Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Book Review: The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordian

Okay. You've already read the Lost Hero. I've just written a review for it that's almost as long as the actual 1-inch-spine book (well, it might as well be). Well, guess what? There's more.


[A WARNING: This is a sequel, so it contains critical information (yes, spoilers) from the end of the previous book, so I'd recommend reading the Lost Hero before reading this review. Thank you.]


The three-demigod team of Jason, Leo and Piper have returned from their quest. Not only that, but along with them, Camp Half-Blood puts together the pieces and has discovered something: their camp isn't the only safe place for demigods. There's another camp.

Another Roman camp.

The thing is, our protagonist from the original series, Percy Jackson, doesn't know that. He's lost his memory, met a pack of wolves lead by none other than the she-wolf Lupa, and has found himself in the least likely of places--southern California, no less--fighting for his life against a pair of Gorgons that wouldn't die.

Unfortunately, Camp Jupiter doesn't know about Camp Half-Blood any more than Percy does. So when he finds his way there and finally kills the Gorgons by dissolving them in the Little Tiber, the river that runs near camp, and reveals himself to be the son of the Sea God, nobody knows how he survived as long as he did. A sixteen-year-old demigod would normally have been killed by monsters a long time ago. To everyone at camp, Percy is a mystery.

Unlike in the Greek world, Poseidon (Neptune, whatever) isn't exactly the most popular god. Romans feared the sea. So it's nobody's surprise when he joins the Fifth Cohort at Camp Jupiter--the "loser" section. The cursed cohort. That's where Hazel and Frank are, and they know why. Hazel is cursed even more than the cohort itself. The only thing Frank is good with is his bow, despite being the size of an ox, a weapon frowned upon by New Rome, and still hasn't been claimed; he hopes desperately that his godly father is Apollo, so he'd have an excuse for his choice of weapon. And as for Percy, it isn't just the fact that he's the son of the sea god. Reyna, the camp praetor, has heard things about a child of Neptune. Unfortunately, not all of them are good.

The already unusual setup gets even stranger when a god--yes, another one, after Hera (sorry, Juno) gave Percy passage into Camp Jupiter--appears at camp, claims Frank, and issues a quest led by his son. After choosing his two companions--Percy and Hazel--Frank and his teammates are sent off on a quest to Alaska, the land beyond the gods, to free Death so those who die stay dead, including monsters. As they get closer to the icy state, they get even closer to the root of Hazel's curse, and soon begin to realize that they may be a bigger part of the Prophecy of Seven than they imagined.


Man, this series really is living up to its high expectations--the Son of Neptune is just as good as its predecessor, the Lost Hero; if anything, it's even better. The romance element isn't totally gone (this time around, it's Hazel and Frank), but it's definitely toned down and definitely feels more honest than with Jason and Piper. (At least, I'm not banging the book against my forehead in exasperation or mentally yelling at the characters to SHUT UP ALEADY! GAH!...) Not only that, but even with the couple thing going on, both characters still remain consistently realistic (well, as realistic as possible for a YA fantasy novel) and inherently awesome.

So, what are you waiting for? Read this already!

Five stars (obviously...)


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