The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan, the Prophecy of the Seven begins to come together as Percy, Annabeth, Jason, Piper, Frank, Hazel, and Leo are united in a quest that will take them across the ocean to Rome and beyond.
quest does not begin smoothly. Mysterious forces are at work to ensure
that the old conflict between the Greek and Roman demigods persists. The
two camps seem to be on track for a deadly battle as the Seven travel
together toward the Mediterranean, a sea that is home to legendary
monsters and patently unfriendly to demigods. And conflict stirs in the
angsty teenage hearts of the seven demigods who travel there, as well. .
So, of course I enjoyed this book. Naturally, I would
recommend starting at the beginning of the Percy Jackson series and
going from there, in order to appreciate all of the backstory, but fans
of the series will find this book on par with its predecessors. A few
caveats: the ending is more of a cliffhanger than we've seen so far --
not enough to be painful, but certainly enough to make me more than
usually impatient for the next book. Also, as I rather snarkily implied
above, there's more teenage angst in this book than in any of the
earlier books -- mostly a product of putting seven teens together in a
confined space, six of whom are couples at various stages in their
relationships, and two of whom are boys who are used to being in
positions of leadership, and don't take kindly to being put in second
place in any given situation. Riordan has created seven strong and
distinct characters, but not all of them get to be point-of-view
characters in this story, which may disappoint some fans.
other hand, I'm always amazed at the depth and breadth of research that
the author must do in order to keep coming up with authentic monsters,
gods, and heroes to populate this series. I often booktalk the Percy
Jackson books to parents and teachers as having a "sneaky educational"
aspect to it -- I know I have learned stuff about Greek and Roman
mythology from the series! I can't wait to see what happens to the
characters in the next installment.
(Reviewed from a copy borrowed through my library system.)