Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Son of Neptune

Title: The Son of Neptune
Author: Rick Riordan
Published: 2011

I've decided that I don't like being caught up on book series. I didn't even pick up The Hunger Games trilogy until Mockingjay had already been published. It was nice to have the ability to read all three of them back to back to back, no waiting.

I remember the agony that came with waiting for each new Harry Potter book. The anxiety isn't quite as bad with Riordan's series centered around the world of Percy Jackson, but it's still somewhat felt.

The Son of Neptune is the seventh novel to be set in a world where the old pantheon of gods from Greece and Rome never really went away. They just moved along with the center of Western Civilization. As was explained in the first series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, the Greek gods now call New York City their home, and the myths and heroes surrounding them have been updated for a modern world.

This book follows directly from last year's The Lost Hero, which introduced Percy Jackson fans to a few new characters and left us all wondering, "What happened to Percy Jackson?" The Son of Neptune answers that question right at the start. But not all at once.

The action follows Percy as he is simply trying to survive. Nothing new for the young demigod. What is new is that he really has no clue who he is or why he's being hunted down by mythological monsters. All he knows for sure is that he's spent the better part of the last eight months in some kind of deep sleep, and his life before that is a complete blur. All he can really remember is some girl named Annabeth, and that she means a great deal to him.

He is quickly thrown into a world that is unfamiliar, not only to him, but also to anyone who has been keeping up with the adventures of the campers from Camp Half-Blood. He finds himself at Camp Jupiter, a refuge for demigods where they can train and be safe from attacking monsters. Sound familiar? It should, that's pretty much what Camp Half-Blood is for. Except it's a camp for the descendants of Roman gods. As we learned in the previous installment, these two camps have co-existed, but have been kept separate because there's a lot of bad blood between the Greeks and Romans.

So Percy's arrival at Camp Jupiter is met with a great deal of suspicion. But when Juno gives her seal of approval, and he shows off his water manipulating powers by destroying a couple Gorgons, he's somewhat accepted. He soon grows close to two other campers, Frank Zhang and Hazel Levesque. Both have complicated back stories and carry their own fair share of secrets that come out as they set out on a dangerous quest together.

The quest is a continuation of the quest that Jason, Leo, and Piper were on in The Lost Hero. Gaea is waking up and is bent on destroying humanity. Her children, the giants, are putting her plans into motion. This time around, the heroes must journey to Alaska to stop a giant and free Thanatos, the embodiment of Death. Without Death, the monsters that are slain by the heroes are able to continue fighting.

While I didn't find this novel to be as exciting or interesting as previous Percy Jackson books, it was still a pretty decent read. What can I say? I'm a sucker for mythology, whether it's ancient or modern.

By the way, I'm failing at this part of my New Year's resolution. I wanted to read 50 books in 2011. If I'm correct in my count, this book is only number 15. That's pretty much a fail on my part. 'Cause I really don't think it would be possible for me to read another 35 books in six weeks. Unless they all come from the "I Can Read" section of the library.

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