The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

Heroes_of_Olympus_-_The_Son_of_NeptuneI’ve loved rereading the Heroes of Olympus series all at once.  Back when I was waiting for a new book year-to-year, I don’t think I was very impressed by Son of Neptune.  It took me a long time to adjust to Hazel and Frank, because I’m always skeptical of new characters introduced in a world I already love.  But after reading the series to completion, I really enjoyed going back and meeting them again, this time with fondness.

Hazel is far cooler than I remember giving her credit for.  I also really appreciate that her secret is exposed quickly.  In The Lost Hero, I remember being annoyed at Piper and Leo’s drawn out internal struggles.  Finally, a character who shares what’s wrong with her, trusts that her friends will still be her friends, and continues on with the quest despite valid concerns as to what will happen to her.  She’s got such a healthy outlook on the world.  

Frank is the sort of character that I feel like I ought to like more.  A son of Mars who can shapeshift, but who is somehow a big sweetheart?  I’m always drawn to those kinds of characters!  But…for whatever reason, not him.  Actually, maybe it’s because the “family gift” secret is drawn out for SO long, and I just get tired of all the hints without the payoff.  I dunno.

Maybe it’s also because Percy is back!  And Percy is so great, so dumb (“a feast for Tuna?!”) yet so smart.  I love him.  Although this series is no longer all about him, it’s so great to get his perspective once more.  I especially like how quickly he adapts to the culture of the Roman camp, and it is completely adorable that he – hero of heroes – immediately dreams of growing old and having babies with Annabeth when he realizes that is now an option.

Although I like Son of Neptune more this time around, I’m anxious to unite the seven demigods, because Mark of Athena was probably my favorite of the five (the first time around, at least).  On with the series!

Book Jacket

Percy is confused. When he awoke from his long sleep, he didn’t know much more than his name. His brain fuzz is lingering, even after the wolf Lupa told him he is a demigod and trained him to fight with the pen/sword in his pocket. Somehow Percy manages to make it to a camp for half-bloods, despite the fact that he has to keep killing monsters along the way. But the camp doesn’t ring any bells with him. The only thing he can recall from his past is another name: Annabeth

Hazel is supposed to be dead. When she lived before, she didn’t do a very good job of it. Sure, she was an obedient daughter, even when her mother was possessed by greed. But that was the problem — when the Voice took over her mother and commanded Hazel to use her “gift” for an evil purpose, Hazel couldn’t say no. Now because of her mistake, the future of the world is at risk. Hazel wished she could ride away from it all on the stallion that appears in her dreams.

Frank is a klutz. His grandmother says he is descended from heroes and can be anything he wants to be, but he doesn’t see it. He doesn’t even know who his father is. He keeps hoping Apollo will claim him, because the only thing he is good at is archery — although not good enough to win camp war games. His bulky physique makes him feel like an ox, especially infront of Hazel, his closest friend at camp. He trusts her completely — enough to share the secret he holds close to his heart.

Beginning at the “other” camp for half-bloods and extending as far as the land beyond the gods, this breathtaking second installment of the Heroes of Olympus series introduces new demigods, revives fearsome monsters, and features other remarkable creatures, all destined to play a part in the Prophesy of Seven.

Release Date:  October 2011

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