Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Jenn's Review: The Mark of Athena

Author: Rick Riordan
Series: The Heroes of Olympus, #3
Publication Date: October 2, 2012
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Pages: 574
Obtained: purchased
Genre: YA Fantasy, mythology
Rating: 4.5
Bottom Line: Percy & Annabeth reunited
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab!

Blurb:  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...

Review:  Until I started this series, I didn't realize how much I love Annabeth and Percy as a couple.  Since they've been separated, I've been waiting for the reunion, and in The Son of Neptune Rick Riordan takes us right to the cusp... and ends the book.  I just couldn't leave things unresolved, so I decided to read just the first few chapters of The Mark of Athena, but Rick Riordan pulled me in again and I couldn't set it down.

First, I have to say that the reunion was worth the wait.  As the two camps meet, tensions run high and disaster strikes.  The seven from the prophecy take off on their quest leaving chaos discord in their wake.  We've gotten to know all seven demigods on the quest, but this is the first time they are all together and it's an awkward situation.  The Roman and Greek demigods have to learn, not only to trust each other, but to work together.  This is especially difficult for Jason and Percy who are used to being in charge.  Add in some jealousy over abilities and a few love twist and it gets complicated pretty quickly.  However, seven demigods are too conspicuous to be seen all together so as they go on mini-quests together they learn to appreciate and trust one another.

There are plenty of wonderful scenes between all of the demigods, but some fabulous scenes for Annabeth and Percy, not just the reunion.  The epic crescendo has been building for years for these two and it's wonderful to see them finally be open and honest with each other.  Now they know beyond a doubt that they can both go it alone, but that it is so much better when they are a team.  

Continuously changing the voice of the narration can be literary suicide, but Rick Riordan pulls it off with ease.  It helps that each adventure switches to a different character's point of view.  Without backtracking, Riordan makes it clear where everyone stands on what has taken place thus far up through the narration switch. Honestly, the story wouldn't work as well if it were told from one point of view.  

One of the reasons I only wanted to read a few chapters of this books was because the final book, The Blood of Olympus, won't be published until October.  Things are left precariously as The Mark of Athena comes to a close, but I won't be pushing through to The House of Hades because I'm sure as the penultimate book it will have an even bigger cliff hanger that will make waiting until October torturous.  Maybe I'll just have to read Rick Riordan's Egyptian series The Kane Chronicles to pass the time...



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