“The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus #2)” by Rick Riordan
Genre: Young Adult/Middle Grade Fiction, Adventure, Fantasy
Summary from Goodreads:
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 and 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 he mother and commanded Hazel to use her “gift” for and 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 od Olympus series introduces new demigods, revives fearsome monsters, and features other remarkable creatures, all destined to play a part in the Prophesy of Seven.
Riordan doesn’t leave the reader waiting from the second they pick up the book. The action starts on the very first page of the story and never really slows down. That’s really my only problem with the book. It constantly feels like it’s going 100 MPH and even during “slow” times the story moves fast.
At times, it’s a bit hard to process all the new information. There is a lot of information for this book and for the overall story of the series. I can see how things are starting to fall into place. (This is definitely one of those books you could re-read to help process the overall story and catch stuff you didn’t understand the first time through [very much like the Harry Potter books].)
I really enjoyed the world building surrounding Camp Jupiter. Having read the PJO series, I had no idea that demigods could survive into adulthood. Like Percy, I was attracted to this place where the demigods could grow up, survive, and have a semi-normal life. I hope this is something that’s developed in later books.
I loved the setting up of Camp Jupiter. I’ve mentioned before that I’m a bit familiar with ancient Rome so seeing all the thought that went into creating a mini-Rome was cool. There were temples for the gods, mini-legions complete with Centurions and cohorts, Roman baths and quite a few other aspects of the real Rome.
As usual, I enjoyed the blending of old and new: Octavian using stuffed animals’ guts instead of real animals guts to read the will of the gods, Dakota, a kid of Bacchus (Dionysus), having a Kool-Aid/sugar problem instead of a drinking problem, Amazons running Amazon.com, and the list goes on. Of course readers who have no background on ancient Rome will enjoy this book. If the reader have even the slightest knowledge of ancient Rome, they’ll enjoy the story more and chuckle at all the new ways Riordan uses the past in new ways.
Much like in The Lost Hero, I liked the new characters. I’m very appreciative of the different perspectives used in this series. It certainly makes it easier to explain character’s back stories but it also makes new characters more relatable and likable. It’s also really interesting seeing how siblings aren’t too much alike and how they have a wide variety of cool abilities.
I was very pleased the story didn’t wander too much into the “second story syndrome.” Obviously all the books are going to feature quests so if that’s not something you like, you’d better read another series. The mysteries surrounding this book are reminiscent of The Lost Hero but stay far enough away to make it its own story.
This is a great, fun story. It’s a must read for Percy Jackson fans and those who enjoy action-y books.