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.
Well, I think I can now say that I have officially ended my Rick-Riordan-hiatus. The first book in his Heroes of Olympus series was meh and the second was decent, but THE THIRD BOOK WAS WONDERFUL and now I’m really excited for the final two.
Here are my thoughts on The Mark of Athena.
This series is just one big quest.
The Percy Jackson series was much more episodic, with five distinct quests (one for each book). I don’t feel that way about this new series. Maybe I was too hard on the previous books, The Lost Hero and The Son of Neptune, because Heroes of Olympus is just one long adventure, really. Every story has to begin somewhere, after all, and sometimes stories begin a little slowly.
By The Mark of Athena, the characters are halfway through their huge quest to stop Gaea from awakening. The adventure is hurtling along now, speeding towards a conclusion. I love it.
Percy and Annabeth are adorable together!
Honestly, I’m not surprised that it took me this long to notice. Their romance only started in, what, the fourth or fifth books? I don’t remember those books that well, so it makes sense that I didn’t care too much about Percabeth, as they’re sometimes called.
Those two are cute together, but my biggest reason for loving them is their past, pre-romantic relationship. I guess I think it’s cuter when two people were pals first. Percy and Annabeth didn’t immediately want to date one another. They weren’t shown as a couple right away, either, with no indication of how they ended up together. No, they spent four or five years questing together and being dorks and eventually friends, and then boyfriend and girlfriend.
I don’t know. Maybe this doesn’t make sense to anyone else. But I loved reading the Percabeth scenes in The Mark of Athena and thinking about how far those two have come from the first time they met at Camp Half-Blood.
Where Annabeth’s first words to Percy were, “You drool in your sleep.” Classy.
I liked the narrators so much! Especially since Annabeth was one of them!
The Lost Hero featured Piper, Jason, and Leo. I couldn’t stand the first two.
The Son of Neptune was told by Frank, Hazel, and Percy. I liked the first two, I suppose, but I didn’t love them. They weren’t completely dull like Piper and Jason, but they certainly had their moments.
The Mark of Athena was narrated by Piper, Leo, Percy, and Annabeth. ANNABETH! Her chapters nearly canceled out all the Piper-ness! Seriously, though, I am so happy that Annabeth narrated. The Percy Jackson books was always told by Percy, of course, so it’s great to see another equally awesome character tell the story for a while.
I might be biased here, though, because one of my dorky-fictional-crushes is Annabeth Chase. She’s SO SMART and creative and brave – I was so proud of her for fighting Arachne! – and oh my god what a nerd. (“Oh my god, what a nerd” is Engie-speak for “absolutely perfect.”)
P.S. Annabeth and Reyna totally have a thing for each other too, don’t they? It’s rather hilarious because you can see that Riordan tried to set it up as “omg, Reyna tried to steal Seaweed Brain from Annabeth!” However, it comes across as “omg Annabeth, Percy’s so lucky to have you and I can see why he wouldn’t want to leave you since you’re so smart and perfect and I possibly have a crush on you.” At least that’s how I interpreted it. Give me a shout-out in the comments below if you agree, OK?
I LOVE THE MYTHS RETOLD IN THIS BOOK.
Oh my gods, Hercules! And Echo! And Narcissus! And Arachne!
…I can’t believe I’d never realized that Hercules hadn’t been included until now, but it’s true. I forgot. And when he appeared, I cheered, even though he turned out to be kind of a jerk. Because Hercules. I wrote a short story about his twelve labors once.
The characters are finally in Rome, and soon they’ll go to Greece!
This is yet another thing I should’ve realized earlier: These two series talk and talk and TALK about Greco-Roman mythology, but none of their featured quests ever actually included Greece or Rome. Until now. It makes me super-happy to see Percy, Annabeth, and their friends finally in the lands where this whole messy story started.
I enjoyed The Mark of Athena very much. I wouldn’t say that it was perfect, that it deserves five-star status, but was reading it a blast? Yes. I look forward to reading The House of Hades… if I can ever find it at the library. It seems like all the copies are always checked out!
What is your opinion of The Mark of Athena?