Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Mark of Athena

Annabeth and her gang are off to Camp Jupiter to rescue Percy Jackson, but when they arrive not only has Percy acclimated, but they are not at all welcome.  Both the Greek and Roman demigods have heard the same prophecy that links both camps, but as Jason, Piper, Hazel, Frank, Annabeth, Percy and Leo decide what to do, they are taken over by evil spirits controlled by Gaea and nearly destroy Camp Jupiter.  Now they are fleeing from the Romans as they try to travel to Rome, save Nico di Angelo, find the Athena Partheneos, and save the world from an ancient earth goddess.  Along the way they meet Hercules, fight giants, and save each other numerous times.  

And then things take a dark turn.

This is for fans of the Percy Jackson books and other Heroes of Olympus books.  I can say for certain that if you have not read the previous books, you will be lost.  I have read the previous books, but I just forgot a lot of the details and I found myself scratching my head many times.  Like all other Riordan books, the dialogue is witty, the dangers are ridiculous, the gods are silly, and the kids are the heroes.  But this book is a bit more mature than the first books.  Like Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and his gang of misfits are growing up.  There's just some kissing-no big deal, and not enough to detract from the action and adventure, but some readers are going to just gloss over those parts big time.  

Here's the good and the bad.  The good was that this book wasn't as much about Percy, rather it was about all of the demigods and how each of their abilities was helpful in this quest.  This made Percy uncomfortable since he was always the leader before, and now everyone was a leader for different parts of the journey.  This is a great lesson for readers, although they might not pick up on it.

The bad was the narration.  With seven main characters, and at least five different narrators, the plot got jumbled.  At least when a different narrator was introduced, you stuck with him or her for three or so chapters, but when you switched back and forth so many times it made your head spin.  I don't know a better way to do it, but it was tough to keep everything straight, even though each narrator had a distinct voice.  

There are two more planned books in this series, obviously.  You can't just end where this ended.  And to anyone out there that has read this book-isn't the ending a bit like the ending of the second Pirates of the Caribbean movie?  I won't give anything more away than that, but that's going to be a tough ending for some readers.

I'll stick around for the rest of the Heroes of Olympus because I've come this far already.  However, there another mash-up was alluded to at the end of the Kane Chronicles and if that happens, I might have to bow out.  Greek-Roman-Egyptian mythology all glued into one is just getting too confusing.  I've also heard that Riordan is working on a Norse mythology series that I might be up for, but we'll see.  I honestly love what his books do to encourage readers to look up the original myths, so I'll keep working this trend.  But I'll steer clear of more mash-ups-they just make my head spin.

Happy Reading!

No comments:

Post a Comment