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I am so jealous.  I’ve been waiting and waiting to read The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan so I could join the discussion in the book world. Wouldn’t you know that my teen reviewer got to it first?  AND her review just makes me anticipate the book even more!

Backstory

If you like Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief, then you have got to check out The Heroes of Olympus series. The Mark of Athena is the third in the series, and so far we’ve met Jason,  Piper and Leo, demi gods from a completely different world (Roman, that is) and watched Percy go through amnesia, then ban up with Hazel and Frank to hopefully not start a war with the Greek demi gods (which Percy just happens to be.) The Mark of Athena pits the six heroes, plus Annabeth, against all odds as they venture on a quest to fulfill the prophecy of Seven

Author:Rick Riordan | Website
Release Date: October 2nd, 2012
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Age Group | Genre: YA | mythology, adventure, romance
Series: Yes, The Heroes of Olympus
Pages: 608
Rating: 4

The little half-blood, Percy, we know and love has come a long way since we first met him.  (I know he’s not technically the main character in this series. Whatever! I still think of The Heroes of Olympus as The Percy Jackson series. No one loves you, Jason! Just kidding, Piper loves you. She talks about it 24/7. Let me tell you, it is a joy to read. *HEAVY SARCASM ALERT*)

Let me give you a few samples of the delightful Piper who is supposedly not a stereotypical Aphrodite child:

‘What if he’d [Jason] lost his memory again – but this time his memories of her [Piper]?’
‘We could contact Reyna,’ Jason suggested. ‘She would believe us.’
Hearing the way Jason say her name, like it was a life line to his past made Piper’s heart sink.
‘I’ll come back to you.’ He kissed her on the cheek. ‘Promise.’
They were so easy together, it made Piper’s heart ache.

Jason was great, of course. But sometimes he acted so distant, like last night, when he’d been reluctant to talk about that old Roman legend.  So often he seemed to be thinking about his old life at Camp Jupiter.  Piper wondered if she would ever be able to break through that barrier.
The trip to camp Jupiter, seeing Reyna in person, hadn’t helped. Neither did the fact that he had chosen to wear a purple shirt today, the color of the Romans.

Mainly, though, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. That’s not just my post-book euphoria talking either. The plot was majorly complicated in the last two books.  But now we know the rules, and we understand the Greek-Roman relationship.  This book was full of action, as usual, but I felt like we had fewer times where he had to stop and figure out why suddenly everyone is talking about the “orange and purple ones” and why random demigods keep popping out of the ground.

I’ve heard a lot of complaining about how confusing it was to have seven different main characters and four different perspectives. Honestly, it never bothered me. He had relationships starting to develop very early on. Annabeth’s analyzing mind was nearly omniscient. Piper’s mind was consumed with Jason, even more than the last book. Leo was a great character in this book. He had depth. He is a strange mix of social ignorance and class clown.  From the other character’s point of view he was light hearted, if a little insensitive. From his perspective, he is baffled by his own feelings and unsure of his role in the group. This was further complicated by a certain not-really-a-love-triangle. Percy has developed a more serious and contemplative side.

Gaea’s (mother Earth’s) psychological manipulation requires all of the characters to develop an ability to reflect, so that they are not swayed by her constant attacks. This was slightly different from the format of prior formula where the whole series was a bit like a video game, i.e.: travel, fight, travel, fight, boss, travel, Big Boss. There was a bit more focus on relationships and romance in the latest books. It got darker and I think characters have become more to readers who started the book in middle school and are now in high school.

I thought that this was a worthwhile read and an excellent addition to the series. I give it 4 out of 5. I had a few issues with it, but it had many redeeming qualities.

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