Previous Installment: The Son of Neptune
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.
Hi. My name is Merin, and I am a Percy Jackson addict.
I love Percy the way a mother loves her child. I am blind to his faults, and adore him even when he’s being a sarcastic pain in the ass. My feelings for him are such that I am physically incapable of giving this book anything less than five stars. Even though Percy isn’t the main point of view character he was in his title series, these books are what they are because of him, and his involvement makes it nearly impossible for me to be objective.
That being said? This book is absolutely fabulous.
The elements that made the previous installments so great are ever-present in The Mark of Athena. You still have the humor, the action, and the emotional journeys of the characters. And most of all, you still have Percy being Percy. Except this is a more mature, more tested, more grown up Percy. He’s still hilarious, still the character who says things he shouldn’t. But he’s also the guy who is totally in love with Annabeth, and their relationship is what’s really at the heart of this book. Yes, they’re trying to figure out how to keep Gaea from waking, and they’re going to have to reunite the Greek and Roman camps. But what the previous two books have taught us is that their feelings for each other – their inability to live without the other – have created what is probably the best “One True Pair” of all time. NO ONE will ever be able to compare to Percy and Annabeth, and that’s saying something when you consider that they’re not even seventeen yet.
“Yeah,” Percy said. “I learned a long time ago: Never bet against Annabeth.” – 53%
Of course, I can wax poetically about how awesome Percy and Annabeth are together until the end of days, and it still will only encompass part of what made this book so fantastic. The truth is, Annabeth ROCKS this book. She is tough, headstrong, and stubborn, and while she is confronted with some very serious weaknesses, she never gives up, even when things are going against her. Honestly, if you have ANYTHING bad to say about Annabeth after reading this book, please do it elsewhere, because I will be like Octavian in that dock scene; I will be unable to hear you over the wax in my ears. I don’t know what the next book is going to bring for Annabeth and Percy, but I have faith that they will be able to overcome whatever it is just because they are together, and as Annabeth said in this book, being with Percy always makes her feel braver. And she’s definitely going to need a whole lot of that.
Now, just so this doesn’t dissolve into an Annabeth and Percy lovefest, here were some other things I loved about this book. The return of the “dam” joke. The Jason/Percy bromance; I really think these two can be best buds forever. Leo being absolutely kick-ass, and the way he felt like an outsider and became such an integral part of the quest. Piper’s brief moments of being awesome (I wish there was more of this and less of her waxing on about Jason). The Hazel and Leo backstory. Jason and Percy working together. The glimpses of the gods and goddesses. Aphrodite’s tea party. The ever-present humor interspersed with all the action and adventure. The way that all seven demigods have realized that they can’t do this alone and are going to have to work together. The way Riordan combined the Greek and Roman stories together. Reyna. The scene where Annabeth drops her dagger and Percy is awesome. Annabeth’s ability to face her worst fear. The Percy/Annabeth reunion scene. All of the Annabeth backstory, which answered nearly every single question I had about her. All of the absolutely hilarious lines.
To sum up: this book was everything I wanted it to be, and more. I love that we got an Annabeth point of view, and I absolutely adored her voice. There were lots of achy-breaky moments in this book, but it just made everything seem more realistic, and it hurt in the good way. Be forewarned, though, that if you read this book, you’re going to want the next one immediately. My only complaint is that we’re going to have to wait another year to learn what happens next! I’m definitely starting the countdown for The House of Hades. How about you?