REVIEW: The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

sonofneptuneThe Son of Neptune
(Heroes of Olympus #2) by Rick Riordan

Disney-Hyperion, 2011
[Goodreads] [Amazon]

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.

mythoughtsIt’s funny how a book release you are highly anticipating can turn all your other plans on its head. Instead of reading The Son of Neptune, I SHOULD have been reading the three HUGE books that were assigned for my Fantasy Lit course. However, I couldn’t resist the lure of Percy Jackson, and started reading the new installment almost immediately. Once I got started I knew there was NO way I’d be able to read anything else until I finished it. So I just did that tonight, devouring all 544 pages of it in pretty much one go.

I don’t think I can truly express just how much I love this universe, and how much I adore Percy Jackson as a character. I just … man. SO MUCH LOVE. If you have not read this series you are doing yourself a SERIOUS disservice. Definitely check them out.

Anyway, The Son of Neptune picks up approximately six months after the end of The Lost Hero. Hera has switched Percy and Jason, placing Jason at Camp Half-Blood and Percy at Camp Jupiter, and to make matters worse, has given each a case of amnesia to ensure they don’t say anything they shouldn’t. I have to admit, it sort of killed me to live with a Percy who only vaguely remembered Annabeth, and to struggle along with him while he tried to access memories that just weren’t there. But that being said, this is still the Percy we all know and love; his quick wit, sense of humor, and his complete essence were all still completely him (and can I just tell you how much I love how completely disrespectful he is to the Gods? This seems like a very Greek thing, because the Romans aren’t like this at all, but we see it from several of the Greeks, including Annabeth and Thalia). The date of importance in this book is the Feast of Fortuna, which Percy mistakenly hears as “the feast for tuna”. I kind of love that he can be so nonsensical and stupid even at the worst of times. ♥

Percy meets two fabulous new demigod friends – Hazel, daughter of Pluto and Frank, son of Mars. Both of these two have their own background stories/secrets, just like Leo and Piper did in The Lost Hero. And just like Leo and Piper, both are completely awesome and fascinating and perfect, and Percy becomes fast and immediate friends with them. Because Percy is Percy and he just naturally draws people to him. Percy also meets Ella, who is a harpy, and is delightfully funny even though she doesn’t mean to be, and pretty much attaches herself to Percy’s group. I kind of adore Ella.

The praetor, or leader, of the Roman camp is Reyna, who we learn we actually met before in the series, although Percy can’t remember why he recognizes her. She’s someone I was initially leary of upon learning about her from the Heroes of Olympus website, but I was pleasantly surprised by pretty much every aspect of her and hope we’ll be able to see more of her.

Percy, however, stumbles upon an immediate enemy at Camp Jupiter as well – Octavian, a descendant of Apollo (who is NOTHING like the Greek children of Apollo, or anything like Apollo himself), who is the Roman camp’s version of the Greek’s oracle; his “gift” is kind of suspect, too, I think, although that’s not really been confirmed. Percy dislikes him from the get-go, and since he’s a pretty good judge of character (Luke aside), I get the feeling that he’s going to be a Big Problem later on down the road.

I don’t really want to get into story specifics here, so will refrain from doing so. Suffice it to say that the year-long wait I’m going to have before book three is released (titled The Mark of Athena) is going to be a long one!

There was one quote, courtesy of Juno, that I loved (and have included below). The whole conversation between Percy and Juno (once Percy’s gotten his memories back) is actually pretty funny, and she is being surprisingly helpful. But then again, she was pretty helpful for Jason in the first book, too, so I guess that’s only fair.

…”Why me?” Percy demanded. “You and I never got along. Why would you want a loose cannon on your team?”

“Because I know you, Percy Jackson. In many ways, you are impulsive, but when it comes to your friends, you are as constant as a compass needle. You are unswervingly loyal, and you inspire loyalty. You are the glue that will unite the seven.”

“Great,” Percy said. “I always wanted to be glue.” (page 500)

To sum up my thoughts: Percy Jackson is amazing, and you NEED to read these books.


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