little kid forever so people don’t give me weird looks for wandering into the picture book section of the library.
All right, enough of that. Back on track.
Um. Let’s see. Where to start? The characters!
As the blurb indicates, Percy narrates part of The Son of Neptune. I. Love. This. He’s one of my favorite fictional guys and I can’t imagine a Riordan mythology story without him, which is probably one of the reasons I disliked The Lost Hero and the Kane Chronicles. Forget Harry Potter, forget Peeta, forget even Bilbo and Gregor – if I could meet any male character, it would be Percy. Even during The Son of Neptune‘s duller moments, I was happy as long as Percy narrated.
I don’t quite know how I feel about Hazel and Frank. Actually, I do know how I feel about them, but I’m not sure how to use that to determine which one I like more. I don’t dislike either one but I do go back and forth… usually liking whichever one isn’t narrating at the moment.
I love Frank’s bravery and loyalty. And I can relate to his dorkiness. Obviously, I’m not a tall, super-muscled Asian guy, but I understand feeling pathetic. I understand feeling clumsy. Of all the characters in Heroes of Olympus who weren’t introduced in Percy Jackson, I think I relate to Frank Zhang the most.
Meanwhile, I’m not such a fan of Hazel’s personality. As I wrote above, I don’t dislike her. She’s not annoying – she’s just bland. Nice enough, but without any really impressive qualities. I do like her history, though. She grew up in the thirties, died, and was brought back by Nico (apparently children of the god of death can do that now?). I enjoyed the parts of the story set during her first lifetime, and the times when she doesn’t understand modern culture.
And that sums up my thoughts on The Son of Neptune, except not quite. Here are a few more quick ones:
I neither liked nor disliked the pairing of Percy / Annabeth before but this book changed my mind just because he thought about her so much. She wasn’t even in the book and I still adore them!
I have a crush on Reyna and I don’t even know why because she appears on maybe thirty pages. And I’m being generous with that estimate. But she’s awesome and certainly has her act together. Also she has metal dogs which I would love because, you know, shiny.
I loved how the book featured multiple sons of Neptune. I’d thought the title referred to Percy, and it mostly does, but there are other guys with that name as well.
And I liked that the prophecy is finally coming into play! This series is really just one long, very slow-paced book but finally the pace is picking up and Big Things are happening.
I think The Son of Neptune was a huge improvement from the first book in the series, The Lost Hero (which I only gave a 2/5). I liked the characters more, the plot was better-paced, and overall the adventures were more exciting. I look forward to reading The Mark of Athena!
If you’ve read The Son of Neptune, what did you think of it?