We finished Son of Neptune a while back, but I just haven't had a chance to blog about it until now. Evalina is chomping at the bit to finish this series, and we just got the final book (Mark of Athena) last night, so I thought I would try to play catch up and get the books we have read in between written up.
The Story: Percy Jackson has no memory. He woke after sleeping for months, with a wolf, Lupa, telling him that he was a demigod, and told him his name, but not much more. He has memories of his girlfriend, Annabeth, but not much else, and he sets off for the demigod encampment that Lupa sent him to, but nothing seemed familiar. When he gets there, he meets Hazel, daughter of Pluto, who was dead but came back to life (this is not a widely known fact), and Frank, who has not yet been claimed by his Godly father. Percy joins the legion with the other sons and daughters of the Roman gods at Camp Jupiter, but is not widely accepted, as he is unknown and has strange ways. Frank and Hazel are some of the only ones to accept him, and together they embark on a quest to free Thanatos (the God of Death) from the hands of an ice giant in Alaska, beyond the realm of the Gods, in an attempt to defeat Gaia, in her attempts to waken and overthrow all the Gods. The Prophecy of Seven is close to coming to pass.
The Good: Evalina was thrilled to see Percy back, after his disappearance in the last book. It was interesting to get to know the Roman aspects of the Gods, and Frank and Hazel are totally likeable characters. The growing threat from Gaia was nerve-wracking, and there were some close calls and nights when we "had" to read more than one chapter because the cliff-hanger was just too big. I'd call that a good. Frank and Hazel both go through some serious transformative moments and they both grow from slightly timid, unsure newbies to strong and confident heroes. There were times when we grabbed out the Mythology book to get some background on the Roman mythology. That's a good.
The Bad: At times, it seems like the odds are just too much against Percy and the crew. It's nerve-wracking at times. And also bad? When we finished this, the final book in the series hadn't been released yet! Neither of us is much good at waiting for books. There is more overt romance in this book, I think, than in the others, which is ok, but something to be noted. It is also hard to read the book, knowing that Annabeth and Tyson and the others from Camp Half-Blood are looking for Percy, and fighting the same enemy, but not knowing what they are doing! I know that this is not really a bad, but something to think about.
The Verdict: Another really fun read from Rick Riordan! Can't wait to read the last one in the series, and then on to the Red Pyramid series, about Egyptian mythology. The recommended reading level is age 10 and up, and although she has since re-read it, Evalina (age 9) was probably better off reading it with me first, so I'd call that about right. It was on the longer side, so that's something to be aware of. Overall, thumbs up, for sure!