Sunday, October 23, 2011

book review: the son of neptune by rick riordan

I decided I'm going to take a whack at writing a book review in the actual format for this post. Always learning! Here we go:


Rick Riordan is best known for his first series of books, dubbed the Camp Half-Blood Series by avid fans and Percy Jackson and the Olympians by purists. In it, Percy Jackson finds out that he's the son of the Greek god Poseidon and eventually goes on to complete a prophecy that has been centuries in the making. As this series of five books, which caught so much acclaim and a movie contract, drew to a close, however, audiences were wondering what Riordan had up his sleeve next.

After the beginnings of another mythological series centering upon the mythical gods of Ancient Egypt, Riordan finally released what everyone was waiting for, which was a continuation of the recently-acclaimed Percy Jackson books. It's called Heroes of Olympus, and so far, it's caught the attention of everybody from the original series and more.

Upon the release of The Son of Neptune, the second book in the Heroes of Olympus series, fans were overdrawn with excitement. It had to be about Percy Jackson. It had to be about Roman culture. And essentially, it's the new and the old combined. To be completely honest, it sure turns out that way, too.

The book opens on Percy running from two gorgon women who are trying to kill him, which echoes from the beginning of the first Heroes book. Eventually, he stumbles upon the gates to Camp Jupiter, the equivalent of Camp Half-Blood but in Roman demigod form, in which he mercifully caries an old hippie lady who eventually turns out to be Juno, the Roman equivalent of Hera. She warns of her concerns and that the time of the next great prophecy is near. She counts on Percy to fulfill it. Hazel Levesque and Frank Zhang co-narrate the book with Percy. They are demigods alike that accompany Percy to set the chains of Death free. In true Riordan fashion, it is action-packed and does not disappoint, introducing lively characters that help and oppose the battle of the young hero who is Percy Jackson.

Overall, the text was everything that I thought it would be. Riordan has maintained the ability to expose his readers to an exciting plot as well as heroic characters, and he doesn't disappoint. His utilization of cultural references from the ancient civilizations that he draws inspiration from also display his unwavering talent. In such, not only are these books entertaining and motivational for kids to read, but they are incredibly educational. These are the things I look for in a book, and it makes it worth reading a book that is technically below my reading level. Nevertheless, Riordan always delivers.

Compared to his other books, I would have to call this current series one of my favorites. The dual-perspective that each of the already released books has makes for a rather enjoyable read. However, I'm rather concerned how the next book will be. Presumably, all of the characters from The Lost Hero and The Son of Neptune will meet. Across the two books, there are six narrators. It makes me wonder how Riordan will handle this and whether having these six narrating will cause serious ramifications for the readers' understanding of the plotlines. It could get rather crossed with three, after all. Will it be in third person? One thing's for sure. I can't wait for another year. Another thing I enjoy is the diverse backgrounds each of the characters have. In the original series, the origin of each character mainly came from New York or somewhere across the East Coast of the U.S. In this newest book, there's a character from New Orleans, one from Canada, and then obviously Percy (New York). The geographical difference makes for some interesting twists with how each views the journey they go on in the book. In all, I really enjoy this new series. The characters from the Roman camp are all phenomenal, too!

In conclusion, the book is a great ride as well as a phenomenal educational tool. That's from someone who loves reading about ancient civilizations, but I really do think everyone will enjoy them. I would recommend the book to anyone. You can pick up a copy at your local bookshop. (I'm advocating for buying local due to how much of an impact the internet and e-books have had on bookshops lately. Even if it's a chain, let's keep them open!) Happy reading!

Let me know what you think after then, okay? :)

'Til next time!

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