March 8, 2014

Book review: The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

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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....

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

I was a big fan of the Percy Jackson books. Then Rick Riordan wrote the Kane Chronicles, which I didn't enjoy so much. I'm glad he returned to the world of Greek mythology with his latest Heroes of Olympus series.

Although it was released over a year ago (and book 4, The House of Hades, is already out), and even though I gave both of the first two books in the series five stars and couldn't wait to continue, I just recently read The Mark of Athena. I'm bad with reading through a series that way.

The Mark of Athena is similar to The Lost Hero and The Son of Neptune in that the narration shifts between multiple characters, which each character receiving four chapters at a time. It's a format that works for me and isn't as hard to follow as you'd think because all of the narrators are on the same mission. Also, like books 1 and 2, the pace of this book moves along quickly. There's plenty to action to keep you interested throughout.

My only two complaints (and the reason the book received four stars instead of five) are that the book is a little too long for the plot (some chapters felt like filler material) and that the book ends in a cliffhanger. I hate cliffhangers! If the book suffered from only one of those ailments, it would have been more of a 4.5, which I would round to five stars. However, despite my criticism, it's still a very good book and I can't wait to read book 4... which most likely means I won't get around to it for another few months.

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