Friday, February 19, 2016

Review: The Son of Neptune

The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan
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.
I'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.

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

22 comments:

  1. I read my first Rick Riordan book last year and that was the first Magnus Chase book. I loved that one! I really want to read more from this author. :)

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    1. That's awesome Bee - I want to read Magnus Chase too but decided to catch up on Heroes of Olympus before I dive in. I've been trying very hard to finish off series I've already started this year ;)

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  2. I remember being frustrated with the memory loss thing too, but I was also really glad to have Percy back. It took me a bit to warm up to Hazel and Frank as well, but I got there in the end. I think the next one, Mark of Athena, is my favorite of the series. Great review!

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    1. Oh having Percy back was THE BEST THING. And honestly it just took the time to get to know Frank and Hazel to warm up to them :) I actually *just* started Mark of Athena late this week so I can't wait to compare notes with you!

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  3. It can be hard sometimes to fit new characters into an existing story, I agree- especially when we want more of our favorite!Sounds like this was a fun read though, and I've always been curious about these. I like mythology so it would seem a no brainer LOL. I like the cover art on this one, and have been thinking about Magnus Chase as well...

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    1. That's EXACTLY it Greg^^ It really was a fun read and so is the series in general. I'm a HUGE fan of mythology too and it was the main reason I got into this series too haha! I want to read Magnus Chase too but I figured I ought to finish off this series before starting a new one...

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  4. I agree 100%! Ugh, the memory issues got to me too and it took me some time to warm up to Hazel and Frank as well. Yes Percy's chapters! I wanted so badly to just skim ahead. I am not a big fan f his multiple POVs now. Percy is absolutely my favorite character in the series and is quite the Sass-Master. I finished Mark of Athena not long ago, but I'm not caught up on the rest after that. So glad you enjoyed it :D

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    1. I'm glad it wasn't just me^^ The memory issue was ok in the first book, but it started to get old here...especially since it was our old favorite Percy :D I was in a bigger rush to skip Hazel and Frank's chapters at first, but once I warmed up to them it was ok. I wasn't sure about the alternating POVs either but once you know and like all of the characters, I find it quite fun! Though Percy's chapters are naturally always the best XD I live for his sass! I've already dived into Mark of Athena and thinking I'll just marathon the series until I'm done haha!

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  5. I just finished reading the first 5 Percy Jackson books, and I wasn't sure if I wanted to keep going. It takes me a long time to warm up to new characters too, and I think the whole Percy losing his memory thing would annoy me. But I'm glad you still thought this was fun! I might give it a try :)

    - Kritika @ Snowflakes & Spider silk

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    1. I have to say, so far I'm enjoying the series overall more than the Percy Jackson series, despite the new characters and alternating POVs. I like that the characters are older and more mature AND I really like the mix of Greek and Roman mythology - even though I still prefer the Greek side of things. Thanks Kritika and if you do give it a try, I'd love to compare notes :)

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  6. The memory loss was a huge frustration of mine too, but it's so feels so satisfactory when he completely gets his memory back in upcoming books. I hope you enjoy the next one!

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    1. He actually got his memory back fully by the end of this one so I was really excited to start Mark of Athena and have him back to his old self completely! Thank you Sara^^

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  7. I love Son of Neptune a lot more than the first book. Maybe it's because Percy's back?? The book did feel more fun in general and the quest too was pretty cool. This book also really set the tone for the rest of the series. I think it's my favorite in the series actually!

    Also thanks for the lovely comment you left on my anniversary post ^^ I also really enjoy our bookish chats ♥ ♥ ♥

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    1. I did too and I'm certain that Percy has A LOT to do with that LOL! It was more fun, even without the added familiarity of Percy - I loved it a whole lot. Oh it's your favorite? I'm planning on marathoning the entire series back to back (already started Mark of Athena) so we'll have to compare notes once I'm all caught up!

      Anytime my friend ♥

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  8. I'm sooo behind with the PJ books; in fact, Ally keeps yelling at me about how I need to catch up, lol. I'm so happy to hear that Percy is his snarky self here, and that gives me further motivation to get caught up with the original series. Hope you have just as much fun reading the rest of Heroes of Olympus! :D

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    1. Aw, no way?! How far have you gotten? Would it help if I yelled at you too? CATCH UP LEE SO WE CAN CHAT ALL ABOUT IT!! XD Character-wise, I'm liking this series even more because they've all grown up and even Percy's sass has grown with him LOL! Thanks lady :D

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  9. I never did finish the last book in the original Percy Jackson series xD But I did enjoy what I read so far and it's good to know that the fun times didn't stop and this one was just as entertaining! :)

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    1. Really?! Book 4 was my favorite of the bunch but man that last book was INTENSE from start to finish! I hope you get to finish the series and keep going with these^^ at some point Alise :)

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  10. I was the same way Micheline! I wanted Percy all the time. Haha. I did like Piper, Jason, and Leo a bit more than Hazel and Frank though. I really liked Mark of Athena so I hope you do too!

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    1. LOL totally - I mean the other characters grew on me (especially Leo haha) but at first when you know them less, it was like: GIMME PERCY DAMMIT! So far so good with The Mark of Athena but I'm only like 25% in!

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  11. Glad you enjoyed it! I know what you mean about Riordan's formulaic plots and how that can get tedious, but it's good you found this one to be less so. I loved the Camp Jupiter aspect and Percy's chapters too :)

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    1. I did find it less formulaic...even though it still kind of followed Riordan's usual style, it seemed more exciting somehow...and yes it was fun to discover a new camp and be reunited with Percy :D

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