Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Son of Neptune

The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

Didn't read the previous books? I reviewed them all! However, I'm only going to link to THE LOST HERO, which is book one in The Heroes of Olympus series, as that post has links to the previous five books in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. ENJOY.

Amazon summary, BA BA BAM "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 and can be anything he wants to be, but he doesn’t see it. 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—although not good enough to help the Fifth Cohort win at war games. 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." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE

So that summary wasn't half bad, but when it said "Percy is confused" I immediately thought of Percy as a Pokemon and then my brain got away from me with a funny tangent. I'll spare you, don't worry.

One moment for me to fangirl, "OH MY GOSH, I FINISHED THIS BOOK AND NOW I GET TO READ THE MARK OF ATHENA. FINALLY. I'VE HAD THIS BOOK FOR ABOUT A MONTH NOW. MUST READ." It's taking a lot for me not to be overly-excited and finish this blog post before embarking on The Mark of Athena which I'm SUPER HOPING is narrated by Annabeth because besides Tyson, Annabeth is one of my favorite characters. Suck on that Reyna. ...I'll get to Reyna in a moment.

So The Son of Neptune (Poseidon) starts out with Percy being like, "MY NAME'S PERCY. I KNOW SOMEONE NAMED ANNABETH. I THINK I KISSED HER. UHHH....THAT'S ALL FOLKS." He's been on the run for a while being chased by gorgons and trying to find a safe haven. He's been sent on his way by the wolf Lupa who told him, "Go south and follow your gut" which is horrible unclear advice. Like most adults like to give. LOL.

So he gets near Camp Jupiter (Zeus) and meets an old hippie bag lady who asks him to carry her to camp. He's like GEESH but does so. He's escorted in by two guards, Hazel and Frank, and they make it to camp safely with Percy carrying the old hippie bag lady and drowning the gorgons in the river that protects the camp. By crossing the river, he loses his River Styx blessings which he gained in The Last Olympian.

It turns out that the old hippie bag lady was actually Juno (Hera) in disguise and she warns the camp, says Percy is good, before disappearing.

**Disclaimer: I have read the book, but for the sake of my sanity, I'm going to refer to the gods by their Greek names mostly because the Greek Roman thing gets annoying as all crap at points.

We're then introduced to Camp Jupiter (Zeus) and all it's eccentric awesomeness. The camp is actually a city of sorts and a lot of demi-gods serve in the legion for ten years before retiring to the city which is inside the camp. It's like a metropolis onto itself full of cool magic stuff that happens. There's a lot of neat Roman things there, but the main things that happen are we're introduced to our other two narrators: Hazel who is a daughter of Hades , and Frank who we initially don't know who's parent is. (We find out soon enough that his father is Ares (or Mars, WHATEVER)). I'm not going to lie, the first third of the book is a lot of mystery surrounding Hazel's past, a lot of mystery surrounding Frank's heritage, and a lot of Percy being like, "Uh....what?" at people. We do run into Nico while he's here and he does not help Percy at all and plays innocent about knowing who he is. We do find out that Nico returned Hazel from the dead. So there's that. We also find out that Hazel has a curse that precious metals or gems from the Earth appear around her but are cursed; only she can return or touch them without more harm befalling her.

So first third of the book is basically spent building the characters; making sure that Frank and Hazel are alright people and that they're slowly falling in love with each other. Oh, did I mention that now that everyone is a little older, Riordan took it upon himself to make sure everyone fell in love? Does that bother anyone else? Also, Hazel is approximately 13-14 range, Frank is 16, and Percy is 16; but Hazel is often treated as the one with more wisdom and what not. I think it's a little cool that Riordan seems to be dealing out a lot of respect for the female gender, but in weird ways. Maybe more on that later, but probably not.

So the first third of the book winds down with an epic 'capture the flag' type of battle where Percy, Hazel, and Frank all manage to capture the banners (yeah, they use their banners for it) and be all awesome and Mars (Ares) appears and is like HEY FRANK, YO MY SON WHOO!!! NOW DON'T SCREW UP. He also bestows a mysterious spear on Frank until Frank can figure out how to use his inherited powers. They're also sent out on a quest by Mars where he basically tells them go North, stop a giant, all by the Feast of Fortuna which is in five days. Yeah, Ares is a little crazy in his Mars aspect, but he's also a bit more disciplined. He doesn't seem surprised by Percy showing up at Camp Jupiter either, which is odd as Hera (Juno WHATEVER) seems to have kept everyone from knowing her plans. Maybe Ares keeps a closer eye on Percy so he knows what's going on with him already.


Now there's a weird thing going on at Camp Jupiter. Their are two Praetors that run the camp; one is Reyna, but the other one was Jason. As we know from the last book, Jason was plucked from Camp Jupiter, given all the amnesia, and plunked down to be taken to Camp Half-blood. Since that time, there has been a void in the Praetors which weakens the camp. Reyna is awesome in her own right, but the camp needs two praetors. So there's a creepy kid who's a son of Apollo (a legacy as they call it; a son of an original demi-god of Apollo) his name is Octavian. Now Octavian divines messages by sacrificing stuffed animals and reading the stuffing that spills out; they used to do it with actual animals, but they got a little more humane as the centuries wore on. Octavian is the kind of kid who still sorely wishes they used live animals. He's vying to get the other Praetor spot but he's kind of evil and buys people into being on his side. Reyna won't have him. So Reyna is all HEY PERCY, PRAETOR AND MAYBE SOMETHING MORE WITH ME? EH? WINK WINK? and suddenly all the remotely interesting females in the book (besides Hazel) all want into Percy's pants. Just by the by. That will happen for the rest of the book in subtle, kind of gross at times way. Because you know, sixteen is suddenly the time to settle down with someone and make family times happen. Little creepy there. Percy, in response to Reyna is like, "Uh...I'll think about it, but I already have a girlfriend Annabeth from wherever I'm from so...I'm going to go on the quest now." But he's all reluctant to take the spot because it's Jason's who might still be alive somewhere.

So Percy, Hazel, and Frank all depart for their quest to get to Alaska and run into some mishaps on the way.

I'm going to gloss over some stuff and touch on the finer points, or else again, I'd be sitting here trying to write the whole book out.

We learn a lot about how Hazel died initially, what led to her untimely death, and what she gave up for her mother who despite everything, was kind of an awful person all the time.

We learn a lot about Frank and his family history, and there's a lot that's heavily played on the Chinese aspect of Frank's heritage. Now because the last book we had Piper who it was heavily played on about the Native American aspect of her heritage, I wonder if we're going to be following the Gods in their different aspects throughout all the cultures and not just Greek and Roman. What is Riordan up to with this cultural diversity? Hmm???

Percy starts to slowly regain his memories and is less and less like DURR about things and more and more MAD at Hera for being such an awful goddess. We find out that Percy's memories were stolen, he was put to sleep for 8 months, and Hera is basically like, "It's because you're a lose cannon. I couldn't just have you dashing about and foiling everything, BLAH" and Percy is like IMMA SMACK YOU SO HARD. But that comes towards the end of the book.

Okay, brain is getting in order.

So they depart from the camp and get on a boat before heading north. Hazel is seasick all the time and has a flashback to her past life and manages to bring Frank with her somehow. They witness all of her anguish and Frank and her get a closer bond. AWW WUV. They run into Isis who doesn't have a Roman aspect and was being terrorized by one of Gaea's armies that was marching through towards Camp Jupiter. There's some hilarious moments here but the big things are: Frank plants his spear tip into the ground that he got from his Father Mars (Ares) and discovers it makes a skeletal warrior which he sends out to kill the Basilisks. Percy tries to send some Isis messages out but his connection isn't good as his brain is all scrambled from memory loss. Hazel...just Hazel's.

So they leave Isis and search out Phineas who is a seer and knows where the giant is keeping Death (oh, did I mention Death is locked up? His name is Thanatos). They find him fending off a bunch of Harpies with a weed whacker and find out he was raised by Gaea. So they defeat Phineas by killing him with Gorgon's blood and adopt a red harpy by the name of Ella. She reads a lot and says snitches of things and for some reason Phineas thought she was super valuable, so they bring her along.

They run into the Amazons next where they find out that Queen Hylla is Reyna's sister (and Reyna sent them with her ring so that if they ran into the Amazons they would help and hopefully NOT kill them) but here is where we find out that Hylla and Reyla were on Circe's island. If you recall from the previous series, Percy, Annabeth, and Grover managed to disperse Circe and free all the men that had been turned into guinea pigs. Hylla and Reyla had apparently been living very happily on that island and after Percy they went through a lot of crap before Reyla wound up at Camp Jupiter and Hylla wound up with the Amazons. There's a civil war amongst the amazon as the original queen of the amazons has returned and insists on dueling Hylla. Meh. While with the Amazons, they befriend the fastest horse ever, Arion, who helps with their escape and they charge off towards the north. They make ridiculous good time and make it to Canada where they hope to find the Glacier that Death is being held on.

So they wander around Canada, run into monsters here and there, but mostly I feel that a large part of this segment was just appreciating Canada. They also manage to stop by Frank's house where he sees his Father, Mars (Ares) again who is visiting his Grandmother (who had a very strict kindness about her) and Frank finally learns what his family's gift is. There's a hilarious battle scene at the house but they manage to escape to an awaiting pilot who takes them farther into Alaska.

They run into more monsters, blah blah blah, before Arion manages to get them to the Glacier. Again, glossed over a lot of stuff to avoid retelling the whole story. There is a crazy epic battle between the Giant, freeing death, and ghosts while retrieving the Roman eagle (which is a really powerful banner type of thing). They're like WHEW, GLAD THAT'S GOOD. They also manage to get a lot of equipment, a nice chariot, and Arion races them back to camp in like four hours. That's cool.

They have another epic battle at camp where a lot of campers are under siege by a small force of Gaea's army and there's a neat moment where the Amazons swoop in to help them and Percy kills a titan with the help of the bust of a god (the god inhabits the bust) and it's all well and good.

The book ends with Percy being raised as Praetor (which he is still mildly uncomfortable with) and Hazel, Frank, and Percy knowing their part of the 7 in the prophecy. There's a warning about Annabeth coming to camp, Tyson and Mrs. O'Leary have reunited with Percy, and Percy is trying to convince everyone that the Argo II is coming and bearing Greek allies which has Octavian all up in arms and Reyna being like, "WE'LL SEE." Book ends.


Happy reading!

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