Although The Son of Neptune was not a good read for me, I was still eager for the release of The Mark of Athena. Riordan ended The Son of Neptune with Argo II, Leo’s battleship, approaching Camp Jupiter. After waiting for a year, I was impatient to know if the Romans would attack first and ask questions later since there is enmity between the Greek and Roman demigod camps – whenever they get together, war ensues.
This proves to be true within the first few pages of The Mark of Athena. Those on Argo II from Camp Half-blood – Annabeth, Jason, Piper, Leo – were allowed to enter Camp Jupiter while Argo II hovers overhead. According to Terminus, the entire ship is a weapon (he is not wrong there) and thus it is not allowed inside the Pomerian Line.
Not wanting to upset the Romans, the Greeks acquiesced and entered the camp weaponless. All goes well for a while until Leo goes bonkers and opens fire on the Romans’ camp. The Romans immediately retaliate. The 7 demigods prophesized to go to Rome had to make a quick getaway. And so begins The Mark of Athena.
You are immediately thrown into action and it rages on until the end. Riordan does give you a few breaks in between the action though. Such moments are peppered with redundancies and silly teenage romance moments that are quite unconvincing and which I hurriedly read through so as to get to the next action scene. Despite that, I did enjoy reading The Mark of Athena.
As always, I am amazed at how Riordan manages to mix myth and history with today’s culture. For example, after bombing on the Romans, the 7 demigods fly to the Great Salt Lake in Utah to get supplies to fix the ship: damage was made to both ship and crew in the Roman brawl. There, Leo and Hazel meet Narcissus, a cute dude obsessed with his appearance (so narcissistic), and a nymph called Echo, who’s cursed to repeat what she hears…what she hears… The other nymphs of the lake are in love with Narcissus and continuously post videos of him on YouTube, which has gained numerous hits.
I really got swept up in the adventures of this installment and often I wondered how Riordan manages to keep track of what’s going on while writing from 4 different perspectives – Annabeth, Percy, Piper, and Leo. It must have been either crazily fun or highly frustrating. But I think he did an okay job. I learned quite a lot from this book and, as always, it makes me want to grab my Ultimate Encyclopedia of Mythology and read up on all the gods, goddesses, and monsters within its contents.
As mentioned before, I didn’t much care for the romance part of the story. That might have been due to the frame of mind I was in while reading – not for love and cute, cuddly, I-love-you feelings. Really, I thought the couples’ emotions were overkill – always worrying about losing each other, always shouting I-Love-You, and always finding it hard to leave each other’s presence, never wanting to let go. BOOO…! This is probably no fault of Riordan’s. I was a Grinch for the duration of the story and still am a bit. I think I will remedy it by watching some chick flicks and Grey’s Anatomy.
I am upset with Riordan in regards to the ending. Another cliff-hanger! And I have to wait all the way until the Fall of 2013 to find out what happens. Please write quickly Riordan. My sanity depends on it (same goes for you GRRM).
I’m about to give away the ending because I want to state my prediction for the story.
So, in the final chapters the 7 demigods save the day and all is well until Nico tells everyone that they have to rush to Greece to close the Doors of Death, which can only be closed from the inside, from inside Tartarus (no one’s looking forward to that). Anyways, they stupidly stand around in Arachne’s lair, which is above Tartarus, talking about this instead of safely on Argo II in the air somewhere (stuff like this always occur in movies and books).
Of course, two demigods get pulled into Tartarus by Arachne’s web. Actually, Annabeth gets pulled in and Percy, who refuses to let go, goes down with her (kind of reminds me of Catching Fire when Peeta refused to let Katniss reenter the games alone). I was quite sad to see Percy go; I think his powers are the coolest. Anyways, before they got pulled in, a quick plan was made for them all to rendezvous at the Doors of Death.
And here is my big prediction:
So, while travelling through Tartarus, somehow Annabeth and Percy will link up with Sadie and Carter. They will work together to close the Doors of Death. Sadie and Carter can stay in the underworld to help close it and Percy and Annabeth can then hop over to the normal world and work with the other demigods to close it from there. So from that Egyptian and Greek/Roman mega-combo dream team, the world will be saved, all will go back to rights, and the gods will no longer suffer from personality disorders. Totally great!
Anyways, I look forward to Riordan’s next book. Hopefully in the next Kane Chronicles book Carter will finally man up and tell Sadie to shut the hell up! Okay, that’s mean but Sadie is highly annoying. And in the next Heroes of Olympus book, I hope Jason doesn’t get knocked out again. So far, in both The Mark of Athena and The Lost Hero, he gets knocked out quite a lot. Just how many hits can one demigod take to the head?
- Book review: “The Mark of Athena” by Rick Riordan (might contain spoilers!) (theislandergirl.com)
- Rick Riordan on ‘The Mark of Athena’ and encouraging reluctant readers – EXCLUSIVE TRAILER (family-room.ew.com)
- Book Review: “The Mark of Athena” (thecheapreader.wordpress.com)
- The Mark of Athena (stephanieisms.wordpress.com)
- Thoughts on a Book: The Mark of Athena (jowanabueser.com)