Friday, March 18, 2016

Review: The Mark of Athena

The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan
The Heroes of Olympus #3
Published October 2nd 2012 by Disney Hyperion

Annabeth is terrified. Just when she's about to be reunited with Percy—after six months of being apart, thanks to Hera—it looks like Camp Jupiter is preparing for war. As Annabeth and her friends Jason, Piper, and Leo fly in on the Argo II, she can’t blame the Roman demigods for thinking the ship is a Greek weapon. With its steaming bronze dragon masthead, Leo's fantastical creation doesn't appear friendly. Annabeth hopes that the sight of their praetor Jason on deck will reassure the Romans that the visitors from Camp Half-Blood are coming in peace.

And that's only one of her worries. In her pocket Annabeth carries a gift from her mother that came with an unnerving demand: Follow the Mark of Athena. Avenge me. Annabeth already feels weighed down by the prophecy that will send seven demigods on a quest to find—and close—the Doors of Death. What more does Athena want from her?

Annabeth's biggest fear, though, is that Percy might have changed. What if he's now attached to Roman ways? Does he still need his old friends? As the daughter of the goddess of war and wisdom, Annabeth knows she was born to be a leader, but never again does she want to be without Seaweed Brain by her side.

Narrated by four different demigods, The Mark of Athena is an unforgettable journey across land and sea to Rome, where important discoveries, surprising sacrifices, and unspeakable horrors await. Climb aboard the Argo II, if you dare....
The Mark of Athena is the book where Annabeth finally gets her moment in the spotlight - and it was about time! After knowing and loving the character through seven books, I'd say she's earned it. Told in alternating points of view through four demigods, this installment finds the seven heroes of the new prophecy united and taking their quest to ROME where they face bigger dangers -  and more giants - as they work together to stop Gaea.

As the middle book in the series, The Mark of Athena was both thrilling and redundant at the same time. Told through Percy, Leo (my favorite boys), Annabeth (!!) and Piper's eyes, I really enjoyed how everyone interacted with each other and again, I found myself impressed by how Riordan tells the story so well throughout the switches in narrators.  I loved getting more time with Percy and Leo, because their sass, sarcasm and humor is THE BEST part of this series. I also really appreciated finally being able to get inside Annabeth's head.  Frank felt somewhat ignored in this installment which was sad because I grew to like him a lot in The Son of Neptune. Also, I'm hoping we get Jason's POV again eventually because I feel like I barely know the guy and it's hard for me to think of him as equally awesome as Percy when he still seems like a secondary character.

I am however, starting to get sick of the fact that every.single.final.villain. in this series has been a Giant. Oh sorry, this time it was TWO giants! Never saw that coming. O.O I get that it's Gaea's army and these are her choice minions but you can only encounter so many giants before it starts to seem...less than fresh.  I'm sure our heroes still see the challenge there though, but I couldn't help but wish that there were other baddies to be had at the end there. It's starting to feel repetitive, which was a complaint I'd had with the Percy Jackson Series back when I read it. Also, the installments in this series (still) seem needlessly long compared to the original series. I feel like the could have benefited from being trimmed down some.  Despite that, there are in fact other horrifying baddies to be found here (poor Annabeth) and well the various Gods and Goddesses always keep things interesting as well.

One of my favorite aspects of The Mark of Athena was getting to explore Rome, which is one of my earliest travel bucket list obsessions. But all the while, I found myself wishing that the heroes had done Greece in the previous series (since that one was all about Greek Mythology and since I adore Greece even more than Rome now) BUT, it looks like my wish will come true in The House of Hades, so I'm over the moon! Needless to say, that I jumped right into HoH after finishing The Mark of Athena - ESPECIALLY considering that cruel, cruel ending. Why Riordan?! WHY would you leave it there?!! Cruel authors and their awful cliffhangers...though it certainly was effective, which I'm sure was the point ;)

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

24 comments:

  1. The villain has been a giant in all 3 books? That definitely takes a little wind out of the final battle's sails since you pretty much know what to expect by that point. Hopefully the House of Hades will see a new villain step up!

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    1. Different giants but yeah, every single time: GIANT! And they tackled the one that was supposed to be the worst first of all...sooo once you know they could tackle him, you just know they can take care of all the others! I think HoH is setting up for a different ending though (finally!)

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  2. That ending was SO MEAN. I agree that this series could have been shorter though. For me the last two books were good but idk some of it dragged, plus not enough Percy lol. Great review!

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    1. SO MEAN! I'm not sure why Riordan made the books so much longer - especially since the PJS became repetitive too but it was much shorter! I think my favorite book in the series is Son of Neptune but we'll see I guess ;) Thanks girl!

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  3. I hate cliffhangers too even though I get why they use them. Stop keeping us hanging LOL! I haven't read these but when I look at 'em I'm surprised how long some of them are. And yeah I wouldn't want to see the same big bad in 3 books straight... but still, it sounds like these are a lot of fun and worth all the hype!

    I love Greece too and if I were reading these (or Percy Jackson) I'd want to see some Greek locales too!

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    1. I totally get it too but I can only imagine my frustration if I had read this book RIGHT when it came out...and had to wait a whole year before finding out the rest! Riordan's series do get redundant after a while but they're good fun! I love books that can make me laugh out loud and they're perfect as audiobooks :)

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  4. I need to read this series so bad! Well, I need to read Percy Jackson first than I'll read this one =D. I've heard so many things about this ending! Actually, I've heard from so many people that this ending is so cruel that maybe I don't want to read it XD

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    1. LOL! Yes, start with the Percy Jackson series :D It's a really fun series though I never fully fell in love with it compared to other favorites. At least all the books are out now so even though the ending is CRUEL, you can jump right into the next one!

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  5. This bit in the synopsis made me laugh: "but never again does she want to be without Seaweed Brain by her side." XD You'll probably have all of Rick Riordan's books read by the time I get around to Sea of Monsters, but I WILL get caught up eventually, LOL!

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    1. LOL! Ahhh Seaweed Brain - he's my favorite too XD I really do hope you finish off the PJ series and then read these^^ They're lots of fun!

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  6. Ahh I liked this book! :D I like most of Riordan's books *nods* But I actually have never mangaged to upgrade that to "rabid fan" status?!?? Idek why. I LOVE his characters, but I always am kind of annoyed at some of them? Like only Annabeth is an interesting female character. Leo, Percy and Frank are all incredible (Jason....eh, too much of a golden hero, tbh) but Piper and Hazel barely ever seem that big of a deal?! D: ANYWAY. BOOK IS STILL GOOD. CLIFFHANGER IS STILL CRUEL. XD

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    1. SAME HERE^^ I enjoy these but I'm definitely not in love or obsessed! Annabeth is my favorite too though I like Hazel too. I'm indifferent about Piper LOL And I feel the same way about the guys as you do!! AND YES, AGREED!! XD

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  7. I feel the same about the redundancy in the series. I also was really glad to see Annabeth in the spotlight since she's my favorite character beside Percy. The alternating POVs grate on my nerves a bit because I fall in love with certain characters and then don't get back to them for a while, but I eventually grow to enjoy them all. I haven't made it to House of Hades yet. I can't wait to see what you think!

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    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one^^ And frankly, it was high time Annabeth get her moment to shine, especially since we got Jason, Piper, Leo, Hazel and Frank BEFORE her and we've known Annabeth the longest next to Percy! I actually didn't mind the POV switches but I can see why you did! Making my way through HoH now, not quite halfway through yet though :)

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  8. Oh... nasty endings! Why do some authors do that to us?? Sounds like you are hooked to this series!

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    1. This one was one of the cruelest I've come across!! Yeah, I'm having fun with it anyway but I'm not in love or obsessed or anything LOL!

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  9. I haven't read any of the books in this series, but I have bought them for my kids... who are not all that interested :( It's frustrating when things go nasty in the end, but the next book is already released, right? I hate it when I have to wait for a full year in cases like that.
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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    1. I can understand that Lexxie^^ these certainly don't hold up to Harry Potter, The Old Kingdom or The Northern Light series but they're entertaining and quite funny! Yes^^ thankfully the entire series is out. I can't imagine the fans that had to wait an entire year before knowing how things played out here!

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  10. Rick Riordan honestly writes one of the best POVs in the business. Great review

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    1. He's really skilled at POV switches for sure! Thanks Omobola!!

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  11. I was so happy to finally get an Annabeth book! I love her! And her and Percy are just adorable together! Love them! I do find alot of Riordan's books and situations to be repetitive too. I still enjoy them, but I have noticed that.

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    1. Same here!! They are literally one the cutest covers ever ♥ Yeah they do tend to become repetitive but you're right: they're a lot of fun too so it's worth it :)

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  12. You reminded me that I really need to catch up on this series and the Percy Jackson one! I remember really enjoying them so thank you! I'm a little worried though since you are finding these to be repetitive, but at least I will know what I am getting into when I pick them up again =) Great review too!

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    1. Anytime :D I am finding these repetitive but I had the same issue with the original Percy Jackson books too! Despite that, the humor and adventure more than make up for it in the end! Thank you!! x

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