Thursday, March 29, 2012

Review: The Son of Neptune

The Son of Neptune (Heroes of Olympus, book 2)
By Rick Riordan
Published 2011 by Hyperion Books

Warning: This review will contain spoilers for the first book and most likely spoilers for this title as well. If you'd like to read my review of book one, go here.

Percy Jackson is seriously confused. He's just woken up from an epically long nap and he doesn't really know where he is and he's not even entirely sure of who he is. All he knows is that this old hippie lady wants him to carry her across a river and he feels compelled to do it. Can he find some answers on the other side? Hazel is supposed to be dead. When she was alive before, she made a huge mistake and now the future of the world is at risk. Can she figure out if there's a way to make it right? Frank is pretty much a disaster. Even though his mother and grandmother have told him he's descended from heroes and he can be anything he wants, he has a hard enough time just being himself. When he finally finds out who his father is (and it's NOT Apollo, like he hoped), will Frank be able to really become who he's meant to be?

This is another "of course, I HAD to read this" book for me. I love the original series but I didn't feel as excited after reading the first book of this series. I was, however, very much looking forward to this one because of course it had to be about Percy with a title like that. What I didn't love so much about book one was the lack of characters I loved from the original series. This is rectified a bit in book two, as Percy makes a return to the series. However, the majority of the action takes place at Camp Jupiter or on the quest, so we still don't get a lot of the other Greek characters. BUT, I did find the new Roman characters here more intriguing than those introduced to us in book one. I think Hazel and Frank had much stronger voices that Jason, Piper and Leo. And I liked watching the action at Camp Jupiter and finding out how things are run there. Like I mentioned in my review of book one, Riordan has crafted a much more complex and involved storyline for this series and I think it is fantastic. Even as an adult, I am learning a tremendous amount of things I didn't know - and I was obsessed with mythology as a kid. I can only imagine what this reading experience must be like for the kids who love these books. I was most thrilled, however, when my favorite character showed up again (how can you not love Tyson??). Once again, I can't praise Riordan's sense of pace and storytelling enough - these books continue to fly by with alarming speed. As expected, I cannot wait for book three!

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