Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

Percy's back! And he is wise-cracking his way through another quest with a new set of friends and a different camp; Camp Jupiter. Struck with amnesia, Percy finds himself immersed with a bunch of Roman kids who don't look kindly on the Greeks. However, Percy is tolerated because he saved Jupiter from some Gorgons. When Mars visits the camp to claim his son, Frank, he sends him on a quest to free the god of Death, Thanatos, who has been chained by the giant, Aclyoneus. Frank asks Hazel and Percy to help him. If the three don't free the god of Death, chaos will reign and Gaea, the goddess of Earth, will kill off all of humankind.

Riordan does a great job with pacing and character development. Chapters are short and Roman mythology is explained in easy-to-understand passages. I like how he uses mnemonics and humor to help with difficult words. For instance, Percy keeps referring to the Feast of Fortuna as the the feast for tuna. I also like how the Heroes of Olympus series uses third person narration versus first person narration. This allows for the reader to get into the minds of the other characters. Like the first book, The Lost Hero, The Son of Neptune is told from three points of view: Percy, Hazel, and Frank. Hazel is supposed to be dead but isn't and Frank is a klutz who lacks confidence. Frank changes the most in the story from the beginning to the end and all have internal (as well as external) conflicts that makes the story tense and exciting.

I like how the women in Riordan's books are strong female characters who stand on their own, as well as, the goofy gods. The god of Death looks beautiful (like Cupid) and consults his iPad to see if Frank's name is on a death list. Frank thinks to himself, Please don't let there be an app for reaping souls.  I was looking for a sidekick in this book like Coach Gleeson Hedge in The Lost Hero - I thought he was hysterical - but there isn't one. The part of the book at Camp Jupiter was predictable and very similar to plots in previous books. It was fun, but I was able to put the book down at that part. Once the quest started I couldn't stop reading. Terrific book with lots of action, humor, and adventures.

Reading Level 4.7

:-) :-) :-) :-) 4 out of 5 Smileys


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