Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan and read by Joshua Swanson

Summary (from Goodreads):
Annabeth is terrified. Just when she's about to be reunited with Percy—after six months of being apart, thanks to Hera—it looks like Camp Jupiter is preparing for war. As Annabeth and her friends Jason, Piper, and Leo fly in on the "Argo II, " she can't blame the Roman demigods for thinking the ship is a Greek weapon. With its steaming bronze dragon figurehead, Leo's fantastical creation doesn't appear friendly. Annabeth hopes that the sight of their praetor Jason on deck will reassure the Romans that the visitors from Camp Half-Blood are coming in peace.

And that's only one of her worries. In her pocket, Annabeth carries a gift from her mother that came with an unnerving command: "Follow the Mark of Athena. Avenge me. "Annabeth already feels weighed down by the prophecy that will send seven demigods on a quest to find—and close—the Doors of Death. What more does Athena want from her?

Annabeth's biggest fear, though, is that Percy might have changed. What if he's now attached to Roman ways? Does he still need his old friends? As the daughter of the goddess of war and wisdom, Annabeth knows she was born to be a leader—but never again does she want to be without Seaweed Brain by her side.
Yes, a book that centers on Annabeth! Yes!
So, technically, the book is still about the seven (demigods) of the prophecy. And it was super amazing to see them all finally working together. After two books of the separate demigods going on separate adventures, it was so much fun to see them all finally interact with each other. But really, I was most excited about Annabeth.
I loved the macho rivalry going on between Percy and Jason. There was so much top 3 competition going on between them, I kept waiting for one of them to get hurt. I also loved Leo’s connection to Hazel (though Leo is still my least favorite character and I was slightly bummed to have more time in his point of view). I also, of course, finally got to see my ship in action! Percy and Annabeth together again, and going on adventures. This was definitely one of the biggest highlights for me.
I loved all the chapters in Annabeth’s point of view. Her side mission to follow the mark of Athena was so scary and intense that I literally yelled out loud to my audiobook when her chapters went to a different character’s point of view. I could have easily read a whole Annabeth book. I liked that Percy knew to let her go on this mission alone. And I loved seeing him grow up a little more just by being around Annabeth so much.
There were still so many side adventures along the way. There’s a creepy aquarium in Atlanta with another son of Poseidon. There’s Hercules, who’s so not as cool as I was expecting him to be. There’s the horn of plenty. And there’s even help from the most unlikely of places: Mr. D. I missed some of the other characters from past books that weren’t here, like Mrs. O’Leary and Grover and Tyson, but I mostly see why the story stayed focused more on the seven.
The setting was also super fun, as always. When the group weren’t on the awesome dragon flying ship, escaping Roman fleets, they were making pit-stops at new US cities, and then finally making their way to Rome. It was fun comparing the Roman camp to Rome, itself. And I’m hoping the next book will have plenty of scenes in Greece. Riordan is so good at incorporating real-life places with the magical/mythological. This has become one of the things I look for in all his books. And I’m never disappointed.
I’m so ready to start House of Hades. This book had the worst cliffhanger yet. It was so good, I had to literally take a moment to silently give Riordan points. I literally said out loud, “And that is how a cliffhanger is done, folks.” Thank goodness the whole series is finished already and I don’t have to wait a year to dive into book 4. I give this book a 10/10. I think it’s my favorite so far. I can’t wait to keep going with the series.