“That’s a bound book, a b-book, if you must. But it’s not a traditional book. It’ll never replace the good old-fashioned scroll!” – Rick Riordan.
Considering my previous two book reviews have been on the first two books in The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan, it probably is not surprising that my third review is on the third book in the series.
I am getting through this series remarkably quickly and as soon as I am done I promise that I will finish John Dies at the End by David Wong, a review that I had intended to have up two weeks ago now, but other books got in the way.
The Mark of Athena starts exactly where The Son of Neptune ended, but from the perspective of those on the Greek ship. I had been greatly anticipating the reunion between Percy and Annabeth, especially when I had actually been expecting it at the end of the last book, but rather Riordan seemed to prefer the idea of leaving us with a cliffhanger. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the reunion in this book, giving us a joyful start.
Unsurprisingly, the high spirits amongst the Greek and Roman demigods didn’t last long and the book jumped into action. As lovely as it was seeing both sides getting along, it is always more interesting when the main group are rather isolated as it presents an extra challenge for the characters.
I loved the encounters with the different gods, demigods and mortals including Nemesis, Echo and Narcissus as well as Mr D’s Roman self, Bacchus. Despite Hercules being a a very unlovable character, it was nice to have him included in the plot (as a matter of fact, it made me want to watch the Disney film of Hercules for the billionth time).
In my review of The Son of Neptune I mentioned how I liked the different setting in Camp Jupiter and this applies again when the plot takes us to Rome. I found this particularly exciting because I have always found Rome interesting and been eager to go and I actually am going there now, but there will be more on that in Thursday’s post. Unfortunately, our favourite demigods weren’t in Rome to visit all the magnificent sights, but to save the world (again), although Hazel, Frank and Leo couldn’t be stopped. Either way, it is lovely to see that Riordan has branched out geographically, after all, in a world of immortal gods and the like, why would they all restrict themselves only to America? Plus, it gives the quest extra difficulty and presents more challenges.
Since The Lost Hero I have definitely grown to like Jason, Piper and Leo more in this book. I must admit though, Leo is my favourite. I kind of like Jason, but I didn’t like his relationship with Percy. I mean, I know that Jason went on his own quests with the Roman demigods, but we only saw Percy’s and the Greek side for five years so to me, Percy is basically the leader of the quest. Even at the end, Nico says how Percy is the most powerful of them all. Furthermore, Jason appears to assume that he’s in charge because he always has been, possibly as a result of him being Jupiter’s son. Nevertheless, it was nice that they stepped aside for Annabeth to take the seat at the head of the table, especially when she is basically undertaking two quests at once.
After having known Annabeth’s character for so long, it is great to have some of the story narrated by her. We get to see how she thinks and using her intelligence to overcome situations. I also really felt for her in the instances where she was surrounded by spiders as I hate them so much. I’ve always loved Annabeth and also Athena, she is possibly my favourite of the gods.
I am aware that this review is rather long, in fact it is possibly the longest review I have ever written, so I am going to round this up now. I enjoyed this book very much, it was lovely seeing the Greek and Roman heroes interacting and interesting to follow Annabeth as she followed the Mark of Athena. This book is definitely a must if you have read the previous books in the series and I think this is my favourite book in the Heroes of Olympus series so far. I rate this book 5/5 and cannot wait to read the next book, especially after that cliffhanger (quite literally considering they were dangling over Tartarus before they fell).
What did you think of The Mark of Athena?