The Son of Neptune by Rick RiordanI'm just going to come right out and say it: I had a lot of fun with The Son of Neptune. I listened to the audiobook and mostly got through it during my commute to and from work. I'll admit that quite often, I found myself laughing out loud, alone in the car. With Percy making his long-awaited return to the folds, the sass was strong with this one and I thoroughly enjoyed myself for the most part.
The Heroes of Olympus #2
Published October 4th 2011 by Disney-Hyperion
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 told 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 any 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 her mother and commanded Hazel to use her "gift" for an 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 in front 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.
At the start of The Son of Neptune, I honestly wasn't sure how things were going to work for me. As excited as I was for Percy's return, the thing with his memory somewhat bugged me. We'd been through that very same thing with new character Jason in The Lost Hero, so I was worried it would get repetitive - a complaint I've previously voiced with Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. Beyond that, I just wanted Percy to remember ALL OF THE THINGS from his past because well, we kind of went through them with him...and it just seemed unfair. Then there was also the matter of two new characters: Hazel and Frank. Personally, it always takes me a while to warm up to new characters when they're introduced into a well-established world or series. I had the same issue with Jason, Piper and Leo but I found it more pronounced here with Hazel and Frank for some reason. Possibly because my love for Percy as a character outshone my curiosity about Frank and Hazel's past - which we were treated to in the form of flashbacks thanks to the character's alternating POVs. Eventually though, I warmed up to both of the newbies, but I still couldn't help myself from looking forward to Percy's chapters :)
Moving past the characters, it was a treat to get familiar with the other Half-Blood Camp, Camp Jupiter. I've always adored both Greek and Roman Mythology, but I've never really compared the two or thought about which I'd prefer. Now thinking back on when I studied Mythology in Uni, and the way they are presented by Riordan, I'd give a slight edge to Greek Mythology. Romans here are much more the warrior type and their views on some of my favorite gods and goddesses just seemed a bit off. Nonetheless is was fascinating to see the gods and goddesses with different aspects and I though Camp Jupiter had a unique and more elaborate setup compared to Camp Half Blood.
Naturally, the book follows the Riordan-established format, with the heroes getting a prophecy, setting off to complete a quest and getting into all kinds of trouble along the way. I don't know if it was my mood, or Riordan's approach, but I found The Son of Neptune to be slightly less repetitive that previous offerings. The pacing seemed tighter and well: Percy and his sass were EVERYTHING. As much as I am enjoying all of the new characters, Percy is, and always will be the best thing about this series. Ever. Having him back in action, older, more mature but still as sarcastic and charming as ever pretty much made this book for me. Needless to say, I am completely ready to jump straight into The Mark of Athena!
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars