July 12, 2013

REVIEW: The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus #3)

Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus #3), by Rick Riordan
Published October 2, 2012
Publisher:  Disney Hyperion
Format: audiobook, borrowed from the library
Genre:  middle grade, mythology
To Buy:  Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating:  5 STARS

(From Goodreads) 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....

Oh my gosh - I had missed Percy Jackson and his gang so much. I read Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus #2) right after it came out in the fall of 2011, and although I purchased The Mark of Athena as soon as it came out, it sat on my shelf for another 7 months. I'm not quite sure why. But, finally, I decided to borrow it as an audio book from the library. And, now I'm smacking myself for having waited so long to read it in the first place. 

Percy and Annabeth are reunited at long last (what a great scene that was!), and the seven demigods of the prophecy set off on another epic quest. The ultimate goal is still to stop the Earth Goddess Gia from rising and destroying the world, but before that happens, they need to travel to the most dangerous place on Earth for demigods, stop a few giants and save their friend. Easy peasy. 

The Mark of Athena is told in four POVs - Annabeth, Percy, Leo and Piper. Even though the perspective switches a bunch, the story is really Annabeth's, as you might be able to tell from them title. She's been given a separate solo mission by Athena herself. Going it alone is anathema to these demigods - they do things in groups to play on each others' strengths. So, Annabeth is understandably worried. And, of course, she doesn't want to separate from Percy again after having just got him back. 

Rick Riordan's story telling abilities are completely unmatched. His ability to marry classic mythological characters and stories with modern settings and people in such a seamless fashion is amazing to me. I know that Percy Jackson started as a bedtime story that he told his son. This series and this world has become so much more than a simple bedtime story. 

One would think that a story centering around seven main characters and told in four different POVs would be wildly confusing. And, it's not. That alone should tell you about what a great writer Riordan is. In addition to the seven main demigods, there are dozens of supporting characters, including Nemesis, Arachne, Aphrodite, Bacchus and Minerva that make appearances in The Mark of Athena. All play a necessary role - there are no non-essential characters introduced into the mix.

The ending was crazy and epic. And it makes me want the fourth book - The House of Hades - in such a bad way. I can't wait until it comes out. And I'm not waiting to read it this time. 


LAWonder said...

I wasn't interested in this series but now you have my curiosity up I believe I will purchase it the first chance I get Thanks

Marlene Detierro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marlene Detierro said...

I think this is one of the best books in the series. At first I thought all this greek mythology stuff was stupid but now I can't wait for house of Hades to come out.

Marlene Detierro (Houston Search Engine Optimization)