Rummanah Aasi
  If you've been reading my blog, you know how much I love Greek Mythology and have been recommending the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan to everyone. Luckily, Percy fans don't have to say goodbye and can enjoy another epic adventure. Riordan has a spin off series called The Heroes of Olympus which will contain five books that feature new and old characters as well as figures from both Greek and Roman mythologies. You can read my review of the first book in the series The Lost Hero here. While it's not necessary to read the Percy Jackson series first, I think readers will miss out on important character development, references, and inside jokes found in this series. The Son of Neptune is the second book in the series and one of the hottest children books that is checked out from my local library.

Description:  In The Lost Hero we discovered a new blood-chilling quest:

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.

Who are the other four mentioned in the prophesy? The answer may lie in another camp thousands of miles away, where a new camper has shown up and appears to be the son of Neptune, god of the sea.

Review: While reading and enjoying The Lost Hero, I couldn't help but wonder what happened to Percy Jackson, a character I've come to love for five books. Surely, Riordan couldn't return to Camp Half-blood and not include him. The Son of Neptune answers all of our nagging questions that The Lost Hero generated.
    In last book we learned that Percy had disappeared and there were only vague vague hints of what could have happened. In The Son of Neptune, Percy returns as one of the main characters but can't remember anything. At the very beginning of the novel we find Percy Jackson being hunted by two gorgons. He encounters Juno in the form of an old lady, who gives him a choice: he can regain his memories but go to the Roman half-blood camp where he will be lead to a treacherous journey or stay where he is and be assured of his safety.
   Percy's decision to accept the challenge and go to the Roman camp allows the reader to be introduced to the Roman demigods, the Roman way of life, and discover a new quest. The Roman camp named Camp Jupiter (Jupiter is the roman name for Zeus) is fascinating. Unlike the laid back attitude of Camp Halfblood, Camp Jupiter is organized and has rules that everyone seems to follow. Lares (house gods) saturate the area and the demigods are divided into legions similar to those of the Roman army. Riordan does a great job in introducing his readers to the various aspects of Roman culture. I loved comparing the differences between Greek and Roman mythology.
   The Son of Neptune introduces us to new demigods, Hazel and Frank, who come from very interesting backgrounds and have special powers that we haven't seen before. I don't want to go into their details in fear of giving a lot of the story away, but I'm always stunned how Riordan creates new fascinating characters that are ethnically diverse. I had absolutely no trouble in embracing these new heroes and I'm glad they were able to work together so well with Percy. 
   The Son of Neptune picks up nearly all of the key threads that were started in The Lost Hero. We get further hints as to the meaning of the prophecy about the seven half bloods. It's very possible that we've already met the seven demigods, but like readers of mythology, we all know that prophecies aren't always what they seem. Unlike the plots of the Percy Jackson series, where readers can guess which famous Greek hero stories Riordan uses for inspiration, The Heroes of Olympus is much more complex and intricate. We get a better understanding of what troubles the gods are having and why the Greek and Roman demigods must work together. If the Percy Jackson's overall lesson is to learn and accept family then the Heroes Olympus lesson seems to teach its characters and readers to challenge and not accept prejudices. The brooding tone of the book foreshadows the tough choices and sacrifices our heroes will make throughout this series.
   Unlike in the Percy Jackson series, which was written entirely in the first person, The Son of Neptune continues with the third person narrative, giving us the perspectives of Percy, Frank and, Hazel. This style feels more mature in many ways, especially since the characters are at different points in their lives. Percy has definitely grown since we last saw him, but he still holds on to those endearing characteristics that made readers love him. Just a warning: the book ends with a cliffhanger and I'm very anxious to see how things unfold in the next book. It's just too bad that we have to wait another year for the next book.

Rating: 5 stars

Curriculum Connection:  English and Social Studies

Words of Caution: There are some scary, fantasy violence that is PG rated. I think this book is appropriate for Grades 4 and up.

If you like this book try: The Mark of Athena (Book 3 of the Heroes of Olympus series, available Fall 2012), The Red Pyramid and Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan, Gods of Manhattan by Scott Mebus, The Night Tourist by Katherine Marsh, Shadow Thieves by Anne Ursu
7 Responses
  1. I've been trying to get my little cousin to read this series, but it's like pulling teeth to get him to read. *sighs*

    Greek Mythology fascinate me, but I think it's kind of tricky to follow, so I don't know too much about it. Sounds like Riordan does a good job of incorporating it into his stories.

  2. I freaking LOVE this series (as well as Percy, Red Pyramid...all of them). I haven't had the time to read this one yet, but it certainly sounds like it doesn't disappoint. Thank you so much for a refreshing and thoughtful review, Rummanah! :)

  3. Jennifer Says:

    LOVED this book! I think this is going to be an excellent series (I'm still warming up to The Kane Chronicles). And I agree with you, this series is maturing along with its characters. I liked the orderly nature of Rome and that it allows them to protect half bloods and their families. I also enjoyed the different points of view, it added depth to the story and never got confusing.

  4. Missie: What are your nephew's interests? Maybe I can help with some recommendations?

    Melissa: I hope you like this one more than "Lost Hero". I know you had some issues with it.

    Jennifer: I completely agree. I'm a little worried how he's going to fit all 7 povs in the final book. I guess we'll see.

  5. Jennifer Says:

    Ooh, that's a good point. I didn't think of the last book needing 7 POVs. That might be a bit much, maybe it will just be Jason and Percy.

  6. Crazy is my name...I haven't read a single book in this series. I hear such amazing things about them. I really need to pick them up! Especially with such a high rating.

  7. I love Greek mythology so I feel kind of bad that I still haven't read the Percy Jackson series, considering how popular they are. My little brother has read and loved the books though and we watched the movie together. I have a feeling it's not as great as the books however. Am I right?

    I'll have to ask him if he read The Son of Neptune since I know this one came out recently.

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