Wednesday, February 5, 2014
The Son of Neptune, Rick Riordan
Book 2 in the Heroes of Olympus. Finally, Percy is back in the picture. He has been sleeping for 8 months, under the spell of Juno (Hera) to be taken and plopped down at the Wolf House to be trained up and go to the camp for Roman demigods; Camp Jupiter. It is VERY different from Camp-Half Blood. Where Greek demigods are told they would be lucky to reach adulthood, Camp Jupiter is home to retired warriors who have since gone to college, gotten married, had families. Not all of the warriors are demigods either-sometimes they are descendants of a demigod. Percy finds it mind boggling and very appealing. Of course, his memory had been erased as well, just like Jason's, but some things are more clear to him from the get go, such as remembering Annabeth and that she is his girlfriend. He meets two unlikely heroes (I love the underdogs in Riordan's books) in Frank and Hazel who both harbor secrets they are scared to share.
The catastrophe of this book is that Thanatos (Death) has been chained and is no longer able to keep souls from returning to Earth once dead. This includes monsters. Where they used to dissolve and not come back for at least a few weeks, now they materialize almost instantly as soon as they disintegrate. In addition to that, the Doors of Death (which will be the quest of Book 3) have been opened and are being guarded by Gaea, who prohibits anyone who would help the cause of the Gods to come through and only allows the souls of evil spirits to have another chance at life-in the service of Gaea of course.
On their quest together, Percy, Frank and Hazel find a harpy named Ella who has this amazing ability to read at an insanely fast pace and retain ALL the knowledge AND understand what she's read. She's really a very valuable friend and asset. I think she will have a role to play in future novels.
In this book you realize just how bad the rift between the Roman and Greek demigods is, although I still don't quite understand WHY. But the root of it is way back when the Greeks tricked the Romans, we're talking Trojan Horse way back. And they STILL won't get over it.
You also are introduced to another group, Amazons. Yes, the warrior women of South America, only they have moved (much like the Gods of Olympus move to wherever the world's power is) to Seattle. And they run Amazon.com. How funny is that? I know that some of Riordan's humor is kind of lame, but it DOES make me chuckle and I know that my 8 year old would find it hilarious. Which shows Riordan knows his audience's funny bone. That tween age is FULL of cheesy lame humor.
More friendship, adventure, page turning fun. And it was extra fun to have Percy, Frank and Hazel travel up the west coast and into Portland, OR via the Columbia and Willamette Rivers, which is near where I grew up and walk down Glisan St. which I've been on myself, incidentally. Makes me want to go back and picture the scene from the book now :-) I love when author's put real places into their stories.