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The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus, Book 3) Hardcover – Big Book, October 2, 2012
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Terrifying dreams and enigmatic prophecies mean danger for seven teen demigods, but also good times for fans of The Heroes of Olympus series. This third volume thrusts Percy, Jason, Annabeth, Hazel, Leo, Frank, and Piper into action once again. Representing both Greek and Roman camps, the seven companions undertake a mission to prevent the imminent destruction of Rome, the awakening of Gaea, and the end of the world. Meanwhile, they help Annabeth in her quest to recover the ancient statue of Athena stolen from the Parthenon. Along the way, they encounter Nemesis in Utah, Bacchus in Kansas, Phorcys in Atlanta, Aphrodite in Charleston, and Hercules at the Strait of Gibraltar. Throughout the novel, the juxtaposition of humor and terror makes both aspects of the writing more vivid. The demigods use their wits and their weapons skillfully in a string of encounters, and their insecurities make the characters all the more appealing. With a true storyteller’s sense of pacing, Riordan creates another compelling adventure, right down to the cliff-hanger at the end. Stay tuned for volume four. Grades 5-8. --Carolyn Phelan
Terrifying dreams and enigmatic prophecies mean danger for seven teen demigods, but also good times for fans of The Heroes of Olympus series. This third volume thrusts Percy, Jason, Annabeth, Hazel, Leo, Frank, and Piper into action once again. Representing both Greek and Roman camps, the seven companions undertake a mission to prevent the imminent destruction of Rome, the awakening of Gaea, and the end of the world. Meanwhile, they help Annabeth in her quest to recover the ancient statue of Athena stolen from the Parthenon. Along the way, they encounter Nemesis in Utah, Bacchus in Kansas, Phorcys in Atlanta, Aphrodite in Charleston, and Hercules at the Strait of Gibraltar. Throughout the novel, the juxtaposition of humor and terror makes both aspects of the writing more vivid. The demigods use their wits and their weapons skillfully in a string of encounters, and their insecurities make the characters all the more appealing. With a true storyteller's sense of pacing, Riordan creates another compelling adventure, right down to the cliff-hanger at the end. Stay tuned for volume four. - Carolyn Phelan Booklist Online"
After waging two separate quests (The Lost Hero, 2010; The Son of Neptune, 2011), the Greek and Roman demigods of Riordan's Heroes of Olympus quintet join forces. With his now-trademark zero-to-60 acceleration, the author engineers a ghostly possession to set Greeks and Romans at odds and initiates the Prophecy of the Seven, hurtling Annabeth, Percy, Piper, Leo, Hazel, Frank and Jason into a pell-mell flight on the magical trireme Argo II. They seek the titular Mark of Athena, which they hope will provide the key to defeating the vengeful Earth mother, Gaea, or at least some of her giant offspring. As the trireme crosses the country, the pace drags while the demigods sort out relationships and work to figure out both cryptic prophecy and nightmare visions. With sweethearts Annabeth and Percy once again united, much of the tension that powered earlier books is gone. Once the Argo II leaves the United States, though, the pace picks up, and the comically instructive set pieces Riordan's so good at emerge. A Luddite god rails against what he calls the "b-book," which displaced the far superior scroll technology; Annabeth gets a crash course in the cult of Mithros far below the streets of Rome. Here, Riordan's infectious love for his subject matter really comes through, even as he takes some real risks with his characters. A literal cliffhanger leaves eager readers hanging; next stop: Greece-and Tartarus. (glossary) (Fantasy. 10-14) Kirkus"
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Rowlings, on the other hand, has a lot of long words in beautiful long sentences. She takes us out of our world and into one entirely different, though one we wish were close-by & available. We feel her magical world less through the eyes of Harry, Ron & Hermione, than through the mind of a master story-teller.
Yet Riordan & Rowlings, especially in this most recent Riordan tale, have much in common. R&R draw us into a new world that comes alive for us, and they fill it with young folks we care about deeply, people who are likeable, even admirable without being "too good". Percy & Harry -- both with green eyes & messy black hair -- are splendid characters, and they're backed up by many others just as good. R&R both take us on journeys which are wonderful swashbuckling tales. We love knowing more & more about the people, we enjoy seeing new facets of their worlds, and we can't wait to find out what happens next.
In this book, we see Riordan at his best, with two exceptions (which I'll discuss later). He takes us on a roller-coaster adventure, with ups & downs & sudden twists. In between, he gives us time to breathe and to better know the people in his delightful world, people we come to love. Leo and Annabeth shine. Here, like no other Riordan book, they become so real. Hazel and Frank, while taking a back seat, also shine. Riordan writes cameos -- glimpses of characters from the past that don't just explain or fill in gaps. They bring the present more alive. And Riordan does this with writing that often touches the heart.
My main disappointments here were in the first half or so. It seemed Riordan lost his Percy-touch! We got a not-quite real live person. This is also sadly true of Piper and Jason. They weren't bad; but they weren't fully there. Frankly, I missed them. I was glad when Riordan, later in the book, found his way back to them.
I especially enjoyed Riodan's not-at-all perfect, but still-powerful Gods, who can't keep their Roman & Greek lives separate. Their confusion and the pain they inflict on their world and on these young people -- well, it rings sadly true. I'm a psychotherapist and a grandfather. Riordan writes a tale I see in my office and in our own world. And as Riordan shows, we adults, we "Gods" -- who have brought our children into this world, a world we've helped make -- we do need our demigods to save us. And if they're going to save themselves, they need us too. The evil giants, after all, can only be killed when Gods & demigods work together. And the evil threatening our world can only be pushed back (sadly not destroyed forever), if all demigods and all Gods come together as one.
Rings true for me.
Buy the book & read it!
All through the book a Greek has been framed for trying to kill the Romans and they must prove themselves innocent by killing a two twin giants. A girl called Annabeth Chase is going on a quest of her own to find The Mark of Athena, which could heal any hatred such as the one between the Greeks and Romans. Also a boy named Nico Di Angelo has been kidnapped and 7 demigods must rescue him.
I Believe that this book is good for many reasons. First of all, there are many conflict scenes which build tension. Also there are some funny jokes here and there. The book is also well written and never leaves you bored at all.
However there are a few things I don't like about this book. One thing I don't like is there are some moments that don't make sense at all such as the moment were Mars blesses Frank yet it permanently makes him taller even when the blessing is gone. Another thing I don't like is that the book is too short being only 300 pages while the first book was 500 pages. The final thing I dislike is that the story line was somewhat predictable as it was obvious Annabeth would fail at finding the statue so the story wouldn't end.
Many people also claim the book is boring. To that I respond could you write a more interesting book? Others also say it is for children. People all over the world are reading this. Also other claim that it freezes on their kindle. Well just buy another kindle don't hate on the book.
All in all, the book was great. It was always fun to read and never fell flat. The characters were fun to read about and they all had good elements. the cliff hanger at the end is shocking and has us wondering "what will happen next" Rick Riordan has lived up to his expectations and we can't wait for the next book.
While there are parts of this particular story that do lack pace and in a few of the battles there is a "and with one blind they were free" feel, this story is by all accounts great fun.
While the recommended reading age for this book is really to mid-teens people who grew up with the suits can still have fun reading it.
Suggest reading previous books in the series before this one off you haven't already.