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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Review: The Son of Neptune (Rick Riordan)

TITLE: The Son of Neptune    SERIES: The Heroes of Olympus
AUTHOR: Rick Riordan          PUB: Disney-Hyperion
PUB DATE: 10/4/11               FORMAT: Hardcover, 513 pgs

Seven half-bloods shall answer the call, To storm or fire the world must fall. An oath to keep with a final breath, And foes bear arms to the Doors of Death. 
Percy is confused. When he awoke from his long sleep, he didn't know much more than his name. His brain fuzz is lingering, even after the wolf Lupa tol him he is a demigod and trained him to fight with the pen/sword in his pocket. Somehow Percy manages to make it to a camp for half-bloods, despite the fact that he has to keep killing monsters along the way. But the camp doesn't ring and bells with him. The only thing he can recall from his past is another name: Annabeth 
Hazel is supposed to be dead. When she lived before, she didn't do a very good job of it. Sure, she was an obedient daughter, even when her mother was possessed by greed. But that was the problem - when the Voice took over he mother and commanded Hazel to use her "gift" for and evil purpose, Hazel couldn't say no. Now because of her mistake, the future of the world is at risk. Hazel wished she could ride away from it all on the stallion that appears in her dreams. 
Frank is a klutz. His grandmother says he is descended from heroes and can be anything he wants to be, but he doesn't see it. He doesn't even know who his father is. He keeps hoping Apollo will claim him, because the only thing he is good at is archery - although not good enough to win camp war games. His bulky physique makes him feel like an ox, especially infront of Hazel, his closest friend at camp. He trusts her completely - enough to share the secret he holds close to his heart. 
Beginning at the "other" camp for half-bloods and extending as far as the land beyond the gods, this breathtaking second installment of the Heroes of Olympus series introduces new demigods, revives fearsome monsters, and features other remarkable creatures, all destined to play a part in the Prophecy of Seven.

THREE WORDS: Fun, Spellbinding, Educational-in-a-totally-surprising-and-awesome-way (it is too one word, pftt)

MY REVIEW: I can’t believe I actually let this book sit on my shelf for nearly a month before picking it up (durn real life commitments)! I LOVED this second installment in Rick Riordan’s The Heroes of Olympus Series. Riordan continues to awe, amaze, and inspire me with his magical way with words and his status as a master storyteller.

I am going to try and be as spoiler free as possible in this review! If you haven’t read the first book in this series, The Lost Hero, then you really must…actually, you should really start with The Lightning Thief, the first book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series…seriously, go, run and read them now…I can wait…

As the lengthy synopsis states, in this installment, we find our hero Percy without his memory and only with the barest recollection of who and what he is. Fighting his way through monsters, Percy ends up at Camp Jupiter, a camp for demigods- children and descendants of the Roman Gods. At Camp Jupiter, Percy’s status as a son of Neptune is not seen as a good thing and he is quickly looked upon with distrust and caution. But then Mars, the god of war, declares that Percy and his new friends, klutzy Frank and unusual Hazel, must travel to the land beyond the gods, Alaska, and free Thanatos (Death).  So the three demigods set out on a dangerous and deadly adventure.

First of all, I was simply ecstatic to have Percy back, as he was not in the The Lost Hero. I did not realize how much I missed him! Even without his memory, Percy is still very much the same lovable, awesome character he has always been. He’s still brave, loyal, funny, and honorable. But, he’s also matured and grown in the months since the events in The Last Olympian. And I enjoyed every second spent with him!

Riordan simply gets better and better with each book he writes. What I’m loving about this series is that it doesn’t feel repetitive or seem to just mirror its predecessor. Of course, it is similar to the first series, but it’s always entirely fresh and original in its own right as well. It has the same enchanting, captivating, magical quality of the first series, but Riordan has really added new, intricate layers and has expanded this world wonderfully.

It was so much fun exploring a whole new realm of gods and goddesses. Camp Jupiter, with its Roman gods, is just has fascinating and spellbinding as Camp Half-Blood, although it is vastly different. Riordan has really offered readers a whole new world within a familiar setting.

While I certainly missed the characters from the first series and from The Lost Hero, I definitely loved meeting all the new characters in this book. Riordan does an amazing job of creating realistic, relatable, and likable characters that come across has both entirely unique and endearingly average. I fell in love with Frank and Hazel as quickly and as much as I did with Jason, Piper, and Leo in the first book. Although, I’ll admit that Percy, Annabeth, and Grover will always be my favorite unstoppable trio.

The action and thrilling excitement does not disappoint in this book! Even older readers (ahem, like me) will find themselves reading feverishly with a racing heart. My attention was grabbed from the very first sentence and I simply fell into the story, never wanting to leave. In fact, with only about 100 pages left to read, I actually forced myself to set the book down for a whole day because I didn’t want it to end.

Surprisingly, I found this book to be quite educational. With the first series, I learned a great deal about Greek mythology and with this book I not only learned about Roman mythology, but also about the rich, complex history of Ancient Rome. And the best part is that younger readers won’t even realize they’re actually learning something because they will be having too much fun immersed in Percy’s journey! How cool is that parents and teachers?!

MY FINAL THOUGHTS: The Son of Neptune is a phenomenal second installment in a spectacular series. Rick Riordan continues to enthrall and entertain readers (young and old alike) with his creativity, intelligence, and awesome ability to weave a story. Fans of the first book will not be disappointed and readers who have yet to discover this series are in for a wonderfully magical surprise once they do. A definite and total MUST read for all fantasy fans.

The Son of Neptune (Heroes of Olympus, #2)

You can find Rick Riordan here:
Website / Goodreads / Twitter
You can purchase this book here:
Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Book Depository


Lecea said...

Great review! Rick Riordan is probably my favorite middle grade author.

Alex said...

I'm so glad you thought this was as good as it was! I like the series too, and I bought this one for my brother for Christmas. I have every intention of reading it immediately after he has finished it.

Kara D. said...

I really ought to read this new series by him! I've heard good things. I love your review system of the cupcakes :D

Unknown said...

Great review, I've been hearing about this series for a while ever since the movie and my friend kept bugging me about reading it too. Seeing your review and you wishing you didn't sit on it for a long time makes me think I should pick it up. Also since it's a 5 cupcake rating I really will take a look ^^

CYP @ A Bookalicious Story said...

Hey, so glad you liked this one! It's been sitting on my shelf for SO LONG already, but I just don't have the hype to pick it up. AAND my friend told me there's a cliffhanger so I'm waiting for the next book to be released before reading it in one shot.:P

Great review! I really want to read it now! But I want Percy to be with Annabeth!!!:((

Chelsea Rafferty said...

I read the first book way back but I've been meaning to pick up the 2nd, 3rd and so forth LOL! Just haven't had a chance.. good to know that the series is good :) did you know that Rick created these stories for his kid? He never meant to publish them, they were just a way to entertain his son and at the encouragement of family and friends who go to read them, he eventually got published with little effort on his part :) pretty cool huh? :)

Nakoya said...

Great review. I just finished reading Son of Neptune and LOVED it. I can't wait for Mark of Athena to be published.