**Before reading the “House of Hades” (Book 4 in the Heroes of Olympus series released this October), I’ve been “re-reading” the first three books by listening to the audiobooks during my commute to and from work (which saves me time and makes the commute much, much more enjoyable, plus it also gives me a chance to write a review! Hurray for multitasking.)
Title: The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus, Book 2)
Author: Rick Riordan
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Mythology
Published: October 2011 by Hyperion Books for Children
Recommended for ages 10 and up
Audiobook: Narrated by Joshua Swanson
WHAT’S THE BOOK ABOUT?
Percy is confused. When he awoke after 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. Somehow Percy managed to make it to the camp for half-bloods, despite the fact that he had to continually kill monsters that, annoyingly, would not stay dead. But the camp doesn’t ring any bells with him.
Hazel is supposed to be dead. When she lived before, she didn’t do a very good job of it. 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.
Frank is a klutz. His grandmother claims he is descended from ancient heroes, but 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. His big and bulky physique makes him feel like a clumsy ox, especially in front of Hazel, his closest friend at camp. He trusts her completely-enough, even, to share the secret he holds close to his heart.
Beginning at the “other” camp for half-bloods and extending as far north as the land beyond the gods, this breathtaking second installment in the Heroes of Olympus series introduces new demigods, revives fearsome monsters, and features other remarkable creatures, all of whom are destined to play a part in the most important quest of all: the Prophecy of Seven.
A QUICK 411… The Son of Neptune is the second book in The Heroes of Olympus series (a spin-off of the five-part Percy Jackson & the Olympians (PJ&TO series), which is also intended to be a five-book series. It introduces another camp for half-bloods and elements of Roman mythology. It introduces several new demigod heroes in the Percy Jackson universe.
WHAT DID I THINK OF THE BOOK?
The Son of Neptune follows the story of what happened to Percy during his time away from Camp Half-Blood, his mysterious disappearance and memory loss. It also explores the story of new demigods Frank and Hazel, as well as the trio’s quest to save Camp Jupiter, restore the honor of their division in the legion (Fifth Cohort), and rescue Thanatos (the guardian of the doors of death) from the clutches of Gaea’s henchmen. It also intertwines Greek and Roman mythology. Like the first book, each chapter is told in the point of view of one of the characters (this time, Frank, Hazel, or Percy).
More of Hera/Juno’s master plan is revealed. Another camp for half-bloods is introduced (Camp Jupiter), which is where demigod children of the Roman aspects of the gods and goddesses go for training and stuff. The Romans are way more organized and disciplined (the heroes are grouped into legions) than the laid-back Greek camp. They are wary of Percy’s sudden appearance in their camp, but he proved himself a worthy ally. Frank and Hazel started out as underdogs but rose up to the challenges they faced and proved that they are heroes.
In this book, I think I may have found the most annoying character in the Percy Jackson universe… *drumroll*… Octavian! Man, he’s so annoying that I want to reach into the book and slap (or strangle) his character. And just when I thought he couldn’t get more annoying, he exceeded my expectations in the third book (The Mark of Athena). But that’s for another post, so I shall stop rambling about Octavian’s annoying ways for now.
I liked Reyna, the leader (called “praetor”) of Camp Jupiter. She was a strong and reasonable character. Hazel was likeable enough, and so was Frank. Though I seem to find Frank a little off sometimes. His family’s godly lineage is explained and his family’s special ability is pretty cool, though it somewhat came with a price. Nico di Angelo from the PJ&TO series makes an appearance as well. It turns out that since the gods have Greek and Roman aspects, they are having a bit of an identity/personality crises as Gaea puts her evil plans into motion. The Greek and Roman camps cross paths and the seven heroes mentioned in the Second Great Prophecy have begun to assemble.
TO WRAP IT UP…
The story was engaging and it remains to be an enjoyable read because of Mr. Riordan’s signature sense of humor. And Percy is back! Oh, how I missed his sarcasm and snarky comments!
I liked The Son of Neptune better than the first book in the series (The Lost Hero — read my review), and it’s not just because Percy is in the story. Despite their flaws, I found Frank and Hazel’s characters to be more likeable than Piper and Leo. And it was nice to learn about Camp Jupiter as well as its similarities and differences with Camp Half-Blood. Since I’m more familiar with Greek mythology, I found it quite interesting to learn a bit more about the Roman side of things.
The end of The Son of Neptune sets us up for the beginning of the quest meant to be fulfilled by the seven heroes — four from the Greeks and three from the Romans, which continues into the third book.