“The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus #3)” by Rick Riordan
Genre: Young Adult/Middle Grade Fiction, Adventure, Fantasy
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. . . .
In The Son of Neptune, Percy, Hazel, and Frank met in Camp Jupiter, the Roman equivalent of Camp Halfblood, and traveled to the land beyond the gods to complete a dangerous quest. The third book in the Heroes of Olympus series will unite them with Jason, Piper, and Leo. But they number only six–who will complete the Prophecy of Seven?
I’ll be a bit honest. I was a little disappointed with The Mark of Athena. After The Son of Neptune I was really, really looking forward to the two camps coming together, getting past their differences, and fighting towards the greater good. That had to be why Riordan chose to show us Camp Jupiter, right? It’s just a bit disappointing for the only apparent purpose of the camp to be another struggle for the seven.
I’m glad that Percy and Annabeth are back together even if it is weird. It’s hard to think that universe has been going on for 4/5 years? now. Yes obviously we need to have the characters grow and mature just like real people do. It’s still weird to see them all mushy (even though their crushes have been apparent for some time.)
It was interesting seeing all 7 characters together at once. We’ve come to know them over the course of the two books but only in small groups. The interactions and tension seemed pretty realistic. Percy and Jason obviously have to go head to head. Each one is used to being in charge so he doesn’t know what to do with himself when there’s another alpha male. Hazel, Frank, and Leo have a very weird thing going on. I don’t know why Frank is so intimidated by Leo (aside from the whole fire thing). It’s his great grandfather that Hazel liked not him. He shouldn’t be so hard on the guy. Piper is a bit too focused on Jason but I understand. She thought she had been dating the guy for a year. That’s going to be hard to get over especially if you’re Aphrodite’s child.
I really appreciated that Annabeth got to shine in this book. She has always been pretty awesome but she’s been in Percy’s shadow to an extent. She never really go to do things on her own. The title of the book implies that this book is for her. Here she gets her own quest and it’s a big one that no one has been able to accomplish before. It really is a big quest. The future of the world almost rests on her. If the Greeks and the Romans can’t fight together, they don’t stand a chance.
As far as the plot goes this a quintessential middle book. Really the only purpose of the book was to get the characters from California to Rome. The book was just filling in their journey. Obviously we need middle books but they aren’t the most exciting installments. Of course once things get to be a bit more exciting and move the story along, we end on a cliffhanger.
The bottom line? It’s an enjoyable “filler” book.