“Percy is confused. When he awoke from his long sleep, he didn’t know much more than his name. Somehow he has managed to make it to a camp for half-bloods, but it doesn’t ring any bells with him. The only thing he can recall from his past is anotehr name: Annabeth.
Hazel is supposed to be dead. When she lived before, she didn’t do a very good job of it. Now, bercause of a mistake she made back then, the future of the world is at risk. Hazel wishes 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, but he doesn’t see it. His bulky physique makes him feel like an ox, especially in front of Hqazel, his closes friend. 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 in the Heroes of Olympus series introduces new demigods, revives fearsome monsters, and features other remarkable creatures, all destined to play a part in the Prophecy of Seven.”
You know what? It’s a good thing that I bought The Son of Neptune because I highly enjoyed The Lost Hero, and because I’m a fan of the Percy Jackson series. If I had been looking for a book to buy, and I came across the back cover blurb given this book? I wouldn’t have thought twice–I would have just put the book back down on the shelf and forgotten about it. Which is sad. Because as bad as this book blurb is, the story author Rick Riordan weaves for The Son of Neptune is one of his best yet.
The number one rule in reading an Olympus-based novel from Rick Riordan (or any of his young adult fiction novels, actually) is to spend enough disbelief that you can enjoy a roaring good time. None of his books are perfect, and The Son of Neptune is no exception. Some exposition and some explanations are forsaken for the sake of a fast-paced movement of the plot. Which, seeing as this book is a young adult novel in 2011, is a good thing. I guess. Kids nowadays easily lose interest in what they are doing, so I guess it’s good that you have a book that really keeps its readers on their toes.
Now, why am I saying that this is Rick Riordan’s best work yet? Because unlike the books of the Percy Jackson series, the story we get here does not borrow from mythological stories of old. We don’t get retreads and rewrirtes of stories that can be searched in Wikipedia. Of course you can say that The Lost Hero was the same–but there’s still a difference. The first book in the Heroes of Olympus series introduced us to three new characters–and expected us to quickly latch on to them like we did with Percy Jackson. But with an amnesiac protagonist, and two heroes who have yet to learn the ropes, this felt like a stepdown coming from The Last Olympian–which is the final book in the Percy Jackson series.
With The Son of Neptune, we already have Percy Jackson to latch onto. We know him even if he doesn’t know himself. And more importantly, the stories of his co-lead characters in this book have backgrounds that are as rich as his–and they’re also a joy to uncover. Another plus, the fact that both new characters are related to previously established characters. This made getting to know them easier; and because they’re not just adding new information but rather expanding previously known facts, I was more welcome in accepting them. I don’t know about other readers though.
Overall, The Son of Neptune is a very enjoyable read, and I would recommend it to those who like books about adventures, prophecies–and those who are looking to get into mythologies. It’s a good book to discuss with kids too, because it talks about the importance of duty and sacrifice, which is something that hasn’t been dealt with in the previous Percy Jackson books.
That said though, I do fear for the lives of these characters in the coming books. Heroes of Olympus is shaping up to be darker than the Percy Jackson series.