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The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus, Book 3)
The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus, Book 3)
by Rick Riordan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $13.99
222 used & new from $0.53

72 of 90 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another enjoyable read for those who love Percy Jackson, October 2, 2012
My oldest son made me read The Lightning Thief a few years ago, and after whipping through that series, he and I both await each new entry into the series with excitement. I just finished reading it on the Kindle, and the hardcover awaits my son. So let me start by saying I enjoyed this book almost as much - but not quite - as the others to date. I enjoy the characters, the mythology, Riordan's ability to portray the ages and culture of the teenage characters. I loved that the new series (The Heroes of Olympus) brought back favorite characters and the familiarity of the demigod world while still keeping his material fresh with new characters and the introduction of the Roman camp and demigods.

In The Lost Hero, I enjoyed having the narrative voice switch from character to character - it made a nice change from the first series and gave insight into more than one character. Riordan repeated this device in The Son of Neptune, and while it still worked, I never developed the attachment to Hazel and Frank that I had for Jason, Piper and Leo. I realized that for me, it was because Percy's narrative voice was familiar and overshadowed the others. I couldn't get "into" Hazel and Frank because I just wanted to go back to Percy's POV. So, while I've enjoyed the changing narrative voice, which I think is one of the ways Riordan is distinguishing the second series from the first, it presents some challenges. And for me, using the different POVs was a challenge that didn't work as effectively in Mark of Athena.

As hinted at in Son of Neptune, Mark of Athena brings together all 7 demigods. So I expected to read chapters from all 7 points of view. That's not the case. There are only 4 narrative voices, and I found it distracting from the story to keep wondering when/if I was going to get the other points of view. I'm first to admit that having seven different narrative voices would probably have been worse. That probably would have been too frenetic and fractured. So even though I was distracted by the "missing" voices, I'm willing to accept this was probably Riordan's best option.

Regarding the other "spoilers:" I'm not giving anything away. But I will say that in every previous book, Riordan has satisfactorily concluded a quest within the framework of the multiple-book story arc. The quest is complete and everyone's together at the end of the book enjoying some well-earned R&R. That's not *quite* the case in this book. A goal has been successfully achieved, yes, but it's definitely a departure from the other books in that it's more of a "prelude" to what will come next. The end feels more like a stalemate than a celebration. Think Empire Strikes Back, or even the end of Tolkien's Fellowship of the Ring.

It's going to be a very long time until the next one!
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 8, 2012 5:16 AM PDT

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