By Yvette Hong
SEOUL, South Korea – Calling all Percy Jackson fans: The New York Times’ bestselling author Rick Riordan, who wrote the much-loved Percy Jackson & The Olympians series, finally released an addition to his latest series, The Heroes of Olympus.
Riordan’s latest Roman and Greek mythology-based book, The Mark of Athena, takes the reader through an adventurous story about the teen demigods’ quest of sailing to Rome to find the Doors of Death.As they voyage through air and sea, the quest involves Percy and his friends tirelessly deflecting the reigning chaos of Gaea. With close-knit friendships, Percy, the son of Poseidon, overcomes obstacles from angry nymphs, battle-hungry demigods, and even a giant shrimp monster. Oh, and don’t forget a giant spider lady. There’s plenty of sword fighting and enough superpowers to keep the reader turning the pages.
This latest addition to the series starts off where Riordan’s previous book, The Son of Neptune, left off. The demigods from Camp Half-Blood, Annabeth Chase, Jason Grace, Piper McLean, and Leo Valdez are on their way to Camp Jupiter in their flying warship: The Argo II. Their mission is to attempt an improbable alliance, joining the Roman and Greek demigods to fight against Gaea, the Earth goddess.
Percy and his friends Frank Zhang and Hazel Levesque are waiting for their arrival when the Argo II unexpectedly attacks the camp. With the star couple, Percabeth, reunited and their friends joined together, our story begins with their escape from Camp Jupiter. They later find out that Leo got possessed and attacked the whole camp with the Argo II. But how would anyone be able to explain that when the two camps are already mortal (or half-mortal) enemies? This huge misunderstanding opens up to much more dramatic challenges for our beloved characters.
What separates this book from the rest of the series is that we really get an opportunity to get a feel for each of the seven characters, as they narrate along with the story’s progression. I am pleased with the results, as Riordan intimately introduces us to each character’s thoughts and feelings. With Percy always in the spotlight, the whining, annoying-but-smart character, Annabeth Chase, turns out to be very brave when she encounters her mother, Athena, the goddess of wisdom. When she realizes that her own quest relates to the quest of saving the world, we see her maturity as she courageously embarks on the challenge.
Throughout the book, Riordan continues to bring importance to each character as the reader really gets a grasp of each personality. I found myself interested in some characters I’d never thought much of before.
With his books translated into dozens of languages, millions of copies sold and plenty of awards to his credit, it’s not a surprise that I, along with readers around the world, loved Riordan’s latest work.
The Mark of Athena is a great and solid read, and I recommend it for anyone.