Friday, July 8, 2016

The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan | Book Review

The Heroes of Olympus #2
First Published: 2011
Paperback/Kindle
Young Adult, Mythology
Rating:
Seven half-bloods shall answer the call,
To storm or fire the world must fall.
An oath to keep with a final breath,
And foes bear arms to the Doors of Death.

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 told 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 any 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 her mother and commanded Hazel to use her "gift" for an 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.
Beginning at the "other" camp for half-bloods and extending as far as the land beyond the gods, this breathtaking second installment of the Heroes of Olympus series introduces new demigods, revives fearsome monsters, and features other remarkable creatures, all destined to play a part in the Prophesy of Seven.
I originally read this book around three years ago, and even back then I felt it was hard to review. I didn't understand why back then, and I don't really understand now. But still, I'm going to try and put my thoughts and feeling in semi-coherent manner.

The first time I read this book, it took me a full week. This might not sound that long, but for someone with an average of two and a half days to read a novel, and someone who read the entire Percy Jackson series in a week, it is. The second time, it fit snugly in the average with three days total.

I feel like this second read may have been "easier" for me because I felt more in the loop, having re-read the entire Percy Jackson series a few months prior so instead of trying to wreck my brain to figure out all the references, I was nodding and being like "yeah, yeah" the whole time.

Much like it's predecessor, The Son of Neptune is split between three heroes, and three point of views told in third person, with four chapter in a row from each. Each character has it's own voice, strengths and weaknesses, and together they make a really interesting team.

But Percy is still my fave #sorrynotsorry. It was curious seeing him from other people's perspective, though, having lived in his head for five books. And it was nice seeing his devoted boyfriend side, without once seeing Annabeth in this book. Though, as much as I like the fact he remembered her, I would have liked more explanation as to why that happened. If Percy made himself remember with his love, then I don't think his love for Sally would lose the match, you know? And if Hera left him that memory... why?

I liked Hazel, the only girl in the group, because she has a really interesting backstory and some cool powers, but at the fight for the coolest child of Hades, Nico still wins by far for me so I guess she was a good character, but not an incredible character for me.

Frank is such a bad name for a hero (imo) but it fits this dorky, mismatched guy. The Heroes of Olympus series seems to be going all out with these crazy backstories, and Frank's just one of those. The most interesting part about him is how unlike his godly father he is. Talk abut a shocker! I just wished Frank's powers went into some more description, because it felt rather abrupt this way.

One thing to think about while reading this book is that Percy Jackson has grown, and so have Riordan's books. Our heroes are not little kids anymore, and love plays a major rule in everything that goes on around them. A much bigger one than it had in PJ. And not only that, but the level of puns, hints and play on words has been upgraded as well.

Much like all of Riordan's books, it's astonishing how clever he is, how funny he can be and how he can use seemingly random events and characters from previous books and give them a starring rule in this one.

The most interesting thing of this book is hands down the Roman Camp, because it's the first time we see a hope for the future for our heroes. Yes, Percy and Annabeth and the gang are strong and have survived so many things, no one really thinks about them possibly dying in the future (prematurely, I mean). But when you think of it, Demi-God mortality rates are super high. All one needs is one monster he's not fast enough at defending against.

The Roman camp crushes that fear and gives us (and the characters) a door to a better future, one with kids and families and normal lives (also, Percy is thinking about that type of future with Annabeth. Total swoon!)

Another super interesting subject the roman camp brings (which I have wondered about the entirety of the PJ series), is that demi-gods decedents can also hold powers, and are still stronger than regular humans. This kind of opens up a whole can of possibilities for Percy and Annabeth's children (what? I'm a shipper. I live for these things haha)
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