Monday, 28 November 2011

Book review: The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

My edition: Hardcover, published in 2011 by Puffin, 521 pages.

Description: 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 tol 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 and 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 he mother and commanded Hazel to use her "gift" for and 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 infront of Hazel, his closest friend at camp. He trusts her completely - enough to share the secret he holds close to his heart.

Rating:

 

Rick Riordan has done it again.

With the second book in the Heroes of Olympus series the author once more take the word epic to the next level to produce an action packed novel filled with clever references back to Greek and Roman mythologies and introducing a whole new generation to the fantastic gods and beyond bizarre spectrum of monsters the legends have on offer.

While the first novel in the Percy Jackson spin-off series focused on new characters Jason, Piper and Leo (with the occasional mention of characters and places the loyal readers know from the original books), the second novel brings us right back to main protagonist Percy Jackson as he explores the world of the Roman gods and Camp Jupiter, both of which are not so different from the Greek gods and Camp Half-Blood as one would initially assume.

This time around we get occasional references back to Jason and the events that unfolded in The Lost of Hero to tie the story of Son of Neptune neatly to the previous book.

All I can say is that author Riordan is very clever. Some of the references and returning characters date back to early books in the Percy Jackson series and make perfect sense in the overall story arc.

Whether he's outlined the story for years to achieve this or he simply went through his own books in search of old characters to bring back is besides the point; it's a treat for the fans of the stories while still explaining enough to new readers so they won't get confused as to what's going on.

Add to that the engrossing and adventurous storyline, filled with an array of interesting characters, powers and prophecies, and you have a truly excellent read. This is serial storytelling at its best.

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