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Rick Riordan – The Son of Neptune

July 23, 2012

75. The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan (2011)
Heroes of Olympus, Book 2

Read my review of book:
The Percy Jackson and the Olympians books
1. The Lost Hero

Length: 522 pages
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Adventure

Started: 09 July 2012
Finished: 11 July 2012

Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? I’m totally, totally addicted.

Percy might not know
who he is, but he still knows
what he has to do.

Summary: Percy Jackson knows his own name… and that’s about it. He doesn’t know what he’s been doing for the past months, doesn’t know where he is or where he’s headed, and doesn’t know why there are all these monsters chasing him… although he does seem to know how to kill them. He makes it to Camp Jupiter, a place where everyone is the half-blood child of the gods. It feels somehow strangely familiar and simultaneously wrong, although he can’t remember why. Percy’s befriended by two of the camp’s outcasts, Hazel, who’s supposed to be dead, and Frank, who’s klutzy and hasn’t yet been claimed by his godly father. They’re three unlikely heroes, but danger is about to descend on the camp, and it will be up to them to travel to the Land Beyond the Gods to somehow avert disaster.

Review: After I finished The Lost Hero, I was a little concerned. It was good, and I certainly enjoyed it, and I liked Jason and the other new characters well enough, but there just wasn’t enough Percy to it. But my concerns have been mollified, because The Son of Neptune is (unsurprisingly, given the title) chock-full of my favorite demigod, and it’s just as good as any of the books in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series… or maybe even a smidge better.

Not only is Percy back, and in fine form, but I liked the newly-added POV characters as well (even more so than Leo and Piper from The Lost Hero, I think.) They’re sympathetic, relatable, and strong, and I felt like their secrets and hidden motivations drove the story forward really effectively. Also, even though I should expect it by now, I’m still impressed each time Riordan manages to incorporate another bit of obscure mythology into his story; in this case, it was some Chinese legends and the story of the vodou priestess Marie Laveaux, on top of the Greek & Roman myths. He also incorporates all of these things into the everyday world incredibly cleverly. His characters are moving through real geography with the mythological world superimposed on top of it, and Riordan makes good use of that throughout; the side trip to the Amazon headquarters (which are also of course the headquarters of the Amazons) may have been a bit on-the-nose, but I still found it extremely funny. The fact that he’s able to roll all of that up with Roman history, civics, and military strategy, an exciting adventure story, some interesting character development, and a dryly goofy sense of humor, just makes this book a total joy to read. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: Because Percy’s got amnesia for most of this book, it could (in theory) be read without having read all of the Percy Jackson books, although I do think that The Lost Hero is a pre-requisite. But it’s better for knowing the backstory, and since all of the books are so much fun, I don’t know why you’d want to skip any. For Riordan fans who are missing Percy after The Lost Hero, though: this book is a welcome addition to the series.

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Other Reviews: The Cheap Reader, Dark Faerie Tales, Good Books and Good Wine, Just One More Chapter and more at the Book Blogs Search Engine.
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First Line: The snake-haired ladies were starting to annoy Percy.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. July 23, 2012 10:43 pm

    I love these.

    For what it’s worth, I started with The Lost Hero & The Son of Neptune before moving *back* to the first Percy Jackson books–I knew they were 2 series, but I didn’t realize they interlocked. In some ways, I think I almost liked them better because of that. Percy’s likeable all along, but knowing he’d grow up helped, too.

    • August 8, 2012 7:13 pm

      Bookwyrme – Interesting perspective! I like Percy a lot, but he does grow up across the series pretty noticeable.

  2. July 30, 2012 9:37 pm

    I totally agree with you. The Son of Neptune is definitely better than The Lost Hero. (Thank goodness!)

    • August 8, 2012 7:14 pm

      Emily – I liked The Lost Hero well enough, but Percy’s narration just adds something to make it great.

  3. August 9, 2012 11:26 pm

    I love this book.
    it’s definitely better than The Lost hero, not that I don’t like Jason or the new characters (as a matter of fact, i love them, too), but a lot of Percy Jackson’s fans already came to know him (and love him) from the Lightning Thief. add the fact that his attitude is very likable to the readers, compared to Jason’s which is a little bit controlled, it makes the reader to want more of “The Percy Jackson, son of Poseidon”

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