on October 4, 2011
With The Son of Neptune Rick Riordan continues his immensely popular Heroes of Olympus Saga. Neptune does a brilliant job of picking up where the first book in the series, The Lost Hero, left off. It deftly moves the series forward introducing new plot lines even while it answers some of the questions that fans of The Lost Hero have been wondering about for a year now.
Of course, the big question that gets answered in this book is: What happened to Percy Jackson? In The Lost Hero we learned that he had disappeared but only got vague hints of what might have happened. In The Son of Neptune, Percy returns as one of the main characters. At the very beginning of the novel we find Percy Jackson stripped of his memories and being hunted by two gorgons. He encounters Juno in the form of an old lady and she gives him a choice. He can regain his memories and save the gods by going to the Roman half-blood camp or stay where he is and be assured of his safety.
Percy's decision to go to the Roman camp becomes a launching point for introducing the Roman demigods and initiating a new quest. The Roman camp, where Percy lands, is in and of itself fascinating. Awash with Lares (house gods) and divided into legions similar to those of the Roman army the camp beautifully introduces readers to aspects of Roman culture as well as the differences between Greek and Roman mythology.
At the Roman camp, Riordan introduces us to new demigods. Although Riordan's capacity for outstanding character development does not shine quite as brightly as it did in The Lost Hero, I still really enjoyed the new heroes that take center stage in The Son of Neptune. The most striking of these is Hazel, the daughter of Pluto. Hazel has inherited the wealth aspect of Pluto so she can make precious metals and jewels spring from the earth but the people who find or accept them are inevitably cursed. The other key actor is Frank Zhang, a son of Mars, who is gifted in archery and carries around a quiver of special arrows. The three of them soon find themselves sent on a quest by Mars himself. Thanatos, the guardian of the underworld has been taken into captivity. We learn that Thanatos's absence is what has been allowing monsters to keep reforming after they are slaughtered. Mars sends the three demi-gods to Alaska to free Thanatos and thereby prevent Gaea from releasing more monsters into the world.
The Son of Neptune picks up nearly all of the key threads that were started in The Lost Hero. We get further hints as to the meaning of the prophecy about the seven half bloods. We also learn more about Gaea's plots to destroy the gods and how the half-bloods are supposed to stop her. As always, Riordan demonstrates an incredible flair for expressing teenage language and emotion. I am an adult reader, but I am always impressed by how Riordan's ability to create very real teenage characters reminds me of what it felt like to be an angst filled adolescent. The diversity of the characters in this series remains one of its strengths. Their different ethnicities and backgrounds make them believable and relatable in ways that the characters in many other young adult novels are not.
Unlike in the Percy Jackson series, which was written entirely in the first person, The Son of Neptune continues with the third person narrative that Riordan used in the first novel of the Heroes of Olympus series. Here he switches back and forth between the perspectives of Percy, Frank and, Hazel. This style feels more mature in many ways and I admire how Riordan uses it to get readers invested in all of the key characters.
Fans of the Heroes of Olympus Series who have been waiting for the next installment for the last year will undoubtedly be very satisfied with this action packed, page-turning continuation of Riordan's epic saga. Thanks to Riordan, a generation of young Americans will gain and appreciation for the mythologies of ancient Greece and Rome and the rich cultures that they were a part of. The only hard part will be waiting another year for the third volume.
on October 7, 2011
The Heroes of Olympus series is best selling author Rick Riordan's spinoff of the Percy Jackson novels. This is the second in the series, following the introduction of the Roman hero, Jason Grace. As expected, Percy joins up with Roman forces and we are introduced to two new main characters: Frank Zhang and Hazel Levesque. As usual in a Riordan tale, the perspective changes from chapter to chapter among the main protagonists.
Riordan is maturing nicely as a writer, and each new book shows an emerging style that is both engaging and descriptive. Fans of previous Riordan books will find familiar elements, such as nods to popular culture. For instance, in Seattle the heroes find that Amazon.com is run by Amazon warriors, who are often found reading their Kindles.
Educational elements are skillfully intertwined in Riordan books, and this one is no exception. Young readers are introduced to Greek and Roman mythology and pick up quite a bit of classical detail despite the fact the story is modernized to a considerable extent. Even though the story is dealing with pagan gods of antiquity, quite a few Christian elements shine through, such as love, friendship, and shared sacrifice.
Character development remains strong, and retains typical Riordan memes such as teen angst and finding ones purpose in life (albeit from a demigod's perspective). Fans will enjoy most all aspects of learning about and caring for Zhang and Levesque as well as other minor characters.
My biggest beef with the Kindle version of the novel I downloaded was the plethora of typos. Odd paragraph breaks were very common, and words were often smashed together to the point of distraction. For instance, here's part of a sentence that typifies mistakes in the text: "... no wall she had to worry about ..." It should read, "... now all she had to worry about ..." Mistakes like that went on chapter after chapter.
Today, Amazon sent an e-mail indicating the publisher is aware of these many mistakes in the electronic text and offered a corrected version. As I have already finished the book, and waded through the errors, it's no big deal. One of the benefits of electronic books is the ability to quickly fix mistakes, but a simple read through by somebody in charge could have prevented these many errors from appearing in early electronic versions in the first place. That said, I'll take off a star from an otherwise five star book
on July 5, 2013
I'm 19, but my guilty pleasure is going back and reading the YA fiction series that I used to love so much (Max Ride, Percy Jackson, Harry Potter). Admittedly, at my age I am no longer the target audience for many of these books, and often I find the writing childish and overly-simplistic. However, I can still enjoy the plot and there is no arguing that reading teen fiction is fun if nothing else.
I'm going to assume you all have read The Lost Hero, which I read with hopes that the second book would be much better, in terms of plot and character development among much else. Unfortunately, the Son of Neptune had virtually the same story. The main character has lost his memory and must undertake a quest to rescue someone in a couple days as well as defeat two giants. He has with him two partners who have some romantic interest in each other, and of course they both have deep dark secrets. Along the way they bump into various characters from Greek myths, etc. This worked in the first series, but it's starting to get old. Furthermore, Riordan seems to think that his readers really want romance because everyone is in a couple. Even if this is true, it doesn't change the fact that Riordan cannot for his life write romance. In PJO, romance sat in the backseat where it belonged and was never a major player, though it did appear here and there in appropriate amounts.
The character development is stronger here than in TLH, though it couldn't have gotten worse. Blackjack had more character development in PJO than Jason did in TLH. Here Riordan has created a couple more characters that are certainly more interesting (most notably Octavian and Reyna). We do get to know Hazel and Frank better as the story progresses, and they do grow as characters, so I can't complain.
Finally, this third person writing style that Riordan has adopted doesn't work. Cover the names above the chapters when you read it and you will barely be able to tell whose point of view it's supposed to be from. Only when they have one of their flashbacks or dreams will you be able to tell. We no longer get to see the characters' thought process or emotions. We lost Percy's wit and humor. Riordan writes better in first-person. PJO and the Kane Chronicles speak for themselves. His choice to do this added nothing to the book, and if anything detracted from it.
As a side-note, can someone tell me why Annabeth knew around where Percy was for about 7 months and did nothing to search for him, even though she was going crazy in the beginning? Or why Percy remembers his girlfriend of 2 months but not his mother? Or why Hera/Juno had to erase Jason's and Percy's memories because it seems like it would've been fine if Percy had retained his.
3 stars. Enjoyable but needs improvement. A far drop in quality from PJO.
on October 8, 2011
This was much better than I could ever have expected. I just love this Percy Jackson series and the characters.The Heros of Olympus continues where the previous book one ended. The author
introduces us to new demigods in Roman Camp. We are also wondering what happened to Percy, where is he? and the author continues to reveal the clues to that mystery at the new camp.
There are lots of new demigods in this second book, and especially one is interesting:
Hazel. She is the daughter of Pluto. She has the ability to change earth to precious metals and jewels but there is a curse attached to that ability for those who find or accept them.
Another new hero is Frank Zhang, Mars' son. remember that Percy was not in good relations with Mars-god and now the author introduces another child of Mars...)
A new quest involves Thanatos, the guardian of the underworld, who has been taken into captivity and his absence has caused serious trouble (read the book to learn what!).
This is a great, adventure-filled book for young readers and they will love it just like all the other Percy books!
on July 7, 2012
This book is amazing! I've read all five books in the Percy Jackson series,and the two current Heroes of Olympus books. Rick Riordan takes you through crazy adventures with characters of remarkable,super-natural abilities. The book is gripping,and once you're hooked,there's no going back. I think these books are great for middle schoolers like myself,though any ready can appreciate this book. I can't wait for the third installment of the Heroes of Olympus series,Mark of Athena. The only downside to these books are the cliffhangers that make me explode!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) Keep 'em comin',Mr.Riordan!!!!!
on April 23, 2012
Okay...so I liked the Percy Jackson series just fine but it wasn't my favorite so when I got to this series I figured I would give it a shot and aren't I glad I did! The Second in a series that brings the best from the Greek side of things and adds a whole other Roman side is just...well...AMAZING! The new friends that we have coming in and the new enemies just suck you in and personally I think I like the Roman aspect a lot more then the Greeks and so this book brings that to the forefront since we finally get to the Roman camp and our new friends are the best and brightest of those! New battles with new tricks and lots and lots of action that brings laughter and tears....I'm just so amazed!
on January 26, 2012
When The Son of Neptune came out, I was so excited! I dove right into this story and never came up for air until it was over. Riordan has a way of weaving an exciting, death defying story that just sucks you in.
In this story, we follow Percy who has lots his memories and finds himself at a Roman Camp for Demigods. The only vague memory he has is of a young woman named Annabeth who he instinctively knows is his girlfriend and he needs to find her.
On his quest to rediscover who he is, Percy finds himself in the middle of an impossible quest: He has only five days to go make it up to Alaska with the help of only two people, Hazel, daughter of Pluto, and Frank, a Demi-God who has yet to be claimed by his father.
His task: He must defeat a giant who has captured Thanatos, God of Death, and who cannot die as long as he is in his homeland. And wouldn't you know that his homeland is... you guessed it, Alaska!
With Death captured, none of the monsters Percy and his new friends face stay dead for more than a few minutes. What's more, Gaia, the Goddess of Earth, is trying to awaken and overtake Olympus and informs Percy that he has a key role to play in her plans.
How can Percy meet his deadline with monsters you can't kill, a giant who can't die, and the Goddess of Earth trying to stop him? Get the book and find out!
on October 4, 2011
Excellent read! The book flowed fantastically and Riordan really has improved his writing skill since the days of "The Lightning Thief." I was not able to put the book down for the entire time I was reading. The book has some obvious challenges, being the 2nd of 5 books, however Riordan stands to the challenge well and does a good job by allowing this adventure to be (mostly) stand alone, while fleshing out character's and plot for subsequent books. Our new characters, Hazel and Frank are amusing narrators who are fully capable of bring in new perspectives to the 7 Demigod team.
My main complaint is that this book clearly does follow Riordan's typically outline (get quest, work under time constraint, travel the world/USA, get into trouble along the way, save the day) and, after reading the Percy Jackson Series and the Kane Chronicles, this can get a little repetitive. Despite this predictability, I still find Riordan's writings incredibly entertaining and it is always exciting to learn which geographical locations and Greek/Roman gods he will bring in next.
I am excited to say that the series as a whole looks like it is headed for an excellent conclusion. When Riordan started this series I was initially worried that the series could only be an underdeveloped disappointment. However, upon finishing the second book I have become optimistic about the series. The characters and series plot is growing to be well developed, original, and interesting.
As a warning to any readers: the book has a very frustrating cliffhanger! I was very disappointed when I realized I had just finished the book.
My largest complaint, as I think someone has already noted, is that the Kindle version is filled with unnecessary typos and errors. While this isn't reflected in my star ratings since it doesn't reflect Riordan's writing, it was extremely disappointing that Amazon published such a low quality adaptation. UPDATE: Amazon has re-released the text without the typos!
on October 8, 2011
This book took off right where it left us in the previous one, but in Percy's point of view!!!!
Percy gets to the roman camp, makes some excentric friends and gets a quest. A typical day in the life of a demigod. Especially if your name is Percy Jackson.
I loved this book. Being a fan of the Percy Jackson series, I was overjoyed when I realised that the narrator was going to be Percy.
However, Percy isn't the only one talking. There are is friends Hazel and Frank who accompany him on the quest. They are both unique, funny and interesting. And do they like each other??
But there still is something that is bugging me: Hazel has a "Secret" and Frank has some weird/cool powers. Remind you of anybody? Maybe Leo and Piper, Jason's sidekicks?
We discover each of their personalities through out the book, and learn to love them. And Percy is still same old Percy. Cute, funny, and totally oblivious. He only remembers one face from his past: Annabeth. Slowly, he starts to get his memory back while every reader is cheering him on. In the end, we even get some Tyson time!!
There are other new characters in the book. Reyna, Jason's used to be girlfriend; creepy Octavian; Thanatos, also known as Death and crazy Dakota, son of Bacchus, also known as Mr D. Hehe.
This book, while not as fastly paced as the other one, was incredibly funny. Sometimes I burst out laughing and I couldn't stop!!
Though I am aware that some character development is missing, the story isn't as fastly paced as the others and I honestly prefer a story told in the first person, I give this book five stars.
Why? Because this book was good in it's own way. Plus, with so many new characters having to be introduced, I can understand the lack of action in the beginning. The humour made up for it.
At the end of the book, which is a cliffhanger, by the way, you are left with so many questions. What's the deal with Hazel and Leo? Hazel and Frank? Why is Annabeth going to be troublesome? How is Reyna going to react to Jason and Piper??
The answers will be in the next book, The Mark of Athena, coming out in 357 days and counting!!
on October 18, 2011
Awsome! PJ returns! A perfect mesh of myth and reality as usual. Octavian is like Luke in PJ book 1. I have a theory about why Frank and Hazel could kill Alcyoneus without a gods help, in his home turf he's imortal right. So outside Alska he could die by the handd of a hero only. I can't wait for The Mark of Athena.
You kmow the line in the Prophecy of Seven that says " to storm or fire the world must fall"? I see that as "to Jason or Leo the world must fall"
I wonder what trouble Annabeth will get into?