“Nico, I've seen a lot of brave things. But what you just did? That was maybe the bravest.” - Rick Riordan, The House of Hades
That was a bold move, U“Nico, I've seen a lot of brave things. But what you just did? That was maybe the bravest.” - Rick Riordan, The House of Hades
That was a bold move, Uncle Rick, and I respect you for daring to put that in a children's book despite the inevitability of vehement protests. It was a powerful statement that we need to see more of, especially in children's fiction.
Also, awesome job on character development. You finally made me love ALL seven heroes. Dammit, I can't believe I'll have to wait another year for "The Blood of Olympus." ...more
In terms of storytelling, I thought "The Son of Neptune" was just as exciting as "The Lost Hero". I've been trying to pick one over the other but the♠ In terms of storytelling, I thought "The Son of Neptune" was just as exciting as "The Lost Hero". I've been trying to pick one over the other but they're equally riveting in different ways. I found the characters (and returning characters) Jason, Leo, and Piper met during their quest more memorable and likeable. On the other hand, the element of danger was more pronounced when it was Team Percy's turn to battle the forces of evil. My thought process while reading the first book went something like: "Oh, so there's gonna be an even bigger war and gods and demigods from both sides have to work together? Okay...That's interesting..." When it came to the second book, I was thinking this: "OH EM GEE, SHIT JUST GOT REAL, YOU GUYS." It really drove the point across and that's one of the things I really loved about the second installment.
♠ I loved the way Camp Jupiter was set up; it has more structure and organization than Camp Half-Blood. I was really impressed by the way Riordan differentiated the Greek and Roman camps. I thought it made sense that the Roman camp put more emphasis on fighting in legions as opposed to solo adventures; discipline and war to art and beauty. Like Percy, I was also amazed that a lot of Roman demigods actually get to live a pretty normal life - going to college, getting married, raising kids - over there. Anyway, I would still pick Camp Half-Blood over Camp Jupiter any day though, probably because if both camps were real, I'd have more fun at the former. ;)
♠ I prefer Percy Jackson as a POV character/quest leader over Jason Grace. This book made me realize even more how badly I had missed reading Percy's POVs. Don't get me wrong, guys. I think Jason's great and interesting enough, but he just doesn't have Percy's sense of humor and pizzazz. A bit of bias is probably involved on my part because I've known Percy longer but the fact remains that Percy made me stop reading just to laugh out loud a whole lot more than Jason did in the first installment. It was also easier for me to root for Percy as a character even when he didn't have his memories intact because IMO, the kid has more presence; I could really see his strong, noble personality shining through. Complemented by his occasional entertainingly snarky commentary about his misfortunes and his endearingly silly one-liners ("all roads lead to detention", lolol), it's a really loveable combination for a hero. Reading "The Son of Neptune" just gave me more reasons to love Percy and ship Percy/Annabeth up to the very end. Lastly, the kid got even more powerful and stronger during fight scenes, which definitely made him more badass in my book.
♠ Frank Zhang, like Neville Longbottom, is an adorable BAMF. Right from the first moment, he reminded me of underdog characters like Neville Longbottom (Harry Potter) and Samwell Tarly (ASOIAF). When I first saw the official fanart/character description of him weeks before the book's release, I considered that he's a son of Apollo because of the bow and arrows. As I started reading the book, however, I began to have doubts so I wasn't really surprised when he turned out to be a son of Mars. While I may not count Frank among my favorite Riordanverse characters ever, he's more than likeable enough and I'm curious to see how he'll develop his shapeshifting powers and the role he will play in the Prophecy of Seven. The way the gods are talking about it, it seems that Frank will have a very important part in it. Now, I am actually quite worried and hoping that Riordan wouldn't turn Frank into one of those annoying 'speshul snowflakes' characters because that would be hella annoying.
♠ Hazel Levesque is undoubtedly a sweetheart but she needs more character depth. I might be in the minority here but while reading her POV chapters, I thought she came across as a bit too good and noble. I would have loved to see more darkness and internal struggle, considering she's supposed to be a cursed daughter of Pluto and all that. She does have potential and I have yet to give up hope for her, but at the same time, I find it hard to connect with her character as a reader. Riordan's got his work cut out for himself on making Hazel stand up more as a character in the next installments. I didn't find Hazel's backstory as interesting as I had initially hoped (I tend to have high expectations when it comes to backstories of the children of Hades/Pluto). Okay, let me correct that. I would have appreciated her backstory a whole lot more if Riordan didn't bring in a love interest in the picture and hinted at a possible love triangle between her, Frank, and Leo. You kinda suck at writing love triangle themed stories, Rick. Do us all a favor and just don't go there. >.> I have a sinking feeling that you will but wishing wouldn't hurt. =p
♠ Reyna stood out for me as a supporting character and I was quite saddened that it was Hazel, not she, who's a part of the Prophecy of Seven. I didn't expect to love the girl but she grew on me. Unfortunately, she wasn't given enough page time but she made the most of what she had and I wish that we'd find out more about her in the future books. Once again, I have to stress that I really hope that her main purpose in the series isn't to be 'the girl who will spice up the Jason/Piper and/or Percy/Annabeth love story'. Reyna deserves to be so much more than the other love interest. She's a prideful, capable leader and a fierce warrior - those are the sides of her that I'd like to see more of.
♠ Octavian's abilities are so over-the-top that it's hilarious and he's got miles to go before he could measure up to Luke as an antagonist. Seriously, at this point, I think Luke could probably eat him for breakfast and still have appetite for seconds.
♠ Speaking of Leo, I miss my favorite mechanic. He's the one who entertained me the most with his wit, self-depreciating humor, and geeky personality in "The Lost Hero". I was glad to see a bit of him in "The Son of Neptune" but I'm greedy and would love more Leo POV chapters, like around right now. =p The father-son tandem between him and Hephaestus is one of the most realistic and cutest Olympian parent-demigod tandems in the bunch.
♠ Hades > Pluto. 'Nuff said. No other version of Hades can beat the Emotastic King of Emo, people.
♠ As much as I would like to say "damn you, Rick Riordan!" for not giving us a proper Percy/Annabeth reunion, I understand why he ended the book the way he did. No, really, I'm serious. Now I'm more confident that "The Mark of Athena" would begin with a bang. ;)
♠ It saddens me to say this but I don't think Percy and Annabeth will get to spend much time together in the next book. That wisdom's daughter walks alone bit about the prophecy led me to think that even if Annabeth wouldn't be off on her own, there would be a form of distance between her and the other demigods of the prophecy. I know for a fact that Annabeth's very territorial, especially when it comes to her friends. Being a daughter of the goddess of wisom and battle, Annabeth also has the tendency to listen to her head more than her heart. I don't see her warming up to the Roman kids as easily as Percy did, and I can see that as a problem because he's gotten really close to Frank and Hazel. Second, considering Hera's warning to Percy about Annabeth giving him the most trouble, I suspect that there would be a conflict of interests between the two of them, which isn't exactly an unexpected headline because they already clashed so many times in the past. Percy, being too loyal to his friends, wouldn't be able to give up any of his friends even if he has to for the common good. Annabeth, being a really smart strategist, would consider all angles and the sacrifices involved. Based on the title and the little hints we got, Annabeth would be playing a crucial role in the next book and she'd probably have to make a lot of difficult choices along the way and Percy would disagree with more than a few of them. Yes, I can definitely see a bit of trouble looming in paradise. Am I worried that my ship will sink? Nuh-uh. I think Riordan would know better than to break Percy and Annabeth apart for good. He might give them new hurdles to overcome but I think of them as an endgame couple. Besides, I'll scream bloody murder if those two don't end up together. =p ...more
Compared to "The Red Pyramid", this installment was better in some ways and worse in others. As far as character development is concerned,Another 3.5
Compared to "The Red Pyramid", this installment was better in some ways and worse in others. As far as character development is concerned, Riordan did a better job with the Kane siblings this time. It was interesting to see the older brother-younger sister dynamic between Carter and Sadie as they struggled with the dramatic changes in their lives and tried to save the world at the same time.
In terms of story, I found "The Red Pyramid" more memorable and stronger as an individual book, probably because there wasn't enough resolution in "The Throne of Fire". I was left with too many questions (which is understandable because there's going to be a next book). ;) Secondly, the fight scenes weren't as exciting because even though Carter and Sadie had become more powerful as magicians, Horus and Isis weren't as involved as before. In this installment, the Rockin' Red Reaper (Set) was the only god who held my attention. Bes was amusing and likable enough but as expected, Set had more presence. He's a very entertaining addition and I'd love to see more of him in the future books.
Another thing I didn't like? The romantic scenes. Yes, you read that right. I love a good romantic scene as much as the next person but if it's contrived, I find it painful to read. I found it strange that apparently, Carter did not just have a crush on Zia's shabti. He had fallen in love with her. Say, what? How the hell did that happen? Don't even get me started on the Anubis/Sadie/Walt love triangle. I thought Anubis and Sadie were quite adorable together in the first book but when Riordan decided to spice things up by making it a love triangle and involving another love interest who happens to be at death's door, it just became awkward.
With all that said, I'll finish by saying that I am still excited to read the third book. Things are bound to get interesting now that Riordan's set the stage. ...more
They didn't include too many awesome 'little things' from the books. Also, I didn't like many of their character renditions, especially Grover and AnnThey didn't include too many awesome 'little things' from the books. Also, I didn't like many of their character renditions, especially Grover and Annabeth. :/...more
More like a 3.5 stars because of the rather awkward style of narrating. Although I'm still on Team Percy Jackson, I found this first KC installment anMore like a 3.5 stars because of the rather awkward style of narrating. Although I'm still on Team Percy Jackson, I found this first KC installment an enjoyable, thrilling read. ;)...more